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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Long and Short of It

By Jennie Lucas


To cut or not to cut?

Two months ago, I was so exhausted during a night feeding that, when my sweet newborn got his fingers caught in my stupid boob-length hair yet again, I actually considered hacking off all my hair with some scissors. That was obviously a moment of 2 a.m. postnatal insanity, but it has given me new sympathy for Moms who, to the despair and weeping of their husbands, cut their long locks sensibly short after kids come around.

When do we decide to surrender to domesticity?

When does the moment finally come when we realize that a homely minivan not has more comfort and room than our “fierce” SUV, but gets way better gas mileage?

When do we finally realize that cutting our hair short and buying a minivan isn’t surrendering anything—it’s just accepting the truth of our lives and making the most of it?

Because let’s face it, having long hair isn’t doing a darn thing for me, pulled back into a straggly, semi-clean ponytail day after day. My black Jeep Liberty is covered by grime, since I never have time to wash it, and my toddler’s car seat has enough snack crumbs to feed Thanksgiving dinner for six. Wouldn't it be great to have all the space of a minivan? Wouldn’t it be great to save ten dollars every time I fill up the tank?

It’s not like I’m twirling my long hair in dance clubs and taking my SUV off-roading on getaway weekends. Those vestigial traces of my pre-children life aren’t fooling anyone. Especially me.

Should I accept the truth of my changed priorities? Should I cut my hair? Should I get the minivan? That Toyota Sierra is awfully pretty. Or should I fight to pretend that I’m still the same ‘me’ that I was?

What did you decide?

9 Comments:

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Jennie,
I cut the hair and bought the minivan. Mine's a Honda Odyssey.

Cutting the hair doesn't mean that you're sacrificing style. Look at how chic Victoria Beckam is with her dramatic bob. Look at how cute that actress who married Keith Ledger (Michelle??) is with her short gamine cut.

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger charleneteglia said...

I cut my hair, although now that the baby's coming up on 2 I'm letting it grow out again. She's past the stage of yanking on it. And, um, I'm eyeing minivans. I'm tired of trying to squish everything and everybody into a compact car.

Writing was a sanity-saver when I felt like I was losing myself to The Mommy Clone. My books could have all the adventure and romance (and spicy vocabulary) that my mom life couldn't. That escape valve is worth a lot!

 
At 6:52 PM, Blogger Jennie Lucas said...

Mo, you're right--Michelle Williams looks terrific with the short Mia Farrow 'do. And Posh is also very chic although IMO she's so sticklike she needs to eat a lot of hamburgers to look good--hopefully that won't be a problem now she's in America! But both of those women are so gorgeous they don't even need to *try*, know what I mean?

And Charli!! Hi!!! Can't believe your youngest is almost 2. You're right-- even more than long hair or what kind of car, writing is a huge way to keep a bit of my old self. And having kids has actually made my writing better. I feel things more strongly, I have my heart on my sleeve and the littlest thing can set me off crying or laughing.

And my kids have definitely taught me how to manage my time. No more screwing around looking at handbags on coach.com when I'm supposed to be writing. I have two hours to write a scene, and that's it. I literally have no time to procrastinate.

I guess it's all about priorities, isn't it? We choose what is most important, whether it's how we look or how we feel or what we do, and we just have to let the rest go. Except for the guilt, of course...but that's another blog post. :)

 
At 10:03 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I don't have the kiddos, but I have the short hair. :) I think shorter hair is very classy and professional once we get past our 20s and what's typically the college/dating years.

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Jennie,

Kids grow, and so does hair. Now would be a great time to experiment--nothing complicated, though. Wash and go hair is a lifesaver!

 
At 2:03 PM, Blogger charleneteglia said...

*waving back at Jennie* You're so right about kids forcing you to be disciplined. You don't have time to waste, so you don't. I think in a lot of ways it's the best thing that happened to my writing!

 
At 7:04 AM, Blogger MaryF said...

I have long hair. I love my long hair. Yes, I wear it pinned up or pulled back more often than not, but I also enjoy wearing it down.

I've done the short chic thing, too, but now I feel like having long hair.

And since I have just the one kid, an SUV suits me fine.

 
At 7:00 PM, Blogger bridget said...

Hey there Jennie, LOL at your dilemma...I was there, too. I finally realized, hey, having a minivan is like driving your living room around, and who wouldn't want to relax in the comfort of their own living room at all possible times?

As for the hair...yours is so beautiful. I don't know. You might consider something floaty above the shoulders which is easier to care for and harder for baby to grab...but if you don't like it that way, you can always Grow it Back!!!

 
At 10:29 PM, Blogger Lorelle said...

The minivan I'd go for because they are so much safer for the kids and much roomier. The hair, I'd probably keep.

When my last child was born, my hair was below my waist. In fact, my hair was long most of my life. I ended up cutting it because I thought it would look more professional at conferences, but I missed my long hair. It was part of my identity and I really didn't feel like me without it. So after seven years of short hair, I'm growing it long. Hopefully with the help of a hairdresser, I can figure out how to make it look nice. But the great thing is I feel like a girl again!

Lorelle

 

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