Tuesday, December 27, 2011


We all remember the characters in literature who sold their hair for needed money . . . Jo from Little Women is the only one I read, and I could sympathize with her loss. It was around this time that I was a little obsessed with the 1800's, wishing I had been born then; while I still like that century, I've learned that I was born in the century I need to be in. But back then, the idea of long skirts and hair down to the ankles was somehow appealing; in fact, I think this was when I started to grow my hair out longer. Currently, the longest layer is just reaching my waist. For the past four years at least, I have only been getting my hair cut enough to keep it clean-looking; consequently, it's able to grow longer each time. But being a short person, I wonder each time I get it cut if I should be getting it shorter so that my hair (which is quite voluminous already) doesn't overpower me. I always decide to let it keep growing just a little longer. I tell myself that I might as well enjoy long hair while I'm young.

But now I'm reconsidering the question, and also considering what my mom and I once talked about. Some people donate blood; some donate money. I don't really have a job yet, so the last one is out, and I don't even weigh enough to donate blood (let me post the reminder again that I'm short). But hair, I definitely have the hair to donate. Now I learn that my cousin's first grader daughter just donated her hair, all on her own idea. She is happy to do it, but I hesitate? My, my, the things we can learn from children.

I hesitate, though, when I read that you need ten inches in order to donate. Though that would still leave my hair just below the shoulders, that's a lot to cut off. I was looking at my hair (which is wavy from the braid I wore today) in the mirror, and the thought of having it "short" (though this would be a length I once thought was long) again was very sad. What a lot of love for her family Jo must have had to cut off feet of hair instead of inches, especially during a time when women's hair was expected to be long. Today, if I cut my hair, I am the only one who will feel the loss; I could leave myself with only three inches and still blend in with the crowd.

How concepts of appearance change over time; the humanity, though, does not.

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