When I stepped into the hall the other morning, I saw a dark figure standing on the other end, out on the balcony. Thankfully he was staring out over our picture-perfect view of the parking lot and not leering creepily into the hall, BUT. I glanced down briefly to fix the cuffs of my coat, and when I looked up -- HE WAS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN.
All right, that's not really the subject of this post. Mostly what I want to type at ye today revolves around the topic of hair. WAIT, GENTLE READERS, COME BACK. This is actually a titillating tale of -- ah, feckit, you're right, g'wan and leave me if you must.
Sadly, I could write if not an entire novel on the subject of hair, then at least a hearty chapbook.
Did you know, for instance, that Nikola Tesla
had an intense distaste, perhaps even bordering on fear, of hair?
It's true. Or it might not be. I first read it in a comic book
, but these folks
But this is not about Nikola Tesla or my radiant, dynamic love for his genius and okay-maybe-slight-madness. It's about the haircut I got recently and the stir it caused at my place of employment.
I go through phases where I try to grow my hair out as long as I can before it irritates me enough to warrant chopping off. Somehow I always forget how inconvenient I find having long hair, especially my thick, ursine, and generally unmanageable hair which never does anything I want and gains strength in numbers. Even when I shaved most of it off in a sad, abortive attempt to cultivate a mohawk two summers ago, the very stubble bested my special scalp razor. Yes, readers, my hair. bent. the blades.
Anyway, I met my mother during her last week in Seoul at a salon en route to my home, so she could help translate. I wanted them to shave the back. My mum relayed my wishes and added that I wanted a neat, low-maintenance haircut that didn't require excessive daily sprucing, as I had no time before work to deal with my personal appearance. The hairlady (what are these people called? "beautician" seems archaic) looked at my mother as though she had just said that I prefer a little baby-stomping every morning. We entered negotiations regarding length. Eventually I got a cut that satisfied my hairlady, my mother, and perhaps least importantly, myself.
For the first few days, students enthusiastically vocalized their approval of the change. Shouts of "CUTIE!" and "BEAUTIFUL!" greeted me at every turn. It inspired this exchange:Master Do:
Your new hairstyle suits you much better. Where did you get it cut?me:
At this place in Gimpo Airport--Master Do:
GIMPO?! That's out in the sticks! You have a hillbilly haircut!me:
Master Jang, is Gimpo in Gyeonggido or Seoul?Master Jang:
It's Seoul, isn't it?me:
YES IT REALLY IS.
But it wasn't until almost the end of the week that I had a student question the particularities of my decision. "Long hair takes longer to dry," I explained in English.
She confirmed with a classmate what I had said, then whipped around to shriek, "LIAR!"
"Why would I lie about this?" asked I, a little taken aback by the force of her response.
My substitute co-teacher enlightened me later: in Korea, it's customary, or at least fairly common, for a woman to cut her hair very short if she's been dumped by her boyfriend. So the praise that my new 'do had incited had not been so much an objective appraisal as much as an attempt to assuage my achey breaky heart. Ah, well. I have sweet kids.
In related news, I have a sprinkling of gray hair. It's concentrated mostly in the front, I guess because it likes attention, and has been to some degree there since I was 16. My parents like to hover around my head and yank out strands when I'm not looking. There are reasons why I have moved thousands of miles away. (Kidding! Just kidding, I love you guys. Especially if you read this.)
I have no problem with my little whities, and look forward to more. Everyone else seems to find them horrifying. Recently I spoke to a tattoo artist who kept coming back to how much older they make me look. Finally she said, with a hint of desperation, "I can recommend a good colorist!" But maybe I have always secretly wanted to look like Dash X
And Now For Your Moment of Non-Political Zen:CJ-oppa:
You got a haircut! Why, what happened, did you get into a fight with your boyfriend?me:
Why does everything have to be about a man?!