To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery.
The revery alone will do, If bees are few.
--Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reflections on purple hair

I changed the color of my hair again. No more purple or brassy blond shines from the top of my skull. I'm back to brown with a few well-placed highlights. I'm back to socially acceptable suburban mom hair. I have to admit, I loved my purple locks. It was fun to have hair that could be associated with grape Kool-Aid.
People here in Houston hardly batted an eye at my new hue. Sure, there were a few people who stared. I'd be in the grocery store or cross a parking lot and get an odd look. I would also forget that I had purple hair and think in my internal outraged voice, "What are they staring at!" And then the internal forehead slap, "Right, I have purple hair."
All in all, the odd looks were few. Most people embraced my hair. Strangers would strike up conversations with me who perhaps wouldn't have otherwise. Maybe when you're wearing hair that looks like it should be waving from the back end of a pink plastic pony, it conveys to the idea that you're open to conversation.
In particular, this happened with 20-somethings who would be checking me out at a restaurant or store and at the end of the transaction would suddenly gush, "I just love the color purple!" O-kay. What followed would be a ten minute conversation on everything from their life goals to recommendations on my next hair color. Cobalt or turquoise blue were the most common opinions.
In short, my purple hair didn't just become an outward expression of my angst on suddenly turning 40. It became an opportunity for people to get to know me better and for me to know them. 

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