On the other side of the fence, didn’t you know?
As a woman, this phrase has always rang particularly true when it comes to hair. I have always, always, always wanted long, thick, luscious locks that didn’t require hours of work, air-dried beautifully and never reacted to humidity. Glamorous, yes?
In reality, I have a mop of fine, fine, fine-stranded, half straight, half wavy, 100 percent frizzy hairs that require taming by a flat-iron. Every. Single. Day. At my last haircut, my friend Lara was watching the stylist use the blow dryer on me, and she quipped, “Wow, I forgot your hair could look like that.” Me: Oh, yes. Every. Single. Day. Hello, waves of frizz! Waves of frizz that react poorly to humidity. Very poorly. It’s really spectacular just how poorly. All the flat ironing? Sometimes for naught.
Anyway, my three brothers got the thick-luscious-locks gene. I got the super-fine-limp gene. Foul!
Over the years, I’ve managed to find a style that I enjoy, that wears relatively well and that I can reproduce in fewer than 15 minutes. This means I have had short hair for a long, long time. And, for an equally long, long time, I’ve wistfully looked at other women’s long locks and secretly wished them to be mine.
Forgive me, Lord.
Now, because everything curious that happens in my life happens at a Starbucks, today’s “grass is always greener” story comes to you from there.
While waiting for a drink, the barista says to me, “This is really random, but I LOVE your hair.”
For half a millisecond, I thought she was talking to some unseen person behind me. For the rest of that millisecond, I looked at her super-sleek, thick, shiny, jet-black hair. And then I said, “Excuse me?”
“Your hair,” she said. “I love the style. I wish I could wear my hair like that.”
“But, you have beautiful hair,” I said. “In fact, I would love your hair. Why would you want it cut like mine?”
“Oh, because it’s so cute,” she replied. “And, it would be so much easier to do. I can’t do anything but wear a ponytail. Or sometimes curls.” Noticing that her ponytail came halfway down her back, I said that surely she could wear a shorter style, too, if she really wanted.
“Oh, I would, but I have a round face,” she said. “If my hair is short, and I smile, I end up looking like Jackie Chan.”
Moral of today’s Starbucks story? No woman wants to look like Jackie Chan.
Drink in hand, I thanked her again and walked out the door thinking once more about how everyone imagines the grass to be much greener on the other side. In this case, however, it’s not so much greener as it is cut and styled in a totally different manner. A manner that is just as equally awesome.
And does NOT look like Jackie Chan.