Friday, April 16, 2010

Curl Up & Dye (i)

It's been awhile. Far too damn long in fact. Flu that turned into a clingy lung infection that has left me bereft of energy and even the vaguest flicker of brain power. Luckily for me, antibiotics are powering through my body to kill off those nasties my body could not.
Since I last wrote, I've been trying to get a surprisingly controversial political campaign off the ground, as well as fiddling with my hairstyle. Needless to say, both situations have aggressively pushed the boundaries of both my patience, and my creativity. First off, the campaign. Ho-hum. Where to begin? Well... the responses the campaign received were varied (to be polite), and I found myself on the verge of ditching the whole shebbang in lieu of something less challenging and more likeable. But, a little encouragement here and there from the right people and the show is still on the road. And as for the hair? Ah. Now here's a story that could span a week's worth of blog posts. So, let's start at the very beginning.
Growing up with a mom and dad who had two TOTALLY different attitudes to how women should wear their hair, I am lucky to have been allowed to have had long hair, short hair, red hair, black hair, curly hair and braided hair. My mom herself endured a somewhat horrendous time with her mother's proprietorial relationship with her daughter's hair - so perhaps this is why she consciously allowed me to experiment with my own mop of ordinary, straightish, brown hair. My dad, on the other hand(and like most men), struggled with the idea of my mom's hair being any different to when he first fell in love with her. She was sixteen, gorgeous and crowned with a fall of lustrous, brunette hair that skimmed her perfect waist. So watching my dad's facial muscles twitch and jive in disappointment whenever my mom had a new haircut taught me about how much value men place on their women's hair as a sort of symbol and memorial of the very first ignition of love and her youthful beauty. (One need only look at the power of long blonde tresses over a man's mind/nether regions to agree that hair is a powerful sexual signifier compared to a woman sporting a short brunette crop.) In my first serious relationship, I suffered debilitating punishments for daring to cut or dye my hair - so that when I finally managed to leave the bugger, I relished the freedom that now lay before me in glint of the hairdresser's scissors and the shelves and shelves of Clairol, Garnier and L'Oreal. At 28 I dyed my long hair raven black, and waltzed around the bars and cafes of Cape Town in heels and lipgloss and men's stares. After too many strange encounters with weird and not-so-wonderful men, I made the decision that my long hair screamed 'come hither' too loudly, and in a bid to express myself more specifically as a bohemian, funky, not-that-available soul, I designed a bob-length hairstyle that somehow managed to be both punk/rock and yet, deliciously, mysteriously feminine. And... this is when Craig discovered me. Almost three years later, and this darling man continues on his gently persuasive quest to get me to cut and dye my hair like that. His smittenness with me in those early days, especially with my hair, convinced me that here was a man (FINALLY!) who would find me irresistable in any sort of hairstyle. But alas, he too is just a mere man - and so adheres to that rule of all husbands who treasure the erotic memory of their wife's hair when they first laid eyes on each other. (*sigh*)
(It is suddenly desperately late - so I will have to write more tomorrow... Adios, in the meantime.)

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