Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Reverse-Sampson

I've been in bondage for a long time. I've been ruled by something that controlled my moods, determined my self-worth, and even dictated whether or not I was fit to go out in public. I'd be willing to bet some of you ladies out there know what I'm talking about, don't you?

That's right. I've been a slave... to my hair.

For years, I saw long, flowing hair as the pinnacle of feminine success. In high school, I struggled to achieve a mane worthy of Farrah Fawcett. On the rare occasions when I got it just right, the sides winging back, the back big and bouncy, it would be destroyed about two seconds after I walked out the door. Wind, rain, oxygen... all the elements conspired against my do.

When I got married, my hairdresser did a bit of styling magic by pushing all my highly-permed hair to the front. Of course, this left a big, gaping hole of nothingness behind my head, but that was covered with my veil so you couldn't tell. And if anybody did, they were kind enough not to mention it.

I could tell the story of my life through hair styles. There was the accidental bob I got right before a speech competition (I told the lady only to cut off an inch!). And the unflattering-but-popular-at-the-time bi-level (which today we would call a mullet). About a thousand different perms. Oh, and lets not forget the time I used semi-permanent hair color just for fun one Halloween. The box said it would come out in 5-6 washings. Liars. The Sydney-Bristow-red merely faded to traffic-cone-orange and could only be conquered by coloring over it with my natural shade. Try going to work looking like that!

For the last few months, I've been angry at my hair. I was tired of it ruling me. Tired of getting ready for church only to have a bad hair day make me feel like I should just dive back under my pillow. What I really wanted to do was cut it all off, but I was convinced that my full-cheeked face couldn't carry off short hair. After all, I'd tried short hair before (remember the bob?) and I'd never been happy with it. So what was I to do?

One day, I had an epiphany... I've never had REALLY short hair. You know, Twiggy short, Jaimie Lee Curtis short. But did I dare? What if I hated it? It would take forever to grow out.

Then, about a month later, I woke up ready to do it. It was time. Time to shake off the shackles of follicular oppression. The hair was goin' down.

I marched into a salon, armed with a picture I'd found on the Internet, and announced that I was ready to take the plunge. With steely determination, I said, "Cut it all off."

I thought I would be nervous. I thought I would experience hair-style remorse, but I didn't. With each cut, I felt lighter. With each chunk of hair that fell to the floor I felt stronger. I was like Sampson, only in reverse.

I was free.

It's been about three weeks since I got my short, sassy cut, and I haven't regretted it once. As it turns out, my face does just fine with less hair hanging around it. I no longer spend twenty to thirty minutes each morning armed with a blow drier and round brush, fussing, primping, and occasionally cursing at my hair. Now, I'm done in five minutes, tops.

I'm sure there's a spiritual lesson in here. Something about how we hold on to things we think we need, but in the end, they're the very things that weigh us down. How when we finally turn them over to God and let them go, He will strengthen us in ways we never dreamed.

Yep, there's a lesson here. And I'll explore it further one day. For now, I'm just enjoying the freedom of the reverse-Sampson!


Myra Johnson said...

Very, very cute, Jennifer! I like it!

Peg said...

Yep. Been there. Wash-and-go hair is the only way to go. Matter of fact, I need a trim right now. Getting to the "primping" stage.

Barbara Scott said...

It looks fab, Jen! Really cute. I think a lot about Jamie Lee Curtis in my hair today gone tomorrow moments.

Deb said...

I like it VERY much! It's got me wondering if my (bad) hair would do that, cut that short...probably not. You'll have to be free for us both (G).

Christina Berry said...

I LOVE it! I'm always teasing that I'm going to do it, but I use the Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell in Hook image. ;-)

But, my hair is so thin, I actually spend WAY less time with it long. I comb it out, squish with mousse, and go on my way. Never blow dry, never curl, maybe brush it for the first time halfway through the day. ;-)

I had horrible stringy hair as a girl, so I've more than paid my dues!

Jennifer AlLee said...

Thanks for the comments, ladies. Every one of you is beautiful!

Christa Allan said...

My dad used to say that the only difference between a bad haircut and a good hair cut was 10 days!

What a "I am Woman with long hair, hear me roar" moment!

Love it.

Cora said...

I love the "reverse-Samson" imagery! Samson's hair was a symbol of his being a man set apart for God, and in losing that symbol, God's power was removed from him. Getting your locks lopped off, however, allows you to stress less about getting your look "just right," and what good does that stress really do us, anyway?

Dineen A. Miller said...

Aww, what a great post! I'm so glad you took the plunge. It looks great! It's nice to be free. :-)