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November 08, 2011

A Blog Not About Mississippi

By Sarah

Okay, so I WAS going to blog about the bass ackward, stupider-than-hell, let's-all-turn-Taliban proposed constitional amendment being voted on in Mississippi today that would essentially make a Cletusfertilized egg a person. Which is kind of like calling a blueprint a house. (Can you live in a blueprint? I think not.) Or an acorn an oak tree. (Try climbing an acorn. I dare you!) Except, in this case, you could face criminal charges for using an IUD and, perhaps, treating a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.

And don't even get me started on the notion that 1 Grown Woman = 1 Fertilized Egg. Do. Not. Get. Me. Started!

NO! I am NOT going to blog on that and do you know why? Because a) I am tired of dealing with stupid people and b) stupid people do not read this blog and c) only stupid people would vote for this. So, since I am NOT with stupid, I am blogging about hair, specifically mine.

Gentle readers, I am in a crisis. Perhaps not one as bad as being poor, saddled with five kids and 24 hours newly pregnant in Mississippi circa 2013, but pretty damn awful. Last week, I went to see my stylist for a cut and foil, the old routine, and that's when hell broke out.

You see, I am fighting middle age with all the estrogen left in my withering body. I am running. I am dieting. (Sometimes.) I am investing in high quality department store makeup and guzzling dry Italian red wines not for the blissful sensation of Mediterranean warmth rippling through my veins. Wine Oh, no. This is sacrifice, people. This is determined reservatrol consumption!

But one area where I am devoutly missing the mark is with my hair. Perhaps, this has always been so. Born bald with only scant wisps through the toddler years, I wore pixies all through elementary school. In junior high, my mother dipped my head over the sink and Ogilivied me ugly in tight permanent curls for which there will be no forgiveness. Later, I grew it long and then hot rollered it every morning. Still, with my oval face and brooding Eastern European eyes, the effect was not sexy as much as alarming. I would have done very well as a 15th century Madonna.

Speaking of pregnant teens, do you know that the oppression of women is directly proportional to a culture's lack of prosperity? While Norway, the third richest country in the world, offers abortion on demand up to 12 weeks (2/3 of which are done via medicine), Burundi, the poorest, does not. Nor does it allow abortion for rape or incest. But even Burundi allows an abortion if a woman's life is in jeopardy. Not so if this amendment passes and your fertilized egg settles into a fallopian tube in Mississippi. Tough luck, sister. Better move your ass to Burundi.

By the way, Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the country which raises the interesting question of why they're so worried about "persons" in the wombs when they can't even take care of those on the outside, huh?

Anyway, back to the hair. For the past decade, it has landed squarely at my jaw line. After Duccio_Maesta_Virginburying my mother, I got it chopped by a woman who truly understood this was a spiritual experience. Suddenly, I KNEW I had to get my hair cut. And so I did. I have never seen that stylist before or since. She was an angel.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to grow it back. My stylist, who's been cutting my hair for six years or more, is determined to keep me looking like I just got back from walking the family golden retriever on the way to the PTA. Blond bob, right to the jawline. Does wonders for that double chin thing. And no matter how often I tell her I do not want her to cut it short, she does.

Finally, I put down my foot. A few months ago, another woman my age was happily paying her bill for another stylist when I pointed to her long hair and said, "See? THIS is the cut I want." Okay, my stylist said. Sure. A little miffed, I think, and embarrassed.

Which brings me to last week. "You're growing it out so you need layers at the top," she said, fingering the top of my hair. "Long layers." I agreed. I'd seen this done on other women and it looked good. Body without the drag. Sex on a stick.

Now, my stylist cannot talk while she cuts. If she does, she cuts too much. So, when we were ready, I said, "I'm going to shut up now," and she said, "Okay."

Then in walked a Favored Client. The Favored Client is @ my age, except thinner, richer and prettier. She had been to the same Halloween party as my stylist and off they went talking about who dressed as who and who stayed the latest and how WONDERFUL THE PARTY WAS that I hadn't been invited to but that apparently everyone else in the salon had. Clip, clip, clip. Clip, clip, clip.

Meanwhile, I'm keeping mum per our agreement and noticing that, at times, my stylist is not even looking at the top of my hair which is getting shorter and shorter and shorter.

Finally, I say, "I dunno. This doesn't look good."

"Oh, we just need to blow dry it." 

