Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hair Raising Encounters

Diana has had long hair for a very long time. she recently has decided she needs a change. In about a month she's gone from about 6 inches longer than this, which was her first cut.




To a chin-length cut.


To Mia Farrow pixie-cut short.  Her hair hasn't been this short since she was a toddler and I was waiting for my bald child to sprout hair sufficient for two pathetic sprigs posing as pig-tails.



Twice in the past week she has called to share funny stories related to interactions over her hair.  In the first one she told me she had gone to a hardware store to get some supplies for a project she was working on.  She said she was dressed kind of boyishly.  She engaged in conversation with another woman who gave her some excellent suggestions as to how to get the job done Diana was planning for.  At the end of the conversation Diana shook hands with the woman.  Understand Diana and I have both had men comment in amazement as to the strength of our grip when shaking hands.  Neither of us gives either a dainty or a limp, dead fish sort of handshake.  Diana told me that after the handshake the woman looked her in the eye and complimented her by saying, "Wow!  That's an awesome lesbian handshake ya got there!"  Diana's comment was that it was said in a way to suggest they ought to go put rainbow stickers on their respective cars and have a date at a rally for gay-marriage.  She was not offended but figured her boy haircut, her boyish clothes, and her firm handshake all added up to "She's a lesbian."  She found it pretty funny.

The second story was rather bizarre.  I don't know if it says more about the patrons of hardware stores or the haircut though since it occurred on a repeat trip to the same store.  Diana said she was there minding her own business and some woman began berating her about something (I forget what).  Diana was a bit surprised.  Just as she was ready to respond the woman's husband came up and chastised his wife saying, "Honey, stop it!  Can't you see she's a breast cancer survivor?!  Be nice to her!"

As Diana tells it the wife was immediately contrite and both she and her husband began to get teary-eyed.  Diana was now entirely stunned as they began to say how nicely Diana's hair had started to grow back in.  the wife offered to buy Diana a scarf as an apology.  Now, long-time readers of this blog may recall from old posts that Diana is rarely at a loss for words but this particular exchange had her totally mystified.  She told me, "Mom, they were getting so emotional.  I didn't know if it was better to just tell them I cut my hair because it was too hot on my neck and I couldn't pull it up or to just let them have their moment."  

I asked what she wound up doing.  She thanked them for their kindness and told them to go make a donation to a breast-cancer charity.  Then she said she was going to go buy some girly headband or something.  Which is what I did when she was a bald toddler being mistaken for a boy.

18 comments:

Kat said...

HAHAHAHA and also WTH??????
It is both funny and also stunning how strange people are. I would NEVER even think those things about someone who has short hair much less have them come out of my mouth.
Glad Diana was not offended at either remark (I wouldn't be either, also mystified).

I was just gonna comment on how much I LOVE the pixie cut on her before I was sidetracked by the crazy comments. I have been thinking about getting that cut forever but I don't know if I have the guts. ;)

Tabor said...

Amazing how superficial images help us make incorrect judgements. We all do this, but mostly we keep our mouths closed about it! She is a lovely woman and actually all the haircuts suit her face.

Craig said...

I guess I haven't known enough lesbians to identify them by their handshakes. . .

;)

I did know one woman who had an abusive boyfriend, and one of his outrages against her was to run the clippers down the middle of her head when he was 'cutting her hair for her', and the only way to 'fix it' ended in a brush cut. So, she got a lot of 'cancer-survivor' sympathy while it grew back out. . .

Just tell Diana to keep her distance from Woody Allen. . .

Bijoux said...

It always amazes me what people will say to total strangers. The cancer story reminds me of those who congratulate non-pregnant women.

haphazardlife said...

OK, what hardware store is that? They got some weird patrons there...

Stephen Hayes said...

I think your daughter handled that situation perfectly! I can't imagine anyone doing it better.

Uncle Skip, said...

I passed this story along to my second cousin, who mentioned she was considering cutting her hair short (actually she was threatening to chop it all off).
I don't have an opinion one way or the other, but think others judgments should be considered ...then totally disregarded if they're strangers.

silly rabbit said...

I loved both the stories and the photos... with Diana's oh-so-lime facial expressions. Ha!
I really like her "pixie". My mother cut off my pigtails for that cut and I hated it bitterly until I was 18 and fell in love with it. It just feels good and is so easy to take care of in the summer time. In the winter its very cute with hats.

People do and say the weirdest things. I often say nothing rather than risk upsetting someone with a false assumption.

Of course other times... open mouth, insert foot... seems to be my day's form of insanity. Ask Suldog... he can verify my recent bout with that. Ha.

coopernicus said...

i think those are the first pictures of D you've posted that actually look like you…at least the posed facial expressions anyway. Maybe it is the absence of eyewear..

Beach Bum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beach Bum said...

" Wow! That's an awesome lesbian handshake ya got there!"

People really amaze me sometimes with their assumptions, of course I know a guy who was upset when Anderson Cooper came out. As the token liberal at my work he kept asking if I thought Anderson would get fired from CNN. Like I was some expert on how a major corporation would react to one of their employees being gay.

Cricket said...

Apples... trees... all that. Yep.

Daryl Edelstein said...

its an interesting phenomena when you've got really long hair and cut it, you end up cutting it even shorter ... that first cut is the toughest ... then its oh boy I could go shorter ... been there done that ... and I found girly earrings or lipstick often was the antidote to being mistaken for either a guy or a gay ... and I think that hardware store has put something in their air freshener ... what an odd encounter ...

G-Man said...

I know Lots of Lesbians and they do indeed have a secret handshake just like the Masons!!!
The Bi-Curious chicks though shake hands normal.

Jocelyn said...

O.M.G. The breast cancer survivor story is one for the ages. That is HILARIOUS.

And here I thought the "lesbian handshake" comment was the best thing I'd read today.

She looks terrific in that pixie cut! I hope her chemo goes well.

Dave said...

A good story Michelle. She gave the right answer I think. Many women here wear their hair short (and are NOT lezbians). Perhaps Americans don't usually? - Dave

(M)ary said...

When I was 20, I went to my very sluttily heteorsexual (sp?) Jennifer's hairdresser who gave me a cut that looked like a mullet with spiky hair on the top.
I was accused of having a "lesbian" hair cut...that was back in the 80's...apparently, times haven't changed or, perhaps, are changing slowly.
After hanging out with my sister who is gay on and off for years, I can say that from the folks I have met, the haircuts in the gay world are as varied as the haircuts in the straight world.

My question is...why can't a het woman be strong and sport a short and/or spiky mullet cut? And vice versa, Why can't a gay woman have long hair and be a swoony weak girlie girl?

(M)ary said...

above should say "i went to my sluttily het friend Jennifer's hairdresser"