One of the delights of writing a regular blog is the opportunity to search through my pieces-past, revise (update) the ones I like, and finally expose them to a broader audience. Enjoy! And thanks for dropping by.
One day I woke up light-headed. It was an experience I’d dealt with before, but this time was different––no headache from excess drink, lack of sleep, sinus condition, or dizziness wrought by atmospheric changes. Rather, a sense of satisfaction became the focus of my awareness due to a visit with the barber.
As a Peace-and-Love-spirited product of the ‘60s, I’d always appreciated hair––especially since premature male baldness ran rampant on my father’s side of the family. “Give me lots of hair; long beautiful hair.” Like the ‘60s band the Cowsills, and every hippie wanna-be from that decade, those lyrics were my anthem. But as the world evolved from that era through Disco and into the ‘80s, unless you thumped a Fender bass, picked a screaming Stratocaster, or beat a set of Ludwigs and Zinjins in a Heavy Metal band, hair length receded. Mine, too.
Marriage, kids, responsibilities, and mortgage payments. Pop, Grunge, Country and Rap. Trends changed through the ‘90s and into the 21st century. Cranial shrouds, however, became brief––even for women––and I complied. Except for carpets––and unruly dreadlocks––shag had not endured. On the other end of the spectrum, extreme baldness––the Yul Brenner haircut––caught on, too.
I became a mountain-dwelling Coloradoan during that time span, where I discovered that, when it came to hairstyle, anything goes. From chrome-domes to shoulder-length, nice and neat to ponytails, no follicle restrictions were enforced or implied. It was no wonder memories of gaudily-painted VW busses and flower children erupted––along with my hair. But I compromised––business cut up front, with a ponytail in the rear that eventually dangled well down my back.
Resurrecting eras past, however, was not without consequence. Washing and drying my extensive mane required more patience. Tying it back with a five-foot leather thong every morning, behind my head where eyeballs do not reside, frequently challenged my temperament. Mirrors only made it worse. Daily preparations for work forced schedule changes. In order to retain my sanity––something a few folks questioned already––and arrive on time each day, a simplified routine became a necessity. I had to make a decision, which loops this story back to its origin.
My solution was a no-brainer. I bobbed my lengthy do and donated it to Locks of Love, an organization that accepts human hair to construct life-like wigs for cancer patients who endure the physical exhaustion and mental humiliation of chemotherapy. Starting with my mother, I’d known too many people I loved who had dealt with that burden. With them or their memory in mind, I became light-headed––and content. My choice not only eased my daily routine, but also made life more bearable for folks who suffered a fate far worse than mine. My hair would grow once more, and, God willing, so would theirs. But for the span when all things seemed to go to hell for those patients, my gift––and others like mine––would serve to restore a little dignity and promote healing.
Two years later, my hair searched for my waistline again and I faced the same dilemma. This time, however, I had a plan. Without reservation, I visited the barber and donated my mane once more. Because, after all, you never know.