Saturday, March 17, 2007

Some beliefs die hard -- REAL hard

At work this week I saw a familiar face as I walked into one of the break rooms for a Coke. I've seen him several times around the Observer building; an easy-going fellow who always has a hello. He was reading as I entered, but briefly glanced up to exchange pleasantries.

As I pulled my Coke from the machine he asked, "Did you get permission?"

I turned to find him watching me, wide-eyed, whatever he was reading momentarily forgotten. I froze, confused, and looked down at the soda in my hand.

"Permission for what?" I asked with a frown. To buy a Coke? Was this dude joking?

"To cut your hair," he replied, as if it were obvious.

I recently had my hair cut into a modified flapper 'do, and when slicked back -- as it was that day -- it looks very short, indeed. But I was even more confused. Was he talking about some Observer dress code I didn't know about?

"Why would I need permission?" I asked slowly, still rooted in place.

"Aren't you married?" now he was the puzzled one.

What the ...?! I thought as the meaning sank in. No he didn't!

I raised my left hand and wiggled the fingers. "Nope. Not married."

"Oh," he said, relaxing back. "I thought you were married."

Whoa, I thought as I exited the break room, popping open my Coke. I need my husband's PERMISSION before I cut my hair? Men still think like that?

I don't know if the women-are-supposed-to-have-longer-hair thing is strictly Southern, but it's certainly generational. As I sat down at my desk I remembered that every now and then, my mom's boyfriend wishes aloud that she would let her hair grow out of her hassle-free and totally cute pixie cut. She usually rolls her eyes, mutters something about how he wouldn't be the one stuck styling it every day, and keeps on keepin' on.

I second that emotion!

Totally unrelated, but I love it:

Earlier this week, Ukrainian Hryhory Nestor celebrated his 116th birthday. He is presumed to be the world's oldest living man.

Nestor puts his extraordinary longevity down to a diet of milk, cheese and potatoes ... and to the fact that he never married. "I liked my freedom," he said. "I would spend my time with one girl and then another."

Player, player, play on!!


Anonymous said...

Well it may not be like old days. But being a married man haircutting is something you discuss before just doing it in a relationship. As a man when i have had the urge to change my hair style I discussed it with my wife also.
BTW who looks at you more than yourself with pleasure hopefully your spouse!

Anonymous said...

Hey there,
I am originally from India and this article really made me realize that it's NOT a southern thing.. My husband LOVES my long, black hair.. whereas me.. well, let's just say between shampoo, connditioning, blow drying and styling, lose all my patience and so called love for it.. Everytime I even mention that I am going to stop by for a trim, not a cut but a trim, I see the frown on his sad face.. I talked about this with my friends and I think it's a man thing ! :)
very funny though !

Anonymous said...

Ok wow, something as unimportant as a haircut is not something that needs to be discussed in a relationship. Either cut it or don't. I swear it'll grow back. Seems like some people need more important things to discuss.

Anonymous said...

Normally most guys like long hair on a girl. There is a nice amount of young guys who are high school age and like girls to have long hair. It's not a generational thing or dixie versus northern thing. The media with the images of the "ideal woman" is what shapes men's preferance. As much as I like Mia Farrow gamine haircut in Rosemary's Baby it only looks good on really skinny fine features girls. If your face is not symetrical and you get a pixie cut you risks looking alike a boy. So guys are aprehensive since when a woman cut's all of her hair. When a young starlet cuts her hair it still gets press like it did in the 60's.