Friday, March 5, 2010
Long-haried freaky people need not apply
Twice in one week--twice--someone has taken it upon themselves to point out that Atticus, my oldest son, has hair that they deem "too long." Twice.
What. in. the. world?
I live outside of Seattle, easily one of the most liberal, non-conformist, come-as-you-are places in the U.S. This is the area that gave the world Kurt Cobain. Coffee house chic. And as much plaid as the Jacobite Rising.
And yet ... my son's hair is too long?
I admit--it miffed me. I happen to like Atticus' hair. The truth is, it softens his hyper-focused, übersmart persona just that tiniest drip, and makes him seem a bit more like the not-quite-ten year-old boy that he is. His hair is a startled shock of strawberry blond locks that cascade into his eyes when he reads, smooth against my cheek when he hugs me, and stand up angrily first thing in the morning.
Atticus without long hair is somehow just not Atticus. Never has been. The truth is, the boy has only had a truly short haircut once, and that was when he was 2 and decided to butcher himself with a pair of Play-Doh scissors, of all things. (On the flip side of this coin is Logan, who generally sports a buzz, thanks to inheriting more cowlicks in his blond hair than his mother can bear to tame at any one time. )
I really, really thought we had gotten beyond hair as a symbol of anything much more than personal preference. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe by not forcing my son to sport the same bowl cut that every other boy his age seems to be stuck with, I'm somehow breaking a rule. Perhaps people are deeply offended when they see a whole head full of those reddish-blond waves float into a room. Maybe there are special police officers out there, waiting to write a ticket for Possession of Unseemly and Unkempt Hair.
Or maybe some people just need to mind their own business.
You think? ;-)