The Impossible Dream
This was going to be an analysis of ISIS and the generally miserable state of the world and my confusion and dismay in the face of it all. But upon reflection, shall we discuss the state of my hair instead? The lines of inquiry are so much clearer.
It’s been a lifelong pursuit, finding the perfectly complimentary hairstyle. A rather small pursuit, granted, in the global scheme of things, but an intensely felt one, nevertheless, not to be minimized out of all significance. Some goals persist over a lifetime. This, the quest for the hairstyle that sums it all up, has been such a one.
And I think I have finally found the right one! This hair has been permed, blonde, long, short, bobbed and black, but this red, longish length style with the quite short fringe seems to tick all the boxes. It’s me. I think. For now…
I know there are people walking around without any faces, and I should give thanks, but spare a moment please to think about people like moi, people with a Julie Andrews face, otherwise known as the British Blob Face. I nearly died (It’s an exaggeration) recently when I heard someone from the Czech Republic discussing some of their common sayings and apparently “she’s as ugly as an English girl” is one. It came as a shock, initially, especially when England has the charming expression, “an English rose” (Ones with black spot?) to aspire to and prop up the national sense of maidenly beauty.
It’s true, I thought. There is a distinct lack of chin and cheekbones among Anglo Saxons generally, and certainly among me. What’s to be done? Not much. Hence, hair. One must be grateful for small mercies.
I would have it rainbow coloured, if I could afford it. It would look so joyful. I would smile through my felicitous days just thinking about the rainbow I carried aloft. I inquired at a salon and they said they’d have to bleach the red out first and it would take hours to put in all the colours. Their arms would be aching. I would be inhaling noxious fumes for hours. It would cost more than $200 and then my hair would most likely all just snap off, each strand being very fine. What a dismal prognosis and so, farewell to that dream.
And then the young girl said, “I like your hair just the way it is. It’s a good look.” She herself looked fantastic, with her short-statured Betty Boop black-haired, tattooed look, and so she spoke with some authority about what is or is not a good look, and she absolutely made my day and I’ve been drifting on the good vibes of her pronouncement ever since. Sad from some point of view I suppose, to need such shoring up. But so be it.
Vanity Fair magazine has an interesting article in it this month about Brian Grazer, the Hollywood producer of Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Arrested Development, etc., and his sticking up hair. That’s right. His hair. Three thousand words.
He gelled it 20 years ago and its stickingupness has become his signature. The article was long and I thought, any second now it’s going to digress from this insignificant topic and tell us more about Brian Glazer, but no. The story revolved around how his gelled hairstyle had changed his life. And I agreed with everything Brian said.
His sticking up hair proved incredibly provocative, out of all proportion to the effort involved in gelling it. He could hear people whispering way before he reached them, “What’s with the sticking up hair?”
Brian said Hollywood was full of shouters and he didn’t want to be one. He wanted to be a nice guy. He realized that his hair was a signal broadcasting the news that this guy’s a little bit different. He’s got different ideas. Not everyone was receptive to him or liked him and he realized that his hairstyle seemed to just speed up the process of separating the wheat from the chaff. The people who didn’t like his hair wouldn’t like him, no matter how he wore his hair. It was a revelation to him, and his hair had made him successful, he thought. You would think he’d be a bit embarrassed to make such a statement but, hey, you can’t argue with success, I guess.
The story reminded me of an old saying, “Be yourself, they won’t like you anyway.” All the long years of futility, of trying to fit our square holes into round pegs, and all that.
But ya, 3,000 words on sticking up hair. So who’s to say what is or is not significant in this wide world, in the scheme of things?
It’s all about emotional responses on this planet. It’s hard to respond emotionally to thousands of people killed by large bombs, even with photos. They are half-way around the world and lead different lives from us. But having heads of our own, we can all respond to a few people having theirs cut off. Some days, it feels like those heads are bringing us to the brink of WWIII. Emotions are everything. And hair is not nothing.