Haircuts and Washing Machines

Of late, my life has been something like a washing machine on spin cycle (oh, that reminds me, got to sort the washing…). Up and down and round and round, till I feel all wrung out and I don’t know which way is up. Interestingly, my very different reaction to world events, when compared to The Dude and the general population with whom I interact on a fairly regular basis, has done little to remedy this feeling that something has got to give, and soon. There’s a phrase for it. “Out of control”. Did I mention I am a bit more than just a bit of a control freak? (This is not me speaking some evil self-fulfilling prophecy over my own existence, this is an accurate reflection of what I am. It’s also why I like experiments.) But over 6 months of up and down and down and round and I’m fed up with it all.

And this week is the week my friend finds out about her funding (she didn’t get it), I find out about Little Person’s school (we got our second choice, not our first), and last but not least I supposedly find out about the application I put in for a PhD post that would mean I would not have to move. Which would be good. But as you can see the trend I am not feeling particularly hopeful. But being a control freak, I has accounted for this possibility and put in place steps to improve my mental state. I booked a hair appointment.

Not just for a hair trim you understand, a chop it all off and colour it as red as I dare go appointment. In fact, the colourist looked at me and said we could go for “the safe option”, so I chose the other one. Seriously. That was the mood I was in. (My logic, if it looks good, great, and if it looks bad, we can just colour over it. But you never know until you try.) So while they painted pink stuff over my hair, and chopped it all off so that my ears now act as windflaps if I run, I mulled over the motivations for the haircut.

Characteristics of haircut – fairly instant change, but not irreversible. Characteristics of having hair cut – trusting a complete stranger (not just in terms of their control over your appearance, but scissors near ears and throats – there are times you don’t want to sneeze), reading different magazines, listening in on snippets of other people’s lives, and the strange compulsion to fill the silence with chatter. But I’ve never been good at small talk, so did a little observe and listen thing instead. But the whole thing was about doing something that was simultaneously safe (familiar environment, routine script, being pampered and plied with cups of tea) and risky (I’ll mention hair colour and scissors here, wouldn’t want to ruin the moment for The Dude when he comes home tonight). Making an external change that I was for the most part in control of. So that even if all the things I can’t control don’t go my way, there are always little things I can control, I can choose to do. I can look at the sunshine, and see Little Person’s smile, and realise that sometimes you just need to spin around in the washing machine for a bit. But eventually the cycle will finish and you can climb out.

Unless, of course, they put you in the drier.


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