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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Fantasy Hair
One byproduct of the past nine months of extreme family stress on multiple fronts is that I never managed to get my hair trimmed. I don't have a lot of it left. And what is there doesn't grow very fast. But nine months is a long time no matter what, which meant that I was starting to look the way I did back in grad school before I got rid of my locks and shaved my goatee for the academic job market back in 1999.

Since tomorrow is the first day of the new semester, I figured I'd better make an effort to be somewhat presentable. Although she was exhausted, Kim consented to give me a trim. She is very good at cutting hair, a task that maximizes her artistic talents, and has been doing a wonderful job with Skylar's of late, so I knew I'd be better off in her hands than some random Supercuts-style place. Plus, why pay for such a simple cut?

Kim asked me what I wanted, which was hard to articulate. Eventually, I settled on an all-around trim of my mostly split ends, with a little more taken off the sides than the back. And she quickly satisfied my request, leaving me with a -- I hesitate to call it a "do" -- look that is considerably less mad scientist-esque than before. Still, there's not a lot that can be done, ultimately, to make my hair look good. It's just a question of making it look less bad.

The highlight of the haircutting experience was the lively conversation that Skylar struck up with me and her mother about my hair. At first she demanded that Kim take a lot off. To her credit -- and the benefit of her need to get too bed ASAP, no doubt -- Kim defended my right to have my hair look the way I wanted. However that didn't stop her from joining Skylar in the ribald mockery to which discussions of dad's appearance almost inevitably lead.

Finally, Skylar confronted me. "What kind of haircut is that, Dad?" But I had a response ready. "I'm trying for East German intellectual circa 1977," I explained. Skylar scoffed at that absurd explanation, so I continued. "I read those fashion magazines you have lying around the house. They say that your hairdo should reflect a total vision of your life, a fantasy of your better, brighter selfhood. And my fantasy is set in East Germany in the Seventies."

At first, she wanted to dismiss this notion. When she asked me to say what her hair fantasy was, however, I was able to pin it down precisely. "An English girl emulating Brigitte Bardot, circa 1964." Then Skylar asked what her mom's hair fantasy was. I sidestepped the question with "neo-punk," before Kim leapt into the breach. "I want to look like an aging Italian movie actress, from the late 1960s.

Further debate about the merits of my idea followed. I decided to spin out my hair fantasy further, adding a biography for the character I'd envisioned. "Not a Party member, but too weak-willed to speak out against the government. A lackluster dissident."

Then it was over. Looking down at the locks around me on the floor, Kim urged me to dispense with them as quickly as possible. Skylar was still rolling her eyes at my ridiculous conceit. I couldn't resist giving it one more twist. "That's 1975 on the floor; now I'm leaner and less counter-cultural: 1977."

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5 comments or Leave a comment
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: January 15th, 2014 02:29 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 15th, 2014 06:18 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Silly, but fun. As tumultuous as the past few months have been, finding moments to enjoy together is especially important.
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: January 15th, 2014 06:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
masoo From: masoo Date: January 15th, 2014 06:43 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

english birds

Not sure I'd use that many words to describe the English girl ... Julie Christie or Marianne Faithfull or a hundred others whose names I am forgetting are an easier way to recall that look. I admit I was quite infatuated with it when I was 11 years old, and am still a sucker for it today.
croneitude From: croneitude Date: January 15th, 2014 07:15 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Mine might be Marlene Dietrich around 1930 or so (http://songbook1.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/dietrich-marlene-knight-without-armor_01-f22.jpg), but with some Gilda Radner mixed in.
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