Two days later and I still pause when I walk past a mirror. Is that really me?
It is. My long brown hair is gone, replaced with a short red headed bob. I have bangs that skim the top of my eyebrows. I look noting like the me I was. I love it.
My friend won a makeover at a salon and invited me along. I was tentative at first. I would keep my hair long. I liked it long. Long hair is easy to care for. All you have to do is put it in a ponytail.
I had been growing my hair out for years now. Every so often, and by that I mean once a year, I would get it trimmed. By Monday it fell past my shoulders and stopped short of the middle of my back. If I cut it I would have enough to donate. So when my friend decided to be brave, to embrace change, to go for it, I did too.
In a bright white room we sat side by side in black chairs. Facing the mirror I watched the tattooed arms of my new favorite stylist as he poised his scissors near the top of a my loose braid. In unison our long hair was cut. With two quick snips the braid lay in his hand. As the remaining hair swung freely around my face I immediately wondered why I hadn't done it sooner. I hadn't realize how much the length of my hair was weighing me down until it was gone.
Sitting in the chair while my hair was smeared with thick white paste I stared out the window. I watched a school bus stop across the street and wondered if that was the girl's bus, finishing its rounds after dropping her off home to her dad and brother. Sitting under the dryer, smelling the faint scent of bleach, I wondered what they were doing. I wondered what they would say when they saw me.
The new cut slowly took shape beneath the scissors of the stylist. I squinted in the hopes that the blurry figure in the mirror in front of me would become clear, but without my glasses it was hopeless. So I waited while the hair went from wet to dry.
Finally my glasses were on and I could see myself. It didn't look at all like me.
I was dropped off just as the kids and the husband arrived home. Despite the darkness of the hour, they all exclaimed over my hair. Both kids recognized me and neither cried about the change. You look like Little Red Riding Hood! exclaimed the girl. She meant that as a compliment and so I said thank you.
The next day the girl continued to comment on my hair. The boy ignored it. The husband paid me compliments. I loved it. I still do.
I have decided that every now and again, it's time for something new. And the best way to embrace change is with a friend by your side.
Our makeover was filmed by the salon, so all you have to do to see the transformation is go here.