Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Haircut regret and recovery, and why I'm glad I'm not Meg Ryan

I just found out that a guy I once knew, not an old boyfriend, but the friend of a brother of an old boyfriend, won an Academy Award for a documentary film he was involved in making.

The film, called The Cove, exposes a massive dolphin-slaughtering operation in Japan. It's one of those powerful artistic projects that evolve organically from passion to product.

It’s a film meant to create awareness and accountability, and inspire activism,  in an otherwise inactive, unaware, lawless world.

When I think about projects like this film, and about people who use their life, time, and energy to create such meaningful art, I feel slightly ashamed about my burning desire to write an entire blog post about my new haircut.

I want to tell you how much I hated it at first, but how it’s growing on me now, and how, just this morning, I caught a dusky, early-morning light reflection of myself in the mirror upon first standing up, and fancied myself to look a bit like Angie Dickinson in her Police Woman days.

(Now that I have Googled her and seen all those images, I realize my mistake.)

When I’m not looking in the mirror I like to pretend I look a bit like Meg Ryan. It’s amazing what it does for my morale. But then I get a glimpse of myself and the fantasy pretty much stops there.

But what I have that Meg Ryan doesn't, is Ian. And I say this because Meg Ryan once asked Ian for a ride home at a bar. But he didn't give her one.

But not for lack of trying. Long before he knew me, in what must have resembled a waking nightmare, Ian met Meg Ryan in a bar in Vail, Colorado. He was there for a Ski World Championships as the manager of the British National Ski Team, and he and the team were out partying after the races.

He got talking to a pretty woman at the bar and quickly figured out he had seen her somewhere before. I don't know Meg Ryan but I admire her judgment. Because, of all the cool dudes in the bar, she asked my future husband, the world’s safest guy, out of the blue, if he could give her a ride home.

Normally the designated driver, Ian agreed to give her a lift, then felt around his pockets for the keys to the team van and remembered he had given them to one of the athletes. He searched, frantically around the crowded bar for the holder of the keys only to find the pretty girl had disappeared by the time he “got himself sorted.” 

I love this story. I almost missed Ian as well.  Of course I’m reading way too much into her request for a ride, but it’s kind of fun to do that.

So anyway, this was supposed to be a post about a bad haircut. What on earth compelled me to let a strange French woman cut my hair so short?

After catching sight of myself in a store window, looking like a much older version of myself in high school-- same messy, no-style, longish hair--I turned into the first sans- rendevous hair salon and said, "J'ai besoin une coupe."

She washed my hair, which was probably all it really needed, sat me down in front of the huge mirror of truth and said, how short. She gestured towards my collarbones, and I gestured towards my ears, then we settled, somewhat hastily, on my chin. Before I could even think of reconsidering, my hair was dropping to the floor.

It's okay, it's okay, I thought. I've had short hair before. I liked it. Didn't I? 

I was a bit in shock when I left, but tried not to show it. Then, I found myself in that tricky situation of trying to resist looking at myself in the rear view mirror while I drove. Then I found myself in that worst position of looking to everyone I saw, scrutinizing their faces for betrayal, to find out if my cut was a hit or a miss. This is the worst, most self-fulfilling prophesy, because if you suggest you aren't sure about it, you come off as overly needy and people start scrambling to reassure you. But the reassurance doesn't feel genuine. Because it probably isn't because your negative vibes and insecurity are flowing right into that person's head and out their mouths.

It's best, I find, not to mention it. That way, if someone has something to say, they can say it at their own will. And, I find, people generally won't say anything if they don't have anything positive to say. Ian said it was "nice." Then he went and ruined it by saying he liked it long, too.

But Esther loved it. Whether she was being dutiful or not, she made a point to tell me over and over just how much she loved it. Even when I lost face a bit in front of her and admitted to not just being unsure about it, but maybe actually hating it.

"Well I don't care what you say," she said. "I think it looks nice."

Isla, on the other hand, finds my haircut "stupid." 

Funny thing, I've felt surprisingly more light and upbeat since ridding my head of excess baggage. And the cut has indeed grown on me. Every once in a while, when no one's looking, I reach for my pistol on my hip and assume the Police Woman stance in the mirror. Just like Angie Dickinson.

Ready to save the world. Now I just have to figure out how.

New Momfo posts here and here. 


Laree said...

I love the story about your hubby. Very cool (and I think the cut makes you look awesome.)

Jenny said...

The cut is tres chic!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I noticed that you had gotten your hair cut in a picture that you posted on Babycenter a few days ago. I was going to comment on it, but then one of the kids distracted me and I forgot to. But, I love it! I think that it looks chic and spunky at the same time. I agree with Esther, and she IS a great judge of all things stylish and artistic! I just love the scarves and outfits she wears!

I've never wanted to be Meg Ryan, but I wouldn't mind being Angelina Jolie. I know what you're thinking, but she's really fabulous in a beautiful but down to earth sort of way. And she lets her kids eat Cheetos, which is a redeeming quality in my book. It's one of those "Oh, I'm the Mom?!" things. You know what I mean.

The Meg Ryan/Ian story is great! How many men can say that Meg Ryan asked them for a ride home? Not many, I'd imagine. Most men would give their, well, a lot, to be asked that by her!

cecile said...

I like it ! Tres joli.

Brandy Smith said...

I think it looks great!

Seamingly Sarah said...

I almost always leave the salon unhappy with my haircut. I then start to like it a few days later. I think I'm adverse to change. =)

Emma said...

oh how funny! i also just got my hair cut quite short after a snap decison. The feedback has been mostly good (i think it's pretty nice), but the kids weren't overly impressed at first. I think your hair looks lovely- really stylish.

Classic story about Ian, i bet he can have dinner out on that one for the rest of his life!

Spedrson said...

I also just got my long hair cut to my chin - about 2 weeks ago. At first I wasn't too sure about it. My husband didn't help by saying that he prefers it long. It took about a week for me to fall in love with it! I feel so free being rid of all of that hair!

Steph said...

I LOVE the hair cut! Hair cuts make us brave. :)

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Hi Betsy!

I have had your blog open in a tab for days now, ha! I finally got caught up on the past several posts, though, and wanted to let you know I loved reading, as always.

About this specific post, I can totally relate to the hair crisis. I am an impulsive haircutter, or I have been in the past. I even used to cut my own hair. One time, about six years ago, I was so frustrated with my hair, I went GI Jane with a hair clippers. By myself. No kidding, lol. It was a teensy bit longer than Demi Moore's in the movie, but not by much. It eventually grew, haha!

Anyway, I get it, and I know what it is to have haircut regret. I hope that you have adjusted by now, but also let me add with the other commenters that I really like it a lot. It's cute. It looks hella easy to care for, and it looks very footloose and fancy-free!

Love the Meg Ryan in Vail story, too. Yeah, imagine if they had hooked up. Urgh!!! :D As it is, you have the cool part of knowing that your dude is hot enough to attract Meg! Good on ya, chick! ;-) I also loved the "I almost dumped him" story. WHEW. I'm glad you didn't. You guys seem really good together, and that's wonderful to see.

I wanted to stop by to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Hope all is well in rural France, and that you guys are not too snowed under. Paris is very cold. If you want to see a hilarious video of the Christmas lights in Paris, check out my friend's blog here: American Mom in Paris: This One Has a Lot of Swear Words...

She also expresses some of her frustration with France in it, and I thought you might like it and relate to it.

Take care, Betsy.

Betsy said...

Thanks Karin: Merry Christmas to you too. Checking out the video now.

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