Except, she can't. There's nothing there. My bangs, now a fringe, have no other directional choice than out front, like Cletus the Slack-jawed Yokel. The top of my hair is about 3 inches. The bottom goes inward, then gives up. I look like I am ready for the professional women's volleyball circuit or to report to work as a female lumberjack. Give me the flannel, some work boots, and I can fit in with the guys.

In other words, I look like this:  Joe

Without the sideburns.

"If you don't like it," my stylist says knowing I DAMN WELL HATE IT, "come back and I'll cut the bottom."

NO. NO. NO! Was that not the whole idea?

I'll tell you what pisses me off. Not that we've come so far in women's rights only to see them eroded drip by drip in sinister ways like forcing women to watch exaggerated and nonfactual videos of abortions before they have one. No. What pisses me off is that my stylist turned her attention away from me to someone more popular and, therefore, I once again ended up like in high school: on the outskirts and ugly, asking God how come I can't be pretty. 

That's what pisses me off.

So, no, I'm never going back to her again. That's it. I am going to move on even though, in Vermont, choices are limited. In the meantime, I am holing up in my house and writing until my hair is long enough for me to emerge a fully formed person. Not a mature fertilized egg. A real, live person. A woman, goddammit.

Ideally, with a much better cut.





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I love my hair stylist. The first time I went to him I said, yes I know I have alopecia, I don't want to cover it up (see Donald Trump), I just want you to make the best of what I have.

He said "don't worry, my mom has thin hair and I have cut her hair for years'. Perfect. Do I miss my thick hair from back in the day, yep, do I worry about the thin spots (okay bald) showing, on occasion, I am just glad my eyebrows came back and life goes on.

Glad I don't live in Mississippi even if my ovaries are giving up the ghost!

Yes, please, Sarah, change stylists. If she can't hear what you are saying now, she never will. Come to Vancouver, I will take you to see Spencer!

No offense intended, but the whole hairdo thing? Reasons 356-599 why I'm glad I'm a man.

Sarah, your nasty-butt stylist did that on purpose, so you'd never come back and point out her idiocy. I was recently tortured by my - now former - stylish stylist and marathoner who dumped her husband, got tattooed up and down her arm and shoulder, and had a personality transplant from some slutty-ass biker chick.

She's the same one who wouldn't cut my hair because i was 15 minutes late -- after she told me it was okay if I was late. She understood. Her mother is a wheelie and has to rely on paratransit. But when I got to her shop, she ran outside to head me off at the pass. She couldn't see me because she had 5 people waiting. Hah! My husband said she probably had 5 dudes waiting. The rodeo was underway.

I cried and cried, and then I found fabulous Sylvia, the competitive horseback sharpshooter, who also does hair. Sylvia makes me beautiful. May you find a Sylvia, Sarah.

I have always hated my hair. Rat's nest of curls. Then, the last few years, it's settled down and on some days, is actually presentable. I think it's stress. Stress killed the wild curls and left me with something manageable. That's my theory--or maybe rationalization to find something worthwhile out of stress.

I'm glad you brought up Mississippi. I have cousins in Mississippi who are wonderful, warm, intelligent people. Some of the best times of my life were spent at weddings and parties and holidays in the beautiful city of Natchez. I've lolled on the beach in Biloxi with college friends. Mississippi is not some downtrodden, ignorant place absent of intelligence and culture and good people.

Okay? That understood?

Now...I CAN'T FUCKING BELIEVE THIS "PERSONHOOD" SHIT! It makes me furious. It seriously makes me want to boycott the state and not give it a single penny, and damn skippy they need some pennies. But I can't boycott Mississippi because that would insult the good people in the paragraph above. So this makes me HELPLESS and furious.

And did you know that if you try to contact Senators and Representatives from a state not your own via their official legislative websites, oftentimes you can't, because out of state zip codes are blocked? Trust me on this, because I tried that, too.

One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Yeah, how is it that as a federalist nation we are still so easily held captive by individual states who decide to take basic liberties away from the people in their states?

Must be late. I hear a pack of coyotes headed up from the wash. Time for bed.

Ramona: I surely did not mean to insult the INTELLIGENT people of Mississippi to whom you are related. I have no doubt they are fine, upstanding, lovely people who will NOT vote for this.

Reine - it's not only Mississippi. Similar proposals are being considered in Florida and Ohio. I think they're just waiting to see what Mississippi does.

Meanwhile, I do wonder if this haircut is revenge. Must now go and spend 20 minutes blow drying it into submission.

