Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Whole Hairy Story

Didn’t Ghandi say that “You must be the change you wish to see in the world?” Well, then, in my case, I must have wanted the world to all start getting really fashion forward haircuts.

No, really, I wasn’t being that optimistic. I don’t have near that kind of faith in the world. I was, however, looking for change. Normally I’m the type to hate change. Change change change cry cry sad moan moan weep blah blah blah. But I didn’t care. This is previously coming from the girl who had suuuuppper long locks. (Think Laura Ingalls but with no braids or buck teeth.) Going to get my mane even trimmed an inch was agonizing.

But I just needed to get it cut. I needed to be different. I can’t explain it. But I had it whacked off and I didn’t bat an eyelash. I briefly wondered if it would be cool to have my stylist shave it, and then I could've started wearing cut-offs and smoked Lucky Strikes and hung out with punk-rock people who have long thin hair and wear circular eyeglasses, like Harry Potter but much much cooler. But then I thought about Britney Spears and totally realized that she ruined the impression we have of people everywhere who shave their heads. I mean, when Husband shaved his, I didn’t necessarily think emotional ruin and basket-case, but I DID think convicted rapist and/or ex-con. Holy oh my moly I’m digressing.

So I cut it.

That night, after I had cut it AND loved it, I woke up after only a few hours sleep. I opened my eyes and stared at the curtains for awhile, then promptly burst into tears. These weren’t a few lady-like, cleansing tears. These were sobs that hurt me so much they left me gasping.

B awoke to my tears and stroked my newly cut hair. He said, “Maybe you’re crying because you wanted so much to be different, so you cut your hair, but then you realized that you haven’t completely done all the changing you want (yet) on the inside. You still have elements of your eating disorder, and I know you still hurt. But I still love you. I love you because you keep trying to change.”

And then I calmed. Because I knew that B had gotten it exactly right. I knew that I had wanted to change…to change in any way I could. And I still believe that one day my insides can get a new haircut. A better one. Maybe not as fashion forward, and certainly not impulsively shaved, but maybe just a trim to get out all the heavy stuff in there, all the damaged ends. Clean it up a bit, you know?

So, while I continue to prepare for the Inner Haircut that it seems I’ve been working toward for, oh, you know, years, I’ll keep thinking, keep striving at trimming and snipping. We all know how attached we girls get to our hair, right? Inner/emotional hair is no different.

And yes, I realize all these ill-conceived metaphors may make it seem like I have an unduly amount of pubic hair. I do not. It is all purely metaphorical. I think.

Now, raise your hand if I've totally inspired you to go buy the latest issue of Glam Hair and schedule with your stylist!

24 comments:

licketysplit said...

you are too cute! and you sound like you have been blessed with an amazing husband... which you absolutely deserve. I haven't known you for long, but from what I know I have deduced that you are incredibly STONG and COURAGEOUS and I have no doubt that your internal haircut is well underway. Unfortunately it's a bit more complex and time consuming than the other variety ;)

Tiptoe said...

Change is hard whether it is externally or internally. Hair can be even harder as we are really attached to it, and it's like letting go a piece of us. I think B. nailed it so well. Keep striving Brie, you will get there.

I'll be cutting my hair soon as well, and am now debating on whether to go shorter than I planned to be "different," kind of a take a risk thing. But then again, maybe it was from watching JDMA and the episode where Hazuki got her hair cut and looked fab.

Krista said...

Hmmm cut my hair maybe not yet, but you've definitely convinced me to get a bikini wax!

Okay I am totally kidding, but that does bring up a question I have had for a long time. Do they make models get a full body wax before a photo shoot?

Okay now to be serious. I think you made a great metaphor. Keep working and trimming away at ED. You are already beautiful on the inside. Ed just needs to get out of the way so you can see that.

I wish I looked that good with bangs.

Laur said...

Change is something I struggle with desperately. I hate it. So props to you for having that courage!
I however cannot cut my hair because Grandma Monson said to me the other day, "Laurie, don't EVER cut your hair." I would do anything she says because I love her so much so of course I won't be cutting it for a long time.

brie said...

K, love it! Nope, they don't have models get the full wax before a shoot, they basically take it on good faith that your hairless where you need to be...yikes, that could've definitely made for an embarrassing moment, huh?!

emmy. said...

ok, so.. i read your husband response to waking up to you crying and 2 little tears escaped me.

that is probably the most beautiful and supportive thing i've ever heard a husband say to his wife in such difficult circumstances. you didn't even have to say anything.


any chance he's got a brother? ;)

brie said...

Actually, Emmy, he's got two that are single and adorable. And...I think they're right around your age, too. Any chance you've got a hankering to move to UT? ;)

Emily said...

I know you'll make the changes you need to on the inside. You're already making steps towards the Inner Haircut! You continue to get closer to that goal each day. I am so proud of you, Brie.

I love your haircut. I often wish I had straight hair so I could pull something like that off. But naturally super curly hair would not look great short (on me, at least) unless it was really short. I'd go get a haircut today if I had the money, but alas, I don't. My stylist is rather spendy.

