As I stand in line at the grocery store, I check out the other ladies, like a woman does. We size each other up, make comparisons to ourselves, assess our success or failure on the attractiveness meter. As I continue to wait my turn in line, I notice something. Among the women my age, I determine that our hair styles are all pretty much the same. We are all some combination of blond highlights, mostly straight and with nothing below the shoulder. I wonder to myself. When had we all stopped trying to be different? We had gradually morphed into the same middle aged woman in capri pants.
I start to whistle Little Boxes. For anyone not familiar with this song, it was recorded by Malvina Reynolds in 1961, and came back into the spotlight as the theme song for the Showtime series Weeds. It is a somewhat of a social commentary on sameness.
There is a certain comfort in sameness, in knowing where we fit. There is a certain sadness in it too. Turning fifty is a time of reflection for many as we take a closer look at ourselves. We question and we self evaluate. Why am I here? Why do I have the same outfit and the same haircut as everyone else? Is it a lack of imagination, a lack of courage, or is it simply a lack of effort? It does take effort to be different. It is not always the popular thing to do. Some may view it as uppity, immature or even crazy.
So as my mind continues to wander,I think of people with great hair, truly amazing ,unforgettable hair, and I am jealous. Why was I born with this straight, thin, nothing hair? I lament to myself. This is my fate, to be just like everyone else with this hair. If only I’d been born with thick, curly hair, then perhaps I would stand out in the crowd. I’d probably be a famous author by now, living in a fabulous villa, sipping limoncello by the sea. It’s all my damn hair’s fault! I decide to myself that some change must be in order!
When a woman changes her hair, it is usually just the beginning. There are bigger changes to come. Change your hair and change your life, so the saying goes. Since I am pretty comfortable with my life, I pause to reevaluate my plan and then I think of Aunt Doris. Aunt Doris wore the very same hairstyle from the time that she was in her early twenties, until the day she died. It was the same color and style, meticulously coiffed and properly rolled each and every day of her life. She never changed a thing,ever. I am sure that her hair stylist loved her.
For most ladies, your hair stylist is an important member of your team. You just don’t change unless you have a darn good reason. It is like re-electing the incumbent. Fear of the unknown can take over and often will lead to complacency. Why change when accepting the status quo is so much easier? We know that what we have is not all that bad, so why risk getting something truly awful?
So again I think of Aunt Doris and I remind myself that change is good. Maybe it is time to take off in a new direction. I will start with the hair and see where is goes from there. My villa by the sea is waiting.