My husband was supposed to be here today, but his business trip has been extended so he’ll still be gone tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that. And so on. He’s been gone for eleven days already, and now he’ll be gone another six days before he finally returns home. That’s SEVENTEEN days, people!
But who’s counting? (Me.)
It’s hard when he’s away. It’s the kind of hard that generally causes regrettable shopaholic binges and obsessive “spring” cleaning. The latter is a good thing. I reorganized my desk, and I’ve started – yet again – to clean out my closet.
The former is less good. The other day at Target, I bought 250 paper clips and 18 sharpened #2 pencils for no good reason, and yesterday, I purchased two t-shirts at Old Navy because, damn it, they were soft. Then, I got myself a pedicure. After traipsing through the backyard barefoot with Gertie for a month (she bites if I wear shoes), my toes and feet were beyond desperate. Yes, the pedicure was luxurious, but, I promise you, it was as medically necessary as a pap smear.
Today, I got a haircut. I scheduled the appointment a few weeks ago because I felt in my heart that I was ready to cut my hair. I mean really cut it. My hairdresser told me I would know when it was time, and she was right. My hair officially jumped the shark. It became a nuisance. A chore. A bit of a bore, actually. For a long while it made me feel young and fresh, but more recently, it just felt old and limp.
The turning point came when a friend texted me a picture of the two of us from three years ago. Not only did I have way less wrinkles between my eyebrows, but also I had a rockin’ short hair cut.
And that was it. It was time to cut the hair.
Except then my husband turned an already too long business trip into an endless business trip, which left me no choice but to fill an online shopping cart with half a dozen items at Athleta.com. I was hanging on by a very thin thread, so cutting off ten inches of hair that I spent the better part of the last two years growing out seemed risky.
The general law of haircuts is pretty cut and dry (pun intended): Don’t do anything drastic if (1) you’ve experienced a big life change, like a death, an illness, a move, a divorce, or a break-up, and/or (2) you’re pregnant (or immediately postpartum), and/or (3) your husband has been in London for nearly THREE WEEKS and the only thing on prime time television has been the Winter Olympics.
Cutting my hair would’ve been all kinds of irresponsible.
But I did it anyway.
I depend on my husband, of course. He’s my partner in life. The father of my children. The guy who, among many other things, takes the trash out on Wednesday and Sunday nights and watches “The Following” with me because otherwise I’d be too afraid. But I never want to depend on him so much that I lose sight of what I’m capable of doing on my own. Since he left, I’ve yelled a little bit (okay, a lot), cried once (or twice), and enjoyed a few glasses (or so…) of wine during homework time, but otherwise, I’ve aced this ridiculously long test of parenting will and endurance. I even took out the trash. (Hang on while I pat myself on the back.)
My husband will eventually come home, balance (and socks strewn all over the floor) will be restored to the universe, and my hair will grow back, too (if I want).
p.s. I’m donating my locks to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a national campaign that creates free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer.
Tell me your haircut stories in the comments.