It’s been six weeks since I’ve written about getting my hair cut off. If I’m honest, I feel relatively pleased with myself that I haven’t mentioned it in 42 days, given how much space it occupies in my brain. But the look I was sporting after I woke up this morning was enough to make it impossible for me to stay quiet any longer.

To catch you up, I cut off all my hair in February, much to the disapproval of my hairdresser. My intention was to look svelte and European. Instead, I look like I have a dollop of whipping cream sitting on top of my head.

Several realizations have taken place as a result of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad decision.

First, the most immediate problem: bed head. Whew, I had forgotten how real a phenomenon this is. I mean, I’m sitting here right now, and my hair looks like a claw lying in wait to attack. The more my hair grows out, the bigger and more menacing it becomes. The other morning, I actually thought I heard it growl. I’ve definitely heard it hiss.

This forces me to beg the question: What am I doing in the middle of the night to stir up something so angry? I mean, sleep is meant to be synonymous with peace, isn’t it? The word “slumber” practically makes you want to slide off your chair. But this mess I have on top of my head? It’s as if it just had its parking spot stolen out from under it. And it’s ready to rear up like a horse and take it the eff back.

Second, let’s talk about the UPS driver and his generosity.

Because I work from home, I don’t generally shower until after I work out, which is after I’ve finished my writing for the day. As a result, I’m usually still unshowered when the UPS guy comes by and rings the doorbell.

So what does that force one to do when suffering from a bad hairdo? It forces you to think fast. In my view, you have three options here. You can:

  1. Freeze in place and hope he doesn’t look through the window.
  2. Try to duck into the bedroom to hide.
  3. Answer the door after desperately attempting the Tuck and Flatten.

The Tuck and Flatten is not as well-known as, say, the tuck and roll, but it’s not dissimilar in concept. In both processes, you’re trying to manage a crisis.

The Tuck and Flatten works like this: Upon hearing doorbell rung by unexpected visitor, you need to take both hands and sweep then downward against the ball of your head, trying to establish dominance over the spring of your hair. Then, once you think you’ve achieved the flatten, you perform the tuck, which involves desperately trying to tuck hair behind your ears to further the smoothing down effect.

That you try to both hide the hair-wings the growing-out process has created, as well as mollify fly-away strands does merit some type of aeronautical joke, but, frankly, I’m not in the head space to pull it off.

Needless to say, upon opening the door to the UPS man, your hairdo is really only slightly improved (think: komoto dragon instead of an alien coming out of an abdomen) and he is still forced to politely look away.

And bless him, he does. Bless him, he sure does.

This haircut has also made me reconsider my relationship with my chin. Or chins, I should probably say since we’re telling it like it is. To be clear, I can’t say I’ve ever had an amorous affair with my chin or jaw line — no strong juts or saucy clefts here — but this haircut has actually made me feel compelled to provide it with some scaffolding. If I am sitting at a dinner table and my chins start to feel too exposed, or if I’m in danger of having my picture taken, I cup my hand underneath my chin for reinforcement (and camouflage).

It’s not a good feeling to have come to the place in your life where a body part needs help in this way, but with this haircut, my chin is as naked as snail sans shell.

I figure I have about three to six good months before I can resume a regular social life or stop feeling compelled to tell people that I know my hair is a problem. When you think about it, that’s a long wait, especially when you consider the swimming, sweat, camping and wind that’s likely in my summery future.

Luckily, I have you to vent to. And I’ll warn you now: I will.

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