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I cut my hair

Not "had" it cut, which is what normal people do. No, when I suddenly decided I could not live one second longer with a heavy mass of ponytail tugging out my brain stem, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror with a scissors in hand and just cut it all off. Well, about 6 inches or so.

I felt like I was accessing my punk roots. You know, back from in the day when one did crazy things to one's appearance as a giant middle finger to the whole world of authority. Take this everyone! I'm just gonna cut all my hair off! It felt crazy! liberating! In reality, though, it's hard to feel punk for very long when you're giving yourself the exact same haircut as Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing.

nobody puts baby in a corner

As a woman, you think that when you take a scissors to your own head something like an alarm should sound, or a safety latch should slam shut or something. But no, in reality scissors work like scissors whether on hair or paper, and cutting off 3 years of growth only takes 3 minutes or so, little enough time that Zion and Harvey took no notice of my absence. In addition to the money objection (fifty bucks for a trim? give me a break!) I haven't gotten a haircut since Harvey was born because of the time suck of it all. You have to make an appointment, wait for an additional 30 minutes while they're finishing up with the previous client, then shampoo, cut and blowdry and I never get out of there in less than 2 hours. Also, I have a microscopic bald spot on the back of my head that the rest of my hair covers, but if anyone new is cutting my hair the moment they discover it their face goes dark like I have the flesh-eating plague.

Dan has this theory about the cult of the professional in our society, that Americans have lost the ability to do anything for themselves unless they do it with massive amounts of money and information. Hence the rise of the $100 tomato and $2400 chicken coop. Or cook's illustrated with "the best" blueberry pie recipe, or the Gardener's supply catalogue with a "scientifically superior" composter that can hold like seven leaves at a time. Since we embrace the amateur endeavor over here, shouldn't it be a radical homemaking step to cut my own hair? Power to the people?

No, that's giving me far too much credit. The truth is rather less flattering... that last night I was half-way to a mental breakdown with the stress of a baby and a two-year-old and the unrelenting heat and trying to get my head around an upcoming 8-hour car trip, and when I get stressed out I get terrible problems with sensory integration, and in that state the pain of my hair pulling at my scalp is like ABSOLUTE TORTURE I can not even describe how painfully irritating it is, you think everything in your life might be FIXED if only YOUR HEAD COULD STOP HURTING, WHERE IS THE GODDAMN RAZOR?! In those moments I know exactly why Britney Spears shaved her head the moment she did, why she had to do it late one night before she drove home to her 2 babies. I completely get that. Because some days parenting makes you literally crazy, and those are days when you get surprised that scissors actually still work.

last stop before the sanatorium?

Nah. For all my crazy exposition I still look like a suburban housewife, just with slightly shorter hair.


Looking good, Leah! Nice job of the hair cutting! I could never do as good a job on my own hair...I'd end up with uneven chunks all over the place!

What an amazing piece of writing. This should be on NPR

I loved Dirty Dancing and in fact have seen it perhaps too many times, nah, I'll never tire of it...anyway Jennifer Grey is beautiful and so are you and your family.....Enjoy the breeze on your neck. Great piece Leah.

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