Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hair alarm

Aunt Elizabeth keeps me on my toes.

"Your closet! Your closet!" She wails at the sight of me, her plea for me to pay closer attention to what I wear.

Under her severe gaze, I'm a child again, whining that I have neither the time nor the inclination.

My aunt is, as always, unflinching. "Your hair, too. People expect that, you know."

I do know. It's a mistake to let yourself go; no matter how many pressing intellectual, lofty pursuits are stacking up in your inbox, if you don't at least try to look good, what's the point?

When I let myself go, it isn't pretty. The first thing to fall apart is my hair. When I gave birth to my first child, I started out thinking I could be a mom and look good.

Here I am six months later. You're so right, the only one looking good here is little hairless one. I keep these pictures around to stay grounded, because it's all too easy for me to drift from the physical to the immaterial.

And I can hear the hair alarm now. It sounds strangely like Aunt Elizabeth.