Monday, October 1, 2012

Too hot in the hot tub!


It hit 103 degrees today. Hot. To quote Eddie Murphy while channeling James Brown, definitely "too hot in the hot tub." To quote Addison, it was hot enough to "burn all the babies." In this picture, you can see the way Addison's hair is plastered to her head by sweat. She's tinged yellow because that's the nuclear power of the sun exploding through the windows. Hold me close, ebola bunny.

When we moved to California, I was growing my hair out. And then I realized that this coastal paradise that people describe as being so temperate and appealing is actually a desert. Not the kind you eat with a spoon and a cherry on top that makes you fat and happy. It's the kind that spontaneously catches things on fire and makes your whole body cry tears of sweaty sadness that stain the armpits of your shirts.


I'd been intending to let my hair grow long to approximate the grungy rocker/skinny Jesus look that captured my wife's heart (see exhibit A below, in New Haven, CT). A few weeks after the pictured photo was taken 7 years ago, she learned I'd cut it, and she almost ended the relationship right there. Samson without his hair, you know? A modern day Rape of the Lock. My mojo had disappeared along with the greasy stringy things that used to grow out of my head. Somehow she toughed it out and stuck with me, albeit with a shadow of the me that first caught her eye.



But in May of this year I decided that I just couldn't tolerate the growing-out process in a house with no air-conditioning. Feeling gross and sticky all day long is bad enough; doing it with long hair totally sucks. Women everywhere, I salute your commitment. And those of you who've told social convention to screw off and then shaved your heads, you're smarter than all the rest.

So I removed all of my hair. Here I am, halfway through the shearing that Addison and I performed as an afternoon project. 



She was barely two years old, and I'd wondered if I might cause existential anxiety in another of the women of my life, since she'd never really seen me with short hair. But she was fine, so long as I promised to keep my beautiful beard.

All this is to say that I totally get that hair is hard work, and if I can't manage my own, I can hardly expect my daughter to manage hers. Her fingers are like tiny little sausages, not the best for manipulating combs and brushes. I know that means the responsibility falls on us, her parents, but we pretty much fail at it as well. Her hair isn't thick or long enough to hold clips or pigtails for very long, and every time she lays down, she gets up with her head a mess of nests and snarls, whether it was combed two minutes ago or not.



And if she's sweaty, which she almost always is -- why are kids so sweaty!? -- it's just a mess. Clearly, she was sweaty today.

Obviously, this



is dang cute. We waited nearly two years before her hair was long enough to put in pigtails. But honestly, it's not worth it. She just pulls them out after about 30 seconds anyway, along with fifty million tiny hairs that she can't afford to lose.

So I’ve been on my wife’s case for a while now to let me cut Addison's hair, and give her a cute little Audrey Hepburn pixie cut or something. We can part it on the side and slick it down, and make her wear pink clothes to prove she's a girl. Or not. I don't really care what gender people think she is. Who are these crazy parents who think that it's a good idea to let little kids have long hair? I mean, just tonight this happened:




Addison got her syrupy fork stuck in her hair after trying to use it as a comb. Ridiculous. If we just gave her a buzz, this sort of thing would be a cinch to clean up. And premonitions about having to pick gum out of her hair are already giving me nightmares.

Let's just buzz it all off, and let her put on a toupe for going out in public. Something like this:



She makes it look good, doesn't she? On a day like today, doesn't it sort of make you sigh wistfully to imagine having a cool cabbage leaf on your head instead of a bunch of obnoxious hair? 

21 comments:

  1. Your in-laws totally need to get air conditioning. Despite growing up in the southeast and not having air conditioning for most of my childhood, I have found that as I have gotten older I would not be able to survive without it. Luckily the weather here is changing for the cooler, welcome fall!

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    1. They have a whole-house fan, but that doesn't really cut it on the hottest days. When I get rich and famous I'm going to by them an air conditioning system. In the meantime, it helps me build character? And makes me want to die?

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    2. I do love our attic fan when it gets warm but not warm enough to actually use the AC unit. The attic fan has an upside and a downside, all depends on how you look at it. It is really loud when on, which means you have a hard time hearing others in the house, like the kids yelling and screaming. Bad if they are hurt, good if they are just being annoying and you want to sleep through the night without waking. It's a great white noise machine, or not.

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    3. It's not bad for an inbetween stage, but the temperature has been pretty far past that inbetween stage all summer.

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  2. For a split second I thought those were Lindsay's legs in the flip flops. Very freaky.

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    1. ooh, that IS a fun way to look at that picture. Our shirts kind of blend together.

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  3. I have really long hair and always question the intelligence of that decision on days when the sun and southern California merge.

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    1. I guess the only silver lining is that it's not 103 degrees AND really humid. But small consolation, right?

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  4. Oh man, who's that hottie with the long hair? I still remember the first time I saw you: gorgeous locks with a healthy dose of facial scruff, black sweater with a peek of white at the collar, jeans with a hole in the knee, sexy black trenchcoat, intelligent-looking glasses. I pegged you for at least 28 until I learned your actual age...yikes!

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    1. The image you're describing sounds more hobo than anything else. which I suppose I kind of was. Whatever floats your boat.

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  5. Cabbage leaf, all the time.

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  6. I could get on board with a fashion trend for cabbage-leaf hats. I am imagining a little insulated lunch bag I'd carry with me everywhere, with an ice pack and spritz bottle and fresh cabbage leaves for swapping.

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    1. That just sounds wonderful. I suppose we may as well include cucumber slices to put over the eyes, maybe with tiny pinholes to see out of. That would probably round out the ensemble.

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  7. 103?!!! No wonder hair is overwhelming. Get this...it was 6 degrees Celsius here today: 43 in your degrees. I need my hair AND a cabbage leaf.

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    1. I would trade you in a heartbeat, dbs.

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  8. I've been tempted to take a pair of shears or a buzzer or a razor to my head more than once. And now I know two friends who have done it, so I've decided if I ever have another family member or friend going through chemo, I may just go ahead and do it then.

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    1. That's admirable. It can also be done in solidarity with Toddlers who try to cut their own hair.

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  9. I get tired of whatever length my hair is after about 18 months to 2 years, whereupon I either grow it or cut it as the case may be. At the moment I'm growing it out.

    I've done the bald look as part of a Shave for Leukaemia fund-raiser. While I look good bald, the growing out stage of light-weight fuzz sticking out, as if my hand is stuck on a van der Graaf generator, looks atrocious.

    I find the worst time in warm weather is the in-between stage where the hair sits on the back of my neck and is too short to put up in a pony tail. Fortunately it's winter here at the moment so that's not a problem.

    I'm with your wife on liking longer hair on my man. My DH had long hair (shoulder length) when we married. Sadly for me he has since cut it because it's very thick, so rather hot in summer; plus he's now a teacher so he can't really get away with the pirate look any more {sniff}. At the moment it's at a stage where a light trim will give him a Keanu Reeves a la The Matrix look :-) but come summer I know he'll be shaving it back to a No. 2 or 3 :-(.

    Oh, and Addison with a syrupy fork in her hair reminds me of when one of my sisters tried to curl her hair with Mum's curling brush or a comb and ended up with it so tangled that Mum had to cut it out.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Laetitia! I concur, the pirate look never goes out of style; it's too bad employers don't always realize what a benefit it is to have a pirate on stuff. Unfortunately, I've inherited my dad's receding hairline, so my hair just doesn't do now what it used to do. Now that I've got it shorter, it's probably gonna stay that way. Ah, growing older, the things you do to us...

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