Yep, that's me! I am 56 years old and for most of my life my hair has been long. Sometimes it is a source of pride, a pain in my side, a form of rebellion and always my way of standing out. Today, as I was braiding my hair to get it out of my way, I started thinking about it.
I would be lying if I said that I never wanted to cut it all off. But the thing I love most about having long hair is that if it drives me nuts, all I have to do is pull it back and it is out of my way! Problem solved! No bad hair days with it spiking out all over the place, and the plus is I can do more with long hair.
I haven't always had long hair. Back in the 60's, when I was a child, well groomed and behaved girls had short, bobbed hair. Only "hippies" and "flower children" had long hair. I always wanted long hair, but my parents would bribe me to keep it cut off, telling me I looked better, and since my hair was so curly and thick, it was more comfortable short. When I was 10, I sat my foot down and insisted on growing my hair out. My parents didn't think I would last long, but by the 8th grade, I could sit on my hair. It was thick and it was curly, and straight hair was the rage. So I would wash my hair in the afternoon and then put it on large curlers, that were actually orange juice cans that I recycled. I would wear those curlers for the rest of the day and sleep on them, and if I was lucky, my hair would be dry the next morning and I would have long straight hair! I had a moment of weakness as a freshman, when a boy in one of my classes tied my hair to my desk chair, and I had it cut to my shoulders, in a "shag" hairdo. But I hated it and spent the rest of high school growing it out.
Then I went away to college and got a boyfriend. He loved my long hair. Really loved it. So when he played a terrible April Fool's joke on me, I knew how to get back at him. I cut my hair. I means I really cut it! It was short enough that I could have went on a mission, as a boy. He apparently got over it though, because on July 4th we became engaged, and I began to frantically try to grow my hair back out for the wedding. It was long enough to curl, but that was all, by October. My biggest regret in the hair department.
Over the next 3 years I had 3 kids and my hair went really dark and lost it's curl. I experimented with a perm and several scary hair styles, but I hated them all. Eventually my natural curl came back. I found that naturally curly hair does not like you perming over it and that short naturally curly hair has a mind of it's own, so as I approached 30, I started growing it out again. My mom had a fit! She would ride me about how I was a grown woman and they didn't have long hair, it just wasn't practical (she also had a fit over my second set of pierced earring in my earlobes) When I passed 30 she kept asking when I was going to cut my hair. My hair became my source of rebellion. It was mine. And if I wanted it long, so be it. (She did get her way with the second set of earrings when the prophet came out and said we should only have one set of earrings in our ears. A Prophet's words trump mom any day!)
So for more than 25 years my hair has been long. It has had many styles, but it has always been long. My husband and I have an agreement that if I cut my hair, he will grow his out. And as much as I love the curmudgeon, balding older men should never have long hair. Ever. (brings images of comb overs to mind) My girls usually have had long hair, although each of them have tried short hair from time to time. They have beautiful hair, no matter how they choose to wear it! But I must confess that they don't like braids. I never could figure out why. Then one time, when I was braiding one of my grand daughter's hair, I found out why from my oldest daughter, Tiffany. She said that I braided so tight, that it pulled their eyes into a slanted position! One thing about it, they didn't have to worry about it coming out!
I have thought about cutting it occasionally, but I really don't want to. I am content to have it long, even if I wear it pulled back with a barrette, or in a braid. It is just me. I get it. My Grandma Malone had long hair when I was a kid. She used to wear it in the longest braid that she wrapped around her head like a crown. I loved her hair. There I times now that I am tempted to grow it that long and wrap mine around my head. Maybe someday, in heaven, her and I will get together and have a braiding party.
And lest you think that only the women in our family have long, glorious hair, let me introduce you to one of my brothers, Greg -
Now since I try to share my current projects, I will close with a blanket I finished for my daughter, Tiffany, last week for her birthday.
Done in the Log Cabin design, it is all garter stitch knit. I used approximately 11 skeins worth of yarn scraps I had built up. I am really pleased. Tiffany loves it, says it is really cuddly and soft! I am in the process of doing a baby blanket with cotton yarns and I will show it to you when it is done. Then I think I am done with blankets for awhile, and on to more portable projects.
So, everyone, go out and have a Happy, Happy Day!