25 February, 2009


The last time I cut my own hair, I was six years old. My best friend Bonnie and I had decided to save our mothers the trouble of cutting our then-waist-length hair, so we stole a pair of scissors and slipped out to the woodshed. Even then, we must have known we were doing something bad, otherwise why choose the woodshed? 

When we traipsed back inside, proud of our new 'do's, our mothers were properly horrified. I vividly recall the ends of my hair brushing my chin while my mother spanked me, and the look on Bonnie's face as her mother did the same.

Today, I couldn't stand my scraggly ends for one more moment. The way they were just this much too long in a pony tail, the way they made me look unkempt instead of hip (it's a fine line!), or the weird coppery color that is the result of however many years' growth covered in old dye. And so today,  twenty-four years after that fateful afternoon beneath the mountain ash trees, I again took shears to my own head. Well,  I'm not certain if that's the right phrase, since I took two inches off the ends, leaving me with a measly 34 inches instead of the former yard. Those of you who know me well enough to see my hair down can breathe again - it was ONLY two inches. You probably won't even notice. 

I can now understand the compulsion to simply keep cutting until your hair is either even or short enough that it doesn't matter.  I didn't keep cutting, but I have to admit: my hands were shaky and I needed a glass of wine afterward. 

And I wouldn't have stopped if my mom weren't coming on Friday to fix whatever I may have messed up. I don't think she'll spank me this time around, but I have to confess: I'm not entirely sure.


  1. Good lord - I guess I've only seen your hair up - I had no idea it was that long!

    I once chopped my bangs super short as a 5 year old. I don't recall a spanking but I do remember a horrified look. I think all little girls have to go through that - it's a rite of passage.

  2. My BFF Kamryn is a stylist and often cuts my hair in her kitchen (or mine). I'm sure she'd trim your ends next time . . . so you don't resort to the self-cut. (;

  3. Dude. If she spanks you, I totally want to watch. ;)

  4. Wow...just two inches? I almost had visions of a bob. Scary!

  5. Two inches? Hm. I remember my dad yelling when I had the hair dresser cut my elbow-length hair down to a boys cut. And some years later, Jasmin's dad yelling, because I went from elbow length to something like the Ann Heche cut. I thought it looked really cute, but some of the stuff he said is pretty unrepeatable.