A woman’s self-esteem, as it relates to her hair, cannot be understated. And when things go wrong, it’s akin to being stripped naked and paraded through a shopping mall on the eve of an unfortunately overdue Brazilian. (Thanks, Sandman, for bringing me that horrifying dream, you sick fuck!)
A hair disaster can bring on nothing short of social paranoia. The Aggrieved Unfortunate is convinced everyone is staring at her. (Writer speaking in the third person to protect her nearly pulverized psyche) Even if they don’t know her and therefore couldn’t possibly know what her hair looked like pre Hair Apocalypse, she thinks they’re staring.
She feels it.
She cinches her hoodie tight around her fried noggin, her posture reduced to the slump of the publicly humiliated.
Not even her friends recognize her as she reveals the source of her shame. Their greetings, once warm and comforting, have been replaced with dismayed half-smiles of “Holy mother of God, what has she done?” and ever so slight recoils of disgust… as if getting too close might infect them with her hair-brained disease. She gives them a cryptic warning. “Don’t bother with the hand sanitizer. It’s airborne. I caught if from breathing in some cockamamie idea I got from a hairstyle magazine that made me believe I wanted to look like Miley Cyrus.”
They stare a little harder.
“Yeah. Yeah. I know. If Andy Warhol and Tilda Swinton had a love child, it would have this hair color. I’m going to get it fixed on Saturday.”
And Saturday comes….
Alas, the fixing has failed.
And it’s worse than she could have imagined. Any trace of what remained of her erased…washed away in a diabolical brew of chemical color not found in nature or otherwise.
“Now you look Irish,” one helpful friend blurts out.
“It’s just not you,” another offers, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. (from a safe distance, of course)
“Then who the hell am I,” Andy-Tilda The Irishwoman cries. “Who? Who? Who??!!”
And thus begins the slow, agonizing process of rebuilding the woman she once recognized in the mirror as Herself. She’s come to terms with it now. Every day a little better. Every therapy session one step closer to regaining the self-esteem she so cavalierly tossed away that fateful day.
Oh, what a price we pay for our mistakes, my sisters. Oh, what a price.