Dealing with my mother has always been difficult for me. She's sweet as pie to strangers, but as family we get the full brunt of her concern trolling. She harped on my hair all three days and wouldn't take no for an answer to me taking her card home with me. Because in her words "you need to get that hair cut and colored." D had been down dealing with them for a few days a few weeks before, and seemed to confound her controlling behavior by not arguing with her about anything and just going with the flow. Remembering this, I took the card back north with me.
So after many false starts and promises to myself I'd go, I actually went in to Fantastic Sam's on Thursday. As I sat in the chair I said "I have a question to ask you and I really want you to tell me the answer is 'no'." My stylist was cautious but she nodded. My question was "Will you take a credit card from me with someone else's name on it?" as I shook my head. She laughed and said "Well it doesn't match your id, does it? So, no" There was some awkwardness when she expressed annoyance about how "those protesters were just making things hard for everyone else just trying to get to work" and I couldn't let it lie. The conversation died at that point, but after she was asking me how I wanted my hair cut, things got interesting.
I was just going to get my usual long layered bob, but the subject of pixie cuts came up and I mentioned I'd always wanted one. The stylist, Danielle, said "Or you could have a half a pixie like mine" and showed off her cut. The top was very long, but the sides and back were shaved very close, with a v in the back. With the top down it looked like any other "normal" cut. When I saw it I could feel my eyes go bigger, and the first thing out of my mouth was "Can I do that?" My inner voice was saying Of course you can do that; it's your own fucking hair! The stylist asked me if I was sure, because she was down to give me that cut. And I was. All the while when so much of my hair was coming off I kept thinking "fuck the patriarchy" and "it's like wearing fancy underwear under regular work clothes" and "this hairstyle is just for me, not to please anyone else's expectations." I kept thinking of Charlize Theron in Mad Max and Eleven from Stranger Things. (There's video of her getting her head shaved for the role and it's great seeing her embrace it.)
The other stylist was obviously looking after her two young daughters, who were helping out by sweeping and doing a few other tasks. They both came over and watched as all that hair came off my head. There was so much hair on the floor afterward, the girls swept it up and Danielle made an enormous heart out of it on the floor.
So now I have some extremely short hair with a curtain of "normal" hair that can fall over it if I feel like being blending in. The blendability is important, because I had a sudden flash of feeling that women who don't conform to a certain standard of femininity would be one of the first groups to be interned in Trump's America, like in The Handmaid's Tale.
I'm not worrying so much about the possibility of me killing myself right now as I am worrying about civil unrest turning the entire country into a radioactive wasteland because a petulant man-baby was elected to the highest office of this land. I thought this year sucked really hard, but I don't feel like there's going to be a next year.