I like having my hair long.  I think it’s fun, and it exploits my hair’s natural tendency to curl, which used to manifest itself as tight ringlets (what I like to call “sproings” on my daughter’s head) but now, my hair being old and laid back, is usually no more than loose loop-dee-loops.

My husband likes long hair as well, but I know he supports whatever I want to do with my appearance, as well as in any other facet of my life.  Other advantages to length: easier to make it behave, makes me look younger, can have more fun with it.  

Sure there are disadvantages: a pain in the rear to brush, often looks scraggly unless I wear it up, can’t take a shower too close to bed time because it takes so long to dry.

But there is one major disadvantage that caused me to employ the assistance of my daughter plus the clippers to buzz my coiffure down to within an inch of its existence:  long hair is a haven for lice.

I know… gross.  I don’t know where we got it from this time.  I’m thinking it might be the kid up the street that my son started hanging out with about a month ago.  They sit on each other’s beds while they play each other’s video game systems.  

We had them once before when we lived in Oregon… well, twice, actually, because I don’t think we did a thorough enough eradication the first time and so we had a second round.  I had long hair then and it was hours and days of picking through every strand to get all the nits.  Sick.  Barf.  Completely grosses me out.

The thought of asking members of my family to lose entire swathes of their lifetime in a, literally, nit-picking pursuit was more than I could stand.  If you just miss a couple, just a mere fraction of the teeny, miniscule, nasty little eggs, then you’ve failed the entire mission.

I wanted to buzz so badly, but it made me sad to think of giving up my hair.  I was sickened not only by the bugs but also by my own reluctance to give up looks for practicality.  I hate to feel vain!  I hate to feel my head crawling and itching and still want to maintain the warm tangly ecosystem that the parasites call home.

I am proud of myself that I cut it off, even if it took five minutes of crying to pick up the scissors and make the decision irrevokable.  My time and my kids’ time is too precious to waste trying to make Mama look a couple years younger.   

I’m glad we spent the afternoon playing Monopoly instead of fretting over Mama’s infested locks.  Vanity be damned; life’s too short to be wasted worrying about being pretty.


Filed under family

5 responses to “Vanity

  1. Joy

    EEeeekkkss…I’m so sorry for you. Knock wood, we’ve never had them but my granddaughter has had them twice. You never figure out where those damn things come from!! I hope they’re gone now.

    About your hair. We used to say it was our “crowning glory” but I don’t feel that’s so. I don’t feel long hair makes you look younger necessarily. That would depend on the person. Don’t you think?? I know many people who’ve had long hair and gone for a make over and they looked much younger. I myself have never had long hair. Teen years don’t count! So I can’t relate to putting it up or any of those issues. I can’t even figure out barrettes for heaven’s sake!! That kind of hair stuff just doesn’t suit me. I don’t have a buzz or anything. Shoulder length. What I do like about longer hair is the variety of ways you can wear it. I get in slumps and end up keeping the same thing for way to long before getting brave enough to try something new.

    Look at it this way, you’ve morphed! I feel bad for ya.

  2. el burro

    Maybe you’ll end up loving shorter hair. If you cut it super short, you’ll be able to see all the different stages of growing in, and pick whichever one suits you best.

  3. Oh, you poor thing! You have my sympathy as well. Actually, my empathy – when I had my brain surgery in July all of my hair got buzzed, too – right down to the scalp.

    It will grow. 🙂

  4. stacybuckeye

    Oh no! I’m sorry about the infestation, but maybe ‘losing’ (just pretend you don’t know what happened to it) is a good thing. You may find you look younger with it shorter.

  5. Thank you for your kind words of commiseration, everyone… I AM trying to look on the bright side. For example, when I spent 15 minutes this morning cutting away the unbelievable mats of long hair that were wound around the vacuum parts, I thought to myself, “Hey, one less headache.”


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