I generally don’t include physical descriptions of myself in blog posts.
This is because…
a) Writing should stand on its own. You can enjoy “For Whom the Bell Tolls” without knowing Hemingway had a beard, and “Mrs. Dalloway” without knowing Woolf wore her hair in a bun, and “The Great Gatsby” without knowing that Fitzgerald was a 10-foot merman with tuna breath. If that knowledge impacts your opinion the work, you’re doing something wrong. (It’s ok if it impacts your interpretation, though. I will admit that the Fitzgerald thing threw “Gatsby” into a whole new light for me.)
b) This is the internet. I can just upload a photo.
I bring it up now because before I begin, I need you to know something about me. I have bangs. These bangs:
Well. I had them, anyway.
I like having fringe for a couple different reasons, the first of which is that where most people have a forehead, I have a fivehead. That is to say, it’s taller than your average forehead and much, much taller than a threehead. Bangs help disguise this fact so I can fit in with the human masses.
I also like bangs because of my forehead vein. If eyes are the window to the soul, then my forehead vein is the crack in the window frame and my bangs are… this metaphor isn’t working. Bangs are hairy forehead curtains, is what I’m trying to say here. Besides unfortunate cardiovascular quirks, they’re also great for camouflaging zits. Bangs: When You Have Something to Hide.
Up until about a week ago, my fringe and I were as happy as any of the characters Zooey Deschanel and her bangs have ever played. But nothing gold can stay, and slowly, inexorably, things started to unravel.
One morning before work, I noticed my bangs weren’t cooperating when I tried to style them, no matter how much blow-drying and hair-spraying occurred. “Oh, bangs,” I said. “You rascals.” But the same thing happened the next morning, and the next.
Before long, I was pinning them back or brushing them to the side and getting more and more frustrated. There’s no point in having curtains if you never close them, and there’s no point in having bangs if you can’t use them to fool people into believing your head is totally normal.
On Sunday night, I finally cracked. I was watching a crime procedural that hinged on the murderer’s hair when I noticed that my hair kept trying to murder my eyeballs. I pushed it back repeatedly and when that didn’t work, I tried shaking my head hard enough for my vein to put in an appearance. It was no use. My bangs didn’t look like Zooey’s any more. They looked like a nasty, tangly eyeball death trap. Something had to be done.
I realize now that I was perhaps exaggerating the issue. That I had options.
a) I could have gone to bed and let the madness pass.
b) I could have made a hair appointment and then distracted myself with candy or the Princess Bride or seeing how many times I could poke Winston before he bit me.
c) I could have embraced the eye-skimming look. It’s totally in right now! I was almost cool!
At the time, though, it felt like there was only one option. I needed to trim my bangs. Immediately. With that thought, I pulled out some scissors and Scotch tape, opened a YouTube video that promised to teach me how to do it and sat down to DIY my own head.
What the Video Said and What I Actually Did
a) “Pull your hair back and pin down any wisps.” I have hydra hair — as soon as I pin down a wisp, three more pop up. Knowing I would be fighting a losing battle, I ignored this.
b) “Get your hair damp. NOT. WET. Wet hair will shrink much shorter than you want it to. Once again, and I can’t emphasize this enough, DO NOT GET YOUR HAIR COMPLETELY WET.” I splashed some water on my hair, but it soaked it up in a couple seconds. I splashed some more on until it was approximately as damp as the middle of a swimming pool. Perfect, I thought. Spoiler: it was not.
c) “Lay a strip of tape along the bottom of your bangs so you trim in a straight line. Remember, faces aren’t symmetrical, so be sure to cut it so it complements yours.” The longer I stared at my face, the more asymmetrical it became. I couldn’t decide which half was more off-kilter, so eventually I just picked an eyebrow at random, angled the tape based on that, and laid it where I thought I wanted it. It did not look like it complemented my face. It looked like I was some kind of office supply war refugee.
d) “Heads are not two-dimensional, so don’t cut straight across your forehead.” Hmm, I thought, looking at my hairy tape disaster. My head probably is two-dimensional.
c) “Cut very slowly — if you rush, you’ll do a bad job.” #*@% it, I thought, and began snipping and cringing and snipping and crying.
When I put the scissors down and pulled the tape off of my head, I instantly knew that I my new look resembled that of a very famous bangs-wearer. Only it wasn’t Zooey.
It was this guy:
I spent most of the rest of the night freaking out and mentally willing my hair to grow faster, but by the morning, I had calmed down. If my new bangs make me look like Mr. Spock, that’s ok. I like Spock. We even have similar personalities. Looking like him must mean I look like a cooly logical, highly efficient, surprisingly badass space traveler.
So until my hair grows out again, I’m going to be ok. The internet has a million pictures of Leonard Nimoy I can use for styling tips.