About 7 weeks ago I hit my absolute limit for how long I could go without hating my hair so much that I felt like I couldn’t go out in public. Right then my life exploded, I cancelled the hair appointment and since then have withdrawn from social engagements to compensate. "Dinner? No – sorry. Can’t come. Hair’s gotten too weird, can’t leave the house. I’m sure you understand." (They don’t.)
The other night when Rachel H was over I said something to her like "There’s no way I can go to the school concert like this." and Rachel said something like "Don’t worry, people know you’ve been having a hard time" or something like that… but what she really said was totally irrelevant, because as soon it came out of her mouth I realized what she hadn’t said, which was "No, no. You look great. It’s all in your head." so the next day I made a hair appointment, which was today.
The lady who cuts my hair is awesome and I love her. It’s taken us about two years to get where we are now, which is her totally accepting that I’m never going to take an interest in my hair in any way – other than showing up to have it wrangled. I’m not going to straighten it or buy $80 worth of product.. I’m not going to discuss it or talk about it’s colour. I’m not going to do any of the things she talks about, and I do not own a diffuser now, nor do I plan on getting one. I don’t have a style – I have a cut, and I don’t want to talk about maybe getting a style. I’m going to show up, say something about how I would like to be able to participate more fully in society and not be held back by my hair, and she fixes it, we chat nicely and I leave. It works great.
So today I show up there and tell her that I told a friend that I thought my hair was bad and she didn’t disagree, and I pull of my hat and she says something like "Holy. S**t. No wonder you’ve been staying in the house" and sat me down in the chair. I pulled out my knitting – like I always do, and the lady asked what I was making – like she always does. I told her that they were socks for Joe, still not finished from Christmas, and then we chatted a bit more.
So she’s cutting and I look at my sock, and I see that I’m done the leg and ready to start the heel, and because it’s socks with cables, I need to move the stitches around to get the heel in the right spot. I set about it, slipping more stitches to one needle for the heel, moving front stitches so they’re evenly distributed between two needles. Slipping them all around to get it right, and while I’m doing this, the stylist leans over my shoulder and watches for a minute – and then she says this.
"Wow. You’re such a fast knitter that it doesn’t even look like you’re knitting. It looks like you’re just moving stitches. I can’t believe you’re that fast!"
Now, maybe it was the fact that I had so little else going for me in that moment, what with the hair and all, or maybe it was because everybody is occasionally tempted when the mark is just too easy but I sat there, really just slipping stitches and not knitting them at all…and I looked up at her with every intention of telling her the truth, that I have really bad hair and my knitting’s really not that special, and then I opened my mouth and inexplicably said:
"Thank you. I’ve been knitting for a long time."
I’m waiting for my hair to dry to see if it’s funny lookin’. She’s a good hairdresser, but that has to have cost me something. Smart money’s on the haircut.