It only takes one snip to know it's all over. That's what happened back in high school when I was growing my bangs out. They were down to the end of my nose and, with one cut, the stylist undid all that hard work.
I had my hair cut over the summer. I was tired of long locks that, more times than not, I threw up into a ponytail so that I could resume chasing my boys. I had it layered and used the straightening iron to give it a fun flip. While I'm sure there were people who hated it, I got many compliments. Repeatedly. And I loved it. The best part was that I couldn't put it in a ponytail. Not even if I wanted to. So I had to make an effort with my hair and this was a good thing.
But it hadn't been cut in four months. That's a lot of growth y'all. And my hair doesn't even grow fast. A little known fact that had me in the fetal position not six days ago.
So I got it cut.
Oh. Boy. Did. I.
"So, just a trim?" She'd asked me.
"Yes." I'd returned.
A few minutes later I said, "I haven't had it cut in awhile so..."
And she interrupted, "So about an inch?"
"And then some." This was clearly where I went drastically wrong. "I don't want to be able to put it in a ponytail." You see, recently, I'd been able to. I rarely did because I've come to terms with the fact that you can be a mom to small boys and still make an effort but the fact that I could concerned me. What if backslid? What if I fell off the wagon?
She smiled. And snipped. And I saw the chunk of hair in her hand. The chunk that was probably somewhere between three and four inches but I hallucinated and imagined myself with a crew cut. When I'd said, And then some, I'd meant between an inch and two. Not four. If I'd meant four I would have said four. Clearly my mistake was using a phrase that seemed to give the stylist sole power over my head. So, I attempted to retrieve every acting lesson I'd ever had. See, rarely have I been disappointed with a hair cut but when I am, I try not to say anything to the stylist. The cut has been made. The bleeding cannot be stopped. There's just no point in making the poor girl feel bad. So she whacked and chopped and severed. It'll grow back. Which is exactly what I kept repeating in my head. Like a somewhat crazed, hairless mantra.
And I kept thinking, Maybe I'll like it.
It was short. Very short. Oh, who I am kidding. It is short. Shorter than my hair has ever, ever been since, well, since I started growing hair to begin with. Babies are born with more hair than I have. Okay, that's an exaggeration. But only a moderate one. My mom entered the salon. I don't think that I imagined her widening eyes.
It was styled.
"Do you feel naked?" The hairdresser asked. I was so afraid that when I answered her, my voice would betray me.
"My neck definitely does." I smiled. I then accompanied my son to the restroom.
"Mommy," he said, "I love your hair!"
"You do?" I questioned. It would later be determined that he liked my hair because he thought it made me look like a tree top. Apparently my now visible neck was the trunk. That wasn't the effect I'd been going for.
I was a dramatic nut case in the car. I called my husband and nearly cried. I reminded him that he'd said, "For better or worse." My mother kept telling me that it wasn't bad. It was growing on her. It was fine. It had potential. My son asked me why I didn't like it. "Oh, honey. I love it. It's going to keep me very humble." I'd replied.
The next day I tried to flip it the same way I was accustomed. It looked like I'd stuck my finger in a light socket. My mom walked up behind me. "I figured out who you look like?"
"Julia Roberts in Hook."
"TINKERBELL?" I'd screamed. "Tink? I look like a fairy?"
For the record, my bangs don't cover my forehead. They sweep dramatically to the side. And I don't have elf ears poking out. Well, okay, so sometimes I do. But that's hardly the stylist's fault.
That's when we affectionately dubbed it The Tink.
The next day I stuck a headband in it and left it alone.
The next day--Sunday--I had an epiphany. It was much too short to keep flipping out. That gave it a decidedly electrocuted look which was not what I was going for. So I flipped it under instead. That actually earned a few compliments. I was still met with the occasional strange look as people decided whether or not to comment on the new do. But, thankfully, the few compliments were welcomed and very much needed.
I'm working on growing it out as we speak.
And if you think I'm going to post a picture you're crazy. Just understand that Tinkerbell up there is doing a fine job of modeling it.