Saturday, June 14, 2008
Going StraightA co-worker of mine once told me that gay women tend to develop close relationships with their hair stylists. I think she’s right. It’s almost like the relationship between attorney and client, or therapist and patient. Most gay women don’t care about clothes, or shoes, or make-up, but when it comes to our hair, it has to look a certain way, we have our whole identity wrapped up in a cool haircut, and if we get a bad haircut, our self esteem suffers, we can’t socialize, we can’t go out, we put on big diesel baseball caps, and dress like slobs. If our hair is not just right, we can’t get a date, because we’re thinking about our hair the whole time, we think we look too girly, the girl we want to date is talking to a girl with a better haircut, and so we slunk off to the furthest corner of the room, and if there is beer, we drink it. Our friends never notice our haircut, because they are too busy thinking of their own, did they put enough gel in it? Does it still look the way it did when they left for the night? Is it too dykey? Lesbians may not worry so much about clothing, or accessories, but I’m here to tell you, that we obsess about our hair. If we can find someone who can cut lesbian hair, we stick with them. And not many of the people who work in the hair industry, can cut lesbian hair. It’s true, I checked out lesbians for a long time before I finally got married to one, and some of the haircuts I’ve seen truly frighten me. And I’m sure that they told the hair stylist exactly how to cut, right down to a tiny hair that stuck out at just the proper angle, giving the lesbian an air of…je ne sais quoi…but making the lesbian feel that the one protruding hair was the key to a happy social life, and a relationship that was not only satisfying, but spiritually fulfilling. The spiritual fulfilling part of the relationship is really important to lesbians. Me, I’m just happy that my partner still loves me, and still lives with me, and if she wants me to join some sort of church or movement, I will try as hard as I can to convince her that I’ve found that particular spiritual connection. But so far she hasn’t required that.
I’ve got one of the good ones.
So I had a pretty decent hair stylist in Chicago, he was good enough to get me past the first date with my partner. But when I moved to DC, I had to start the quest for perfect hair all over. I found a woman in Dupont Circle who dressed all in leather, and could really cut hair. She worked as a dominatrix, when she wasn’t cutting hair, and she scared the crap out of me when she picked up one of those razor things one day, and smiled at me. The next week, my friend Gregg Shapiro from Chicago called me up and asked me if I had met his friend Sue yet. I had forgotten that he had given me a list of people to look up when I arrived in DC, and when he told me that she did hair, I was very motivated to meet her. After Sue’s first haircut, I had found the perfect match. I never had to tell her how to cut my hair, I would just sit down in the chair, and tell her what I didn’t like about my hair, and when she was done cutting, the hair was perfect. We have a relationship built on trust, I completely trust her judgment, she is the expert, and I am never disappointed. She is also, just as my friend Gregg Shapiro told me, a great person to know. In fact, she introduced me to my BIFF (best Internet friend forever), Marigolds2, and without my friend Gregg, who introduced me to my friend Sue, who introduced me to Marigolds2, who told me that I was born to blog, there would not be The Blue Voice, this page that you are reading, at this very moment.
It's sort of how the world works, you have a good friend who has another good friend, and the good stuff begets other good stuff, and the world is a better place to live because of good people.
Okay, this post is really all about the hair. What else matters? For the past like 4 years, Sue and I have been trying to grow my hair past the length of a crew cut. Sue has been bored with the same haircut for the last decade, and I understand, she is a genius, and artists like a lot of material to work with. Since we have the trust thing going on, I mean seriously, I think I have told Sue things about myself that no one on earth knows, not even my partner, I have let her gradually convince me that I need more hair. I have tried valiantly to grow hair, but I am quite incapable of maintaining it, once it gets past a certain length. And in the humidity of DC, if my hair is longer than say, two inches, it begins to curl outward, making me look as if I have sprouted wings, much like Sally Field, in the Flying Nun, Sister Bertrill, ready to take off at any healthy gust of wind. At my age, longer hair is advantageous, you can pull it down to cover those frown lines on your forehead, it is much cheaper and certainly safer than Botox, and hair can cover a multitude of flaws on a face. You can hide behind it, you can make it sassy, you can pull it forward, you can try to tame it back like weeds.
So Sue came up with a plan for my wayward hair. She came up with a treatment. It is called “Keratin Complex Hair Therapy”. It sort of sounds like she is treating me for some kind of dis-function, but I assure you, it is only my hair that is fucked up, and not me personally. Right. After the treatment, my hair is today as straight as an arrow, as straight as a right angle. And my haircut came with instructions. I can’t get it wet, I can’t wear a hat, I can’t even put my sunglasses on top of my head, because they will leave a permanent dent in my hair, with the nose protruding at the top like a freaking cone head. If I get kinks in my hair, when I am sleeping, I am to iron them out with a device called a flat-iron first thing in the morning. I am not allowed to sweat, it is suggested that I carry an umbrella at all times to protect my hair from moisture, and the instructions have mentioned wearing a shower cap. A Shower CAP? Like my mother? My friend Sue told me before I left her shop today,
“Tankwoman, DON'T let your hair get wet.” She sounded really serious.
I love my straight friends, but the only straight thing I want is straight hair. It must be really difficult to be straight, it must be really difficult to be a woman living in a place where there are so many rules. If you stray from those rigid rules, you will not be able to marry, you will not be able to adopt, and if you get kinks in your hair, you must iron them out first thing in the morning.
And you have to wear a shower cap.
I'm glad I'm gay. Happy Pride Day.
Technorati Tags: gay, straight, happy Pride Day
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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