The play is finished, I have removed most of the makeup from my skull, and I am back on my couch under a warm blanket. I feel the chill a little more these days. Who would've thought hair could make such a difference?
I find it VERY unfair that my good friend Virgil, who shaved his head in solidarity (amongst other reasons) has already grown out more hair than me. I also find it unfair that, as a man, he can walk around without hair and no one gives it a second thought.
I, on the other hand, am learning to be invisible.
It is an interesting dynamic-- I walk down the hall, sporting this black hat or that purple beret, and someone coming towards me will look at me. Look away. Look again, the ol' double-take. Then, look away so quickly I can almost hear neck vertebraes crack. So many people are afraid to look at me, really look at me.
Why? Because we associate baldness in women with cancer or another life-threatening condition, and we seem to fear looking illness in the eyes. I know I was just as guilty of it. If I didn't look at the woman in the grocery story wearing the black ball cap, skull smooth and hairless, I could pretend that cancer isn't here. Sickness isn't here.
But it is. And those who fight it are not invisible. Looking away will not make them invisible.
But my life as a bald woman isn't all bad. There is a whole list of advantages:
- There is something to be said for the speed in which I can get ready in the mornings, now. I'm also saving money on shampoo.
- And, I am waiting like a kid at Christmas to see what kind of hair I will get out of this. It may be Christmas before I find out...
- Running is nicer without the frustration of hair falling in my eyes or sticking to the sweat on my face.
- People want to rub my fuzzy scalp for luck.
- I am told constantly I have a "nicely-shaped head".
- I have acquired an Ismelda Marcos-sized collection of hats and scarves.
- I am falling in love with long, dangling earrings all over again.
- I have even learned to forgive my ears, which stick out too much.
- I can take naps in the middle of the afternoon and not worry about waking up with bedhead.
- And, I can remember that I once-- once-- had the guts to do something completely out of character.