Bravery in a haircut

I cut my hair. Short. I did. Really. Forgive me please for having to deliver the latest development in my life in this manner but recent days have taught me that those I've told who haven't seen my new cropped hair, need me to say it more than once before they actually believe me. And those who have seen it and still don't believe, equally need me to say it more than once before they believe me.

What is it about long hair cut short that evokes such a reaction? In an ideal world, cutting my hair should have nothing to do with anyone other than my own good self. But in the world I occupy, my hair is apparently a communal commodity. In hindsight, I should not have revealed my intention to cut it. I should have just done it. What I most certainly should not have done was to announce my decision to a sleepy family breakfast table - although on a purely scientific basis, it did yield an invaluable insight into just how fast a teenager can genuinely wake up to the same planet as the rest of us.

"Don't do it", "promise you won't do it", "pleeeeese" was the general gist of my offspring's pleas. I caused quite the commotion in our house that morning. It wasn't even 7.30am and everyone was talking animatedly – no mean feat, that. And though I probably shouldn't say it - but I will - wielding such a power was not an altogether unpleasant feeling. In truth, not since breaking it off with my first boyfriend did I feel so in control.

Yet conversely, my crowning glory had suddenly become theirs over which, incredibly, they believed they had a stake. Ridiculous really as I have gone for weeks, years even, without a solitary comment about my hair, good, bad or indifferent and suddenly now that it's about to disappear, they are mourning it as though they themselves have been stripped of deed and title.

I should say that in most things I take their feelings on board. However, on this occasion, I did not. This was my thing. I wanted a change because I was tired of looking at a look I have owned my whole life. This of course brings me to the guy who has quite fancied that same look for most of his whole life. Although initially he was with the kids on playing it conservatively, he now admits to enjoying being partnered with a "new" woman after 20 years of marriage.

And curiously, for all the commotion the original announcement evoked, the anticipated consternation at the actual deed never materialised. Although my hair has returned to the no-comment zone and the breakfast table has reverted to form, I actually think the kids like it. As for yours truly and on the off-chance anyone is interested – I love it! Which, with all due respect, is all that kind of matters. Really.


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