When I was 16, my best friend Rory and I were lazing about my bedroom on a Saturday afternoon like a couple of kittens when we had the most brilliant idea in the history of awesome ideas: Rory offered to cut my hair. Here is the point in the story where I must declare two things:
Rory is not gay.
Rory is also not a hairdresser.
I’ve always had decently long hair, alternating between being about shoulder length and covering the bottom of my boobs. I have hair so thick, when not in the throes of a postpartum thyroid crisis that if it were much shorter, I would likely resemble a cactus, I find anything above the shoulder is sort of bad news for me.
So a couple of times a year, I drag ass to the salon and get it chopped to about shoulder length and let it grow on down until I realize that it’s officially gotten “too long.”
“Too long” for me is anything that makes me look like I might be a member of one of those religions that doesn’t allow women to cut their hair, or when wearing it in a pony tail becomes painful for my neck.
I’d always envied those women with the adorable pixie cuts but never quite had the guts to lop off all of my hair into one. It seemed like an awfully huge commitment for a 16 year old whose relationships were still measured in weeks.
But somehow, to Rory and I, who, I must admit were stone cold sober (as a matter of fact), this now seemed like the perfect cure for boredom. So we grabbed a pair of kitchen scissors and Rory lopped away.
Finally, he told me that I could turn around and when I did I was shocked to see a boy with big dark eyes looking back at me from the mirror. Uh-oh. Rory had given me a boy’s haircut. I gulped. Audibly.
Quickly, I raced upstairs and grabbed a shit-load of barrettes that I’d had laying around and began sticking them in the inch long tufts of hair that I had remaining. I grabbed an eyeliner–it was turquoise (hey, I never claimed to be tasteful)–and smeared it on. Satisfied by my appearance, I went back downstairs to show off my new haircut.
Surely, it was just new-hair-cut-jitters. Right? I hadn’t just committed teenage suicide, had I?
About an hour later, Rory and I had been watching The State on MTV (which, I got on DVD for my birthday and holy BALLS is that fucking funny) and the doorbell rang, our band of merry pranksters had arrived and we were off to do whatever it is that you do when you’re 16 and you have money and nowhere to really go but the world is all so new and wonderful and it’s all so fun.
Everyone had been over to my house BEFORE my haircut and, well, 8 mouths dropped open when they saw what had been done to my now-pin head.
To their credit, everyone was kind to me, probably, in looking back, kinder than I deserved.
(This, I should add, is where I’d humiliate myself by putting in a shot of me with my ridiculous hair so that you, My Internet, could tell me that “it’s not THAT bad” while you snicker into your cupped palm.
But, alas, I lost the book of pictures with all these snaps in my last move and I am actually so devastated by this that I cannot make a joke. I have no digital copy, so these pictures are simply lost. They’re gone forever and I cannot get them back.)
It was only from the back that one of my friends spoke the truth, “Hey Becky, you look like a lesbian now.”
I sucked in my breath sharply at this statement because he’d identified it exactly. I was now sporting the exact same haircut as all of the lesbians at school.
Always someone who had her own sense of style, which, one might properly argue is “tacky” and “unrefined” as noted by this iPhone cover that I am currently crushing on, or the belt buckle with my name on it or any other number of awful tacky things in my closet, I’m not always very quick on the uptake with things.
Something YOU might see as painfully obvious, I won’t notice for YEARS. I’m someone who could wear anal beads as a bracelet and not understand why people were snickering at me while I preened over it, so the haircut? Wouldn’t have realized it.
Well, I might have once the lesbian posse at school started hitting on me, but that was neither here nor there.
I made an ugly lesbian. The haircut I can safely say was never going to be flattering on someone like me, no matter how much glitter I sprinkled, how many barrettes I clipped or diamonds I wore, short pixie haircuts aren’t my thing.
They make me look like I have a baseball where a head should be.
Thankfully, my hair eventually did grow out, although it took painfully longer than you’d think possible, and I had to go through all the stages of awful: cactus, Bozo the clown, Pig in a Wig, and eventually, back to my shoulders again.
And I learned a very valuable lesson that day.
I have a teeny, tiny head.
So, loves, tell Your Aunt Becky all about your worst haircut experience. Was it a bad perm job that took on only a fraction of your hair? A home dye job gone horribly awry? Did half of your hair fall out? Did you routinely get mistaken for a lesbian?