Sarah, you're funny, and righteous--and right--and I love you. And Ramona, your description of that furious and helpless feeling. . .yes. There should be a word for that exact feeling. Can we invent one? How about "Mississipi"? I feel very Mississippi when I get a terrible haircut.

I think a similar bill was defeated in Colorado. My own state has nothing to brag about, either, in these regards,as it keeps persecuting Planned Parenthood. Sarah, you felt all "Kansas" as your stylist just kept cutting and cutting and cutting on YOUR hair even after you told her not to.

Sarah, nothing insulting in what you wrote. Sadly, some of my relatives will vote for it. They in turn are probably sad for me, because they think I'm going to hell. Somehow we love each other anyway.

On the up side, it's clear and bright and beautiful. That equals good hair day.

(Sarah, psst, nice misdirection! NO ONE will notice!)

Grr. Having a bad haircut is absolutely terrible.

1. Is it really that bad? (sometimes it isn't)
2. It will grow. (sometimes it is)

Come to Boston and I will set you up, sister...

Sarah, I'm furious at your stylist on your behalf. Clearly, she did not value your business, so screw her. Your one consolation is that it will grow out. It's just hair.

I've been seeing my stylist for 18 years or so, and she has had bad days now and then. But she does value me as a customer, thank goodness, because no one else understands my hair the way she does. It's a rare thing, to find someone who can do that.

What I want to know is how the hell do these politicians justify this kind of gestapo crap, when on the other side of their mouths they are saying "government interference is bad". I guess it's only bad when the government wants some of their biggest donors' cash. But we women cannot have control of our own bodies, no sirree.

My daughter is a nurse, and for six months she was in charge of the surgical area for the local Planned Parenthood, and then when she moved to Toledo she worked for a private clinic there. Contrary to popular belief, the preponderance of women getting abortions are not the "welfare queens" you most often hear about. They are generally 20-40 years of age, white, and have the means to pay for the procedure. What I see with this whole anti-abortion thing is a sort of reverse discrimination: because white people are quickly becoming the minority in the US, this is their way of boosting the white population.

Another thing: One in three pregnancies end in miscarriage, often before the woman knows she's is pregnant. The Mississippi agenda would make one third of pregnant women outlaws, in a way. Bizarre.

I'd be okay with that, but only if they also made it illegal to "spill seed", if you get my drift. There are way more sperm than there are eggs.

Right on, Sarah!

Doc, Hair? Reasons 356-599 why it's hard being a woman.

Bad haircuts suck. Sure, they don't suck as much as being DEAD because some ASSHAT who probably doesn't even have a UTERUS and has probably never really even seen a VAGINA up close because he is an ASSHAT decided that the biggest problem in this COUNTRY let alone MISSISSIPPI is the DEFINITION of BABY.

But back to the haircut. I had my first bad haircut in a long, long time this summer. It lead me to the neighborhood Hair Guru who said, basically - you're 50 embrace it - enough with the highlights and the flowing locks. I now am back to something resembling my actual hair color and basically the same short haircut I've had at several different times in my life. Bonus - BIG bonus - no hair on my neck or in my face to exacerbate the hot flashes.

Which I HAVE because I have OVARIES and wildass-out-of-control HORMONES which who cares if we have a safe way to treat it (we DO NOT) because what really matters is whether every ASSHAT can get his DICK HARD on demand so they can get people PREGNANT when they are too OLD to be procreating because their MASSIVE EGOS drive them to think it's a great idea and I personally think it would be a great idea to DRIVE a big STICK up their asses.

Don't forget to VOTE TODAY.

I have nothing further at this time.

Find someone who's haircut you like and ask them who does their hair. And the best of luck with your search. I now get my hair done by the same stylist that does DW and the Princesses. And she is an Elaine fan, how could I go wrong?

Missouri will be on the Mississippi band wagon I am sure. It does not help that what we call a Democrat votes like a Tea Party Republican in most other states. Yes, a**whipe from Florssiant, I mean you.

I don't debate the "A" word. I have discovered that logic, reason and facts have little effect vs. "G-d said so."

But just in case, it is time to pull the links to the "Law of Unintended Consequences and Abortion". The bottom line: women, making the hardest decision of their lives and deciding to end a pregnancy are making the right choice for them.


Abortion politics isn't about science, faith or religion. It is about power. The power to make very personal, life changing choices for you.

I love you all, that's about all I have to say. Sarah, I have very thin, very fine hair too, and layers have never really worked for me, so don't listen next time, and hang in there in the meantime.

