I’m feeling especially poor, especially tired, especially frustrated by having to wake up and go to a job that I completely despise, and especially lonely in these feelings lately because my support circle is more vastly spread out than it used to be and my life is lonelier in general.
Independence comes at a price. I work two jobs and like most women, I also need to find the time to clean my home, wash my clothes, care for family members, reach out to friends, maintain a love life, keep myself groomed and attractive and fit, prepare and cook meals, and maybe, just maybe, put away a little time for things that are solely mine, like writing, taking baths, reading books and making love. I painted my nails last week and felt like a princess for a whole day until the polish cracked and chipped from stress and work and washing dishes.
“How can I help?” he asks, “How can I make your life easier?” What a simple, impossible question.
I’m honest when I tell him, “I don’t know how to make my life easier.” Life is not something that can be or should be inherently easy, is it? Mine has never been easy. It’s been fun and great and rewarding and even a miracle at times but never, ever easy. Finally, it comes to me. “Can you cut a straight line? My hair looks terrible. It needs a trim.”
“Why don’t you just get a haircut?” I’m not sure. I’m not sure why I don’t just get a haircut.
When I was twelve years old my father took me to Supercuts to get my first haircut. I don’t remember it taking very long but I do remember the hairdresser sighing as she pulled out the blowdryer. My hair is long and thick and heavy. I could see that at 6pm on a Monday night, all she wanted to do was go home. I could see it in her eyes. Spending 30 minutes drying a pre-teen lion’s mane was apparently the last thing she wanted to do. My father stood next to me, arms crossed, looking up at the clock every few minutes. He wanted to go home too.
“My hair is naturally straight, ma’am. You don’t have to dry it.” I went home, dried my hair myself, and never ever again got excited about getting my hair “done”. What a funny foreshadowing to my life’s central theme. You don’t feel like doing it? That’s ok. I can do it myself. But I can’t reach the back of my head myself. What would make my life easier is for someone to comb my hair back and trim it two inches for me. Really. That’s all I need.
“Babe, I’ll buy you a haircut. You deserve it.” I put down the scissors.
“But love, understand that it costs twice as much to get my hair cut and colored as normal people because I have so much hair. It’s not worth it.”
“Is money the only issue? Don’t you want a haircut?” Of course I’d love to sit in a real salon and drink tea and have my head massaged and leave feeling and looking like the hair goddess I am, but in that moment all I could think of was an offer made earnestly, but apparently forgotten: How can I make your life easier? How? You can take these scissors and cut a straight line for me, trimming about two inches off the bottom. “That would make my life easier!” I thought, though I said nothing.
I ask for this, he offers that, and nothing was ever given. It’s been two weeks and I still need someone to trim my hair. I still need someone to make my life easier.