Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's a sign...


I walked into the orthotics office where I was going to be fit for a knee brace, signed in, and sat down in one of the chairs in the waiting room. I picked up an issue of Glamour magazine that was on the side table next to me and started thumbing through the pages, not really paying attention to what I was reading but at the same time being mildly amused by the trivial nature of many of the headlines. I stopped at a spread about an “edgy makeover,” as they called it, and was quite impressed by the transformation the woman had actually made. As you can see above, she started off as a sort of dowdy, tired looking blond with ratty shoulder length hair and deep set eyes, but after an “edgy” bobbed haircut and a little makeup, she literally looked 10 years younger. She looked completely different. I started thinking about what it would be like to cut off most of my hair – I’ve always wanted to donate my hair to Locks for Love to help make wigs for those suffering with cancer, but I’ve never had the guts. I had a traumatic short hair experience as an eight year old when one of my older brother’s friends asked if I was his brother, so I started growing my hair out right then and never looked back.

But today, right when I was thinking about making a big change and going for it, I heard a voice in front of me mumble “never cut bangs into your hair, miss…” I looked up and there was an older man hunched over a walker coming over to sit down a couple chairs away from me. He continued, “I was a surfer back in the sixties and I had hair down to my ankles. Now my son comes over and gives me a buzz cut when I need it.” Well, almost a buzz cut. He still had a little bit of his past with him in the form of the ever so ugly rat-tail trailing down his upper back. But on him, it was actually kind of endearing. “All that hair was just too much work. But your hair… your hair is very nice. It reminds me of the hippies when I was younger.” I thanked him, which I guess he interpreted as an invitation to tell me his life story. When he talked a mouthful of decayed teeth presented themselves to me, and he had some trouble enunciating. His eyes were slightly beady, and it looked as if he had had a stroke that left part of his face paralyzed. If he had been sitting outside on the street I would have thought he was homeless, and although when he first sat down near me I was a little creeped out, as he went on to tell me stories of his surfing days in Hawaii, Australia, Indonesia, and all the way up and down the 101 freeway, I could tell he was just an old man looking for a way to relive his good old glory days by talking to his neighbor in a waiting room.

The doctor opened up the door and called my name. I looked at the old man next to me, wished him luck with his back pain, put the issue of Glamour back on the side table, and went into the hallway. Maybe I won’t cut my hair right now, as I’m sure my husband is ecstatic to hear. Maybe I want to keep looking like a hippie from the sixties until it’s no longer age appropriate. But for some weird reason, I won’t forget the old man with a rich history who had an indescribable look in his eyes when he spoke of catching a 14 foot wave off of the North Shore in O’ahu. I should be so lucky to find something that I am so passionate about that I have that look in my eyes forty years from now.

2 comments:

ButlerWifey said...

I actually have a hair appointment today to cut all my hair off, which Scott isn't too excited about. My defense is that it takes me too long to do my hair before work in the morning. I love my hair long, I don't know, it's such a dilemma.

Aaron said...

THANK YOU!!!! I do love your hair. The Hippie and the Soldier wouldnt be the same with you having short hair. At least we couldnt call ourselves that. Ok, Ill make you a deal. Wait till i get home so that I can enjoy that long, magnificent, beautiful, soft, great smellling(lol) hair that i always love to play with...and then well talk about you going short. Hey speaking of edgy, how bout that quarter sleeve...Hmmm.....yeah?

Why we wait.