Thank you, Alan, for that last sentence.

It's the ultimate act of bullying.

The subjugation of women continues via hair. I swear to gawd, it's part of the conspiracy.

That said, I just got a very cute haircut, but that was after almost a year of letting it grow out to one layer, and now it's all layered up and adorable. (I actually have cheekbones again!) But one you start layering, eventually there's nothing left and you have to spend 6 months wearing a hat while it grows.

One of my daughters looks abfab in a ponytail. And most men look great with a buzz cut. (Go south of the Mason Dixon, and men keep their hair short short!) Maybe we should start contributing to Who Cares About Hair lobby?

Nancy, we need to see a photo of this cute 'do! Bet you look fabulous. A short cut would make the most of your pretty eyes, too.

Hear hear hear hear on all of the above.

Sarah, I have to stare for the next ten years at a driver's license that has me looking like a lumberjack too. Bad choice + bad timing on my part. Now it's 10 months later, and I haven't had a haircut since, except for trimming my own bangs. The other day I got 2 compliments on my hair, one from a soccer coach, one from a soccer dad. Why? Because I hadn't washed my hair in 2 days and it was completely flat. Go figure. Anyhow, my suggestion is just to boycott all hair salons and even anyone running around with scissors in their hands for at least a year. Then reassess.

Alan, thanks. I'm about to check out your links, and I'm hoping the first one gives the statistics about high crime and lack of access to abortion. There is no tragedy bigger than unwanted babies. You want a nice, big prison population? Start with unwanted babies, give them plenty of neglect and abuse and wait a few years. Voila.

One day at work I made a passingly funny comment about Tea Partiers/Republicans. My immediate supervisor asked why I was so down on Republicans. I told him that I used to vote R until the rightwingers took over and decided that I was too stupid to make decisions about who I should love or what I can do with my body.

He said, "Oh. So you believe in murder?"

This started a 20 minute conversation that, I have to say, I was impressed with my restraint. Three times I told him that we could not have this conversation on campus. I work for a state run community college and this is one of those hot topics that we have been told to avoid. Each time he blurted out a very snide, accusatory statement. Finally, after he told me that I was naive and misinformed, I went off. I told him that if he thought any woman who made that decision did so easily he was crazy. If he thought women didn't understand exactly what was happening, he was crazy. If he and other pro-lifers wanted to do away the need for the procedure, then put their money where their mouth is. Stop restricting sex education and birth control, help the women who end up pregnant and go after the men to help support those children. I told him that I could never imagine a scenario that I would have to do that, but I could not tell his exwife, daughter, or neighbor that she could not, if she chose that option. It is our duty to make it as safe as possible for those who chose that option. It is a woman's choice, not some politician's. It is about choices and get off the fence...spend the money for education and support and maybe, just maybe the procedure won't be necessary.

Then I told him if he continued the conversation, I would call our big boss and HR and make a formal complaint.

He never mentioned it again.

Thread hijack: RAMONA,would you kindly email me? I need to ask you about Epic Secrets. Nancy Martin told me to. :) Look at my Facebook page today, and you'll understand why.

nanpickard @ gmail.com

Thank you mucho.

Pam, I'm beginning to think we (I) have been far too polite and restrained for far too long--and look where we are, at the very edge of madness. I think we (I) need to go off now and then just to show we are passionate, even if it means being, gasp, rude.

I can't imagine you ever looking less than gorgeous, but you do deserve a stylist who will listen to you. I suggest switching to this stylist -- "happily paying her bill for another stylist" -- and trying to refrain from sticking out your tongue at the former stylist when you go in. It's hard to take a stand mid-cut, but when you had made it clear you wanted no conversation, her shifting to talking to another client was just not right.
I have to have much faith in the person doing the cutting because once I take off my glasses, I'm blind. I just started going to Great Clips because I can't stand the chemical smells from the dyes and perms, and the one near my house doesn't do that stuff. I carry photos on my iPod, one that Holly created with a hair cut suggestion, and one of a cut that followed the ideal (but with my real, baby-fine hair). It seems to help set the direction for a workable cut. (At least I don't need to scotch-tape bows to my head, as Mom had to do for me for the first year of my life).
As tired as I get of the abortion debate, someone has to stand up to these atrocious attempts to control women. My mom put it well, "These people need to keep their noses out of other women's bodies." Yay Mom!

Hmm. Just tried to post something and was blocked.

About going to the other stylist, won't work. She's at the same salon and you know how that is.