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

I UNDERSTAND. I have gone from super long, to total Hillary Swank in Boys Don't Cry (got hit on by lots of girls) and it was all in an effort to change. In fact, it was a running joke with a friend of mine. Whenever I said I was going to cut my hair, she would ask, "What's wrong????" As I explain to my hairdresser, cutting off five inches is quicker than losing ten pounds. It may not change the inner issues, but it is a start...and sometimes simply fun.

I have to say,my impulse to chop off my hair is the ONE difference between me and KwithaK...her idea of a change is a good 1/2 inch......right, kath?

brie said...

OMG, I'm nose-less in this pic! I feel like I look like Voldemort. Make it stop!

KC Elaine said...

me likey the hair, and the inner/emotional hair message, too.

Laura said...

B-I thought you wanted to be nose-less...more focus on the hair...

Kathy with a K said...

Um, yeah, me and haircuts. Not a happy couple. First memorable haircut: age 4. My parents' idea. Went from mid-back length hair to "now you look like Julie Andrews!" I cut my hair (above shoulder length) before college graduation, and after divorce. I guess it's a good diversion for a while...until I realize I don't know who the hell it is staring back at me from the mirror!
B, you look adorable...even without a nose.

brie said...

Going from long to short is so traumatizing. In 2003, after my first stint in treatment, I did the same thing, K - cut it from mid-back length to super short: think Meg Ryan in City of Angels, only waaaay less cute. I was fat and really, I truly think I looked butch. After that I didn't cut my hair for 5 years...kept it almost near my hip bones. Then just recently I cut it...and now I cut it again...but I'll never go shorter than what I just did.

L, I love that you said cutting your hair is faster than losing 10 lbs, ha ha. Sometimes we *do* just need a change.

You know, I keep enlarging the pic of me searching and squinting and pining for my nose. L, you suggested that it perhaps brings more focus on my hair, but I'm starting to think that people can't get around the fact I have no nose and stare at the area it should be in wonder. I want that wonder focused on my hair!

Brooke said...

All I say is you are sooo lucky to have B as a husband. He really gives you so much insight. Really impressive for the male species!

Kathy with a K said...

hmmm; i'm re-thinking that Ghandi thing with respect to hair and fashion...the man was bald and wore kind of a diaper.

jana bananas said...

I want one of B's brothers. While I'm there, hook me up! He'll have to come to California though if he falls madly in love with me (which DUH, who wouldn't?).

I heart your hair. It is so cute. I can't pull off bangs.

You said in a previous comment that you were FAT after a treatment stay. Woman, I don't think you've ever been even close to "fat" in your life. Maybe you had a lesbian hair cut but I bet my life you were not "fat."

Jackie said...

I love it hun. Both your hair and your insides. (that sounded really weird but you know what I mean) - hopefully.

xo Jax

Krystle said...

You hair looks amazing! I have actually been thinking of getting long bangs (I would have to straighten them if I want to wear them out, since I have super-curly hair). For me, when I cut my hair, it was for similar reasons: I craved the very thing I feared...change.

This post made me smile, and it gave me such a pang in my heart. What B said was so wise and genuine, I am simply blown away. You are amazing, Brie, and I think your "insides" are already becoming more and more "fashion foward."

Much love and support. xoxoxoxo

H said...

First off, I love your new hair cut...cutting so much off does take time getting used to. But, also, you and B have it completely right....I've done that too....cleaned my house from top to bottom (even the basement), apparently for no reason at all, so I thought, only to discover that when I was done, I didn't really feel any better, and that in actuality, I was trying to "clean up" my insides, ya know? It's so true, how we try to do things on the "outside" but really the tough part is the "inside" bit.

Stacy said...

just chopping inches off your mane can be totally clensing (10+ def takes some getting used to) I did the way short butch kinda thing when I was IP too. I miss it a bit.
Anywho. I love how you took your spouse's words and really internalized them even through the sobbing and at such wee hours.
It isn't luck that put you two together, you were meant to be together, he needs you and is blessed to have you as much as you are him.
I think we forget to see that and feel like our hubby's are always picking up our messy pieces and taking care of us (which they should and they do well) but we were meant to be their companions to make them better just as they make us better.
I think I needed to write a lot of that cause I need to hear it too.

Hey can you email me. I have some Qs about stuff and about me that I don't want to draw out in the comment portion of your blog.
lynetalive@hotmail.com
xoxo

Jordan and Amy said...

I cut off all my hair and cried cuz I looked like a lesbian. I'm glad you don't look like a lesbian. I actually really like the cut. Too bad you didn't come to me! My feelings are hurt....

Penny said...

Brie, This may be one of my all time favorite posts of yours'. Thanks for writing what most of us only feel but maybe never crystallize. My advice to all of my daughters when they are pregnant is not to cut their hair. Stylists get rich off of pregnant woment wishing something would change. Nothing does so in desperation, we cut our hair! But you haave taken the idea a step further and it is beautiful to me what you have illuminated for all of us.
Thanks.