On Queue

Where to start? It’s been a busy week in America. Some of it I am saving for separate blog posts so I don’t inundate you with mundane detail all at once. I like to piecemeal my inanity. The biggest event was the lopping off of the familial tresses for Locks of Love [hereinafter referred to as LOL], the charity organization which makes wigs from donated hair for economically challenged children with “long-term hair loss”. MCV made appointments for Things 1 & 3 at the Bocz Salon in downtown Seattle with her and Mood Ring Momma’s stylist Juan. I knew it was swishy when I saw what looked to be a Mariner’s wife sitting in a chair, her hair in foils, toenails painted an elegant Chanel eggplant black, feet ensconced in Prada sandals, and a Louis Vuitton parked at her elbow. Then again, maybe it was just a Mercer Island/Medina/Bellevue prima donna. Same diff.

If memory serves me correctly, Thing 1 got the idea to grow her hair for Locks of Love during a visit to Raftbuddy’s approximately six years ago. Both Raftbuddy and her Thing 1 had both cut off their hair to donate to LOL. In order to donate a hank of hair, one needs ten inches in length of non-colortreated hair, hair preferably hydrated with few fly away ends. I had never seen Raftbuddy’s hair so short. Her hair short was longer than my hair long ever was, which is to say it came to the middle of her back. Able to sit on her natural honey blonde locks in college, Raftbuddy was the subject of many a man’s Rapunzelian fantasies (to say nothing of the fact that she was a cheerleader). She and her heir, it turns out, had hair to spare.

Then Thing 3 decided about three years ago to grow her hair as well. When it came time to cut the hair, I admit I was a little worried that Thing 1 would feel upstaged by her little sister since she had been growing her hair twice as long. Thing 1’s hair grows agonizingly slowly. Thing 3’s hair, half as thick as her sister’s, grows alarmingly fast, one of life’s little trade offs.

So in we trooped sporting our Target wardrobes to the fancy pants salon: me and my Things, Mood Ring, MCV, and the Radish, prepared for tears. Thing 3 went first. Juan, the only hairdresser I have ever met who does not like to chat, measured the tresses with a metal tape measurer after first combing out the hair into a ponytail. Then he snipped snipped snipped. And just like that, voila, Thing 3 was shorn and shaped, followed by Thing 1. They have never looked cuter. Years of awkward hair styles, sweaty necks, and hair wrapped around ponytail holders in tangled messes, gone baby, gone.

I don’t think I have ever had ten inches of hair in my life. Well, at least not all at one time. I did not, do not, have the patience. My grandmother kept a braid of her hair in the top drawer of her dresser. She cut it off into a bob when she was a teenager in the roaring 20’s. Where is that hair now? Did she feel as liberated as my daughters when the braid fell to the floor? Or did she feel violated like the Chinese when their queues were forcibly cut off? Hair, as I have discussed before, is a highly personal subject.

I confess my eyes welled when each hank of hair was severed, but not with remorse or sadness. My tears reflected the happiness of my girls as they joined the ranks of people, like Raftbuddy, who have gifted their hair, some several times over. And that is what I call the best “up do” ever.

Locks of Love (www.locksoflove.org) receives a 4star rating on http://www.charitynavigator.org.



Filed under Charitable Endeavors, Cosmetology, Family, Life, People

7 responses to “On Queue

  1. MCV

    It was a good time. Things 1 & 3 looked absolutely beautiful and Juan was definitely the right person to send them to. Although not chatty, he is METICULOUS. He doesn’t have time to chat–he’s concentrating on the hair. When you have a truly chatty stylist, aren’t you ever worried they aren’t really paying attention to the locks?

    BTW: I’ve never had 10 inches either. That’s because Radish abhors long hair–especially on her daughters. So does Radish’s sister.

  2. Raftbuddy

    What a timely blog! Currently my tresses have once again (as they do about every 2 years) reached the LOL point and will need to be hacked off in July. The point for me occurs when one morning I find my hair getting tucked in my underwear as I get dressed in the morning. Not good. The bun is my hairdo of choice in my 40s, (the Crystal Gayle look is not generally a good one on anyone), but when it is down, I know it is too long when it does that! We are currently ensconced in the Fairmont San Francisco on family vacation for a couple of nights. We hit the Oregon Caves, the redwoods and the motherland of Expat before arriving here today! We waved to your hometown and it brought back fond memories! It is a beautiful place! Tell the Things “WAY TO GO”!

  3. Tom

    Wow, I’m picturing the hair tucked in the pants and a piece of toilet paper 3′ long stuck to the bottom of a shoe. Smoooth.

    My wife just donated the hair to LOL. We found out about it from our neighbor who by the way raises companion dogs for shut-ins. I think there’s hope for us as a species yet.

  4. Flaky Friend

    Sounds like an eventful first week! Can’t wait to see you end of July. My things are very excited. Could you e-mail me your phone #?

  5. Being the grandmother, I am prejudiced, but it was the best time. And the girls are equally lovely inside as out.

  6. Congrats on your donation. LOL is a great cause. My wife and I have donated our hair there over the years and I urge anyone who can or is thinking of getting their hair cut to do so for this charity. These donations help children and victims of cancer. My mother, in the last year of her life, lost her hair to chemo and used wigs. There is no more worthy cause for hair you are cutting off anyway.

    Thank you again for a great post. Lots of love, hugs, and kisses. The world needs more.


  7. expat princess

    Thanks, Thomas Fortenberry, for your kind words. I am sorry about your mother. Selfishly, I confess to nearly grabbing those locks and saving them for myself for the future, squirreling away the hair like my grandmother did. How cool would it be to wear a wig made from your daughters’ hair? But then I let them go. Bald is okay for me but not for a kid. May your mom be blessed with peace and joy this year.

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