Mary...noses out of other people's bodies???? Ewww.

I'm with you. I want to be heard and taken seriously when I speak, whether it's about politics or my hair. I hate it when someone thinks they know what's best for me. If you're pedantic, you'd better be right, because it brings out the Irish in me every time.

And I remember the days before our right to choose. Not pretty at all.

Uh, oh. In checking strictly for work-related research purposes whether Michelle Duggar is pregnant again (affirmative!), I realize she and I have the same cut.

Which kind of brings this blog around full circle, huh?

Feeling for you, Sarah. Sadly, stylists get bored and I've found after visiting them a few times, they go on auto pilot as far as your hair goes. Please go to a new stylist, and to a new town for a new stylist if that doesn't work. For a short while, I worked for a large hairstyling company (in marketing, which also inspired my first book). I was able to see stylists in action, as well as pros flown in from other areas. I learned a few things: One, your stylist could be having a bad day and take it out on your hair. They might be easily distracted. They could be using dull shears, or they might not understand English. You have to be really specific, use hand signals, if necessary. For instance measure out what you want cut with your fingers. Everyone's idea of an inch is different. And most important, don't be afraid to say STOP!

I have given up on stylists though. All I want is an inch or so off the bottom, cut straight, not dipped, not rounded. No layers. And certainly not UNDERCUT, which is just an excuse to chop up the bottom into layers. So I have my husband trim my hair and I mess with the bangs. Bob is great, he cuts straight, and we can always work out the price. Best of luck.

I swear this is the most intelligent, most insightful blog out there. You ladies (and gents) have big hearts, big brains, and big opinions and I agree wholeheartedly with everything being said today.

A few weeks ago while out with the Princesses (10 and 6) and we passed a group of Anti-Choicers out protesting.

"Daddy who are they?"

"They are people who think you are too stupid to make up your own mind."

"Why do they think that?"

"You are a girl. They don't think girls can make decisions so they would like to make them for you."

I think I am going to head over to cafepress and look at pro choice t-shirts.

Alan, that is G_d damn brilliant and hugely all-time righteous comment!

This is an old, old line from Gloria Steinem, I believe-If men had babies, abortion would be a sacrament. Except for the men here of course. I live in a small town, and the stylist choices are small. I had to develop some backbone and just go to who ever worked for me. I hope I can live up to this.

If Mississippi decides that a fertilized ovum is a person, then it must stop the sales of intrauterine devices pronto. IUDs do not prevent fertilization, but prevent the "person" from being implanted in the uterine wall, and therefore do the equivalent of 1st degree murder on the unsuspecting "person" who is about 10 days old at this point.

Sarah - yes, and I should have mentioned that the first Mississippi was Mississippi. The others are the ones falling in line. Hard to believe, I know, but we have these movements in Arizona, too. We even had them in Boston. When I lived there people were killed in a nearby clinic that provided abortions. They were shot to death by a member of one of these groups. There was even a small group in The Peoples Republic of Cambridge.

Also in Massachusetts, my dear cousin has mostly recovered from her teenage conversion to, as Auntie-Mom says, "the church of the people who go door-to-door."

You know what it took to wake up this good woman and good mother from a church that shrugged its shoulders at that incident, and where iit was often stated that such killings were not wrong but a sign from heaven? She and her husband were accused - at church - of being bad parents and were told they were going to hell, because one of their sons said he didn't believe in their horseshit anymore and would not be returning to Saturday meetings. That's what it took to wake up her and her husband.

Right, Antigonos. That's why I put that in the 1st graph.

BTW, you know, of course, that IUDs were invented by Ancient Egyptians who found a ring inserted past the cervice prevented pregnancy. Wonder how they came across that little discovery.

A thwarted hairdresser-turned-jewelry designer?

Sarah, condolences on a bad cut.
Here's the good news: Hair grows back.
I had to go nearly two years with bad hair because I lost mine due to an illness. I recovered and so did my hair, but I hated every day I had lousy hair.
Did you pay for that cut?

Harley, don't even. There's no way on earth you could look like a linebacker.

Really, Elaine, you lost all your hair? You'd never know it now, your hair is gorgeous. Good for you.

PS Harley, I meant to add that you're much too slender and pretty to look like a linebacker!

The so-called personhood bill has failed. Thank goodness sense has prevailed.

Sanity prevails in Mississippi and Ohio, among other states.

Maybe this will take some wind out of the Tea Party Sails. One can hope.

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