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.