My contribution to this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge: Leftovers… 🙂
In my ideal world I have long, shiny hair that I either wear tumbling sensually down my back, loose and free, or artfully tied up in a chic chignon, in a fun flirty ponytail, or in a neat no-nonsense plait, depending on my mood and motivation…
When I was young my hair was fair and fine and flyaway, like silky wisps of feathery down constantly sliding free from its trailing ribbons, so that somehow I always looked unkempt and untidy – a scruffy Cinderella, before not after her fairy-godmother makeover. As an adult I’ve generally stuck grudgingly to variations on a theme of a straightforward mid-length bob, boring and practical but admittedly relatively easy to keep.
In the odd fit of madness over the years I’ve ventured occasionally into the realms of a short and layered style, which has always been immediately grown out again. Not that the urgency of ‘immediately’ is a timescale understood by my hair, with its natural growth rate setting perpetually stuck on ‘stubbornly slow’: One way or another I seem to have spent my whole lifetime actively ‘growing out my hair’.
Twice in adulthood I have actually succeeded in growing my hair down past my shoulders – once in my thirties, and once in my forties. But on both occasions the expected joy of having long hair somehow fell far short of my expectations. It seems the reality of having longer hair never quite matches my ideal, and sooner or later out of sheer frustration it gets cut back into my more usual, easier to handle, everyday boring bob.
Now I’m older my hair is no longer so fine and flyaway, but still it does not stay happily held in place, whatever tactical methods I employ. And as an ever-increasing number of grey hairs replace my natural dull dark blonde colouring, it has instead become frizzy, faded and jaded, and even more intolerant of my attempts to control it, coax it, tame it into some sort of submission. I do know that it is way past time for me to admit defeat, accept that I just need to let my hair do its own thing, stop fighting it, just let it be.
So why, then, having lived for fifty years with unruly having-a-mind-of-its-own hair that flatly refuses to conform to my requirements, and knowing that my vision of glorious long princess tresses is nothing but sheer fantasy, do I still keep a drawer full of unused hair accessories, all waiting expectantly for the rousing call to arms which never comes.
I have myriad hairbands, clips, grips, combs, claws, and elastics of all shapes and sizes, all lovingly collected and cherished over the years, piled high and all jostling for limited space. I take them out from time to time, play around with them, try things out, and plan wistfully for a future when they can all be used again. But alas, yet again it is not to be, and back they go to their dark drawer until the next time a fit of fantasy strikes.
It seems to me that as long as I keep them close, I can keep the dream alive, hold on to the hope that one day my hair will behave in just the way I want it to, that my ideal might, for one fantastic moment, become my fairytale reality – that maybe one day this scruffy Cinderella can magically go to the ball, hair resplendent in all its lovingly accesorised finery…