Aug 15, 2006

Larry's Hair

It’s true, Larry's hair got mentioned at my wedding shower. It's also true, that after my first date with Larry, I told a friend that I didn’t particularly like his hair. It wasn't his hair istelf. His hair is nice and thick and curly. But it was the style in which he wore it: long, all one length, slicked all the way back against the back of his head. Maybe he was thinking “bohemian rock star.” but to me it said “Miami Vice thug.” In any event, my first impression of Larry (aside from the fact he didn't ask me a single question about myself) was: he had 'bad trucker hair.'

So, this friend repeated my first impression of Larry's hair at my wedding shower. And I was duly mortified: Larry’s two best women friends, Anna and Donna were sitting right there. But lo and behold, Anna and Donna admitted they have hated Larry's hair for years. “I told Larry he would never get a woman with a hair cut like that,” Anna said.

But Larry got me, and I came to love him, and even his hair. At least, when he left out the pomade and let the curls run loose. On a few occasions, Larry admitted his hair style wasn’t working, but he was also sensitive about the issue.

“You don’t have to go Microsoft on me,” I suggested. “Just layer it. Like Mick Jagger or Bon Jovi.”

“My sister told me to grow it really long so I can put it in a pony tail,” Larry mused. I never understood the logic of that: growing your hair long so you can pull it back tight with a rubber band, so that it looks short, but with a horse tail?

Anyway, when Larry’s hair came up at the shower, I told Anna: “Okay, say something to him. He listened to you about driving to Woodland Hills for a barbecue, maybe he’ll to you about a hair cut.”

Next thing I know, I open Larry’s blog to find had written about his hair. Or rather, he wrote his version of our conversation about his hair. Anna had been named “The Hatchet,” like I’d handed her the hatchet to do the dirty work. Which I guess I had. But still! He also quoted Anna as saying, “all women want to change the men in their lives. There's no such thing as loving you as you are." He also used the word nag in a sentence. “Men stop listening. The (women’s )nagging just wanes in time.”

This did not work for me. I'd dispatched a Hatchet Man? I didn’t love him as he was? I was a Nag? Aand all this he writes in a blog read by millions, without telling me?

It was SO time for another conversation. Filled with "I Feel" statements, conflict resolution. All delivered in a calm and quiet Michael Corleone voice.


If it's sunny outside you wouldn't know, what with the venetian blinds drawn so close only fractures of light eavesdrop into through the smoky air. Which is also puzzling since no one in the room is smoking.

Larry sits in a blood-red leather chair, facing a big desk. Don Susan relaxes back behind the desk, while Anna "The Hatchet” stands guard.

SUSAN: Mister Wilson, do you know why you’re here?
LARRY: I wrote in my blog about my hair?
SUSAN: About what you think your future wife thinks about your hair.
LARRY: That too.
SUSAN: Do you not see how it would have benefited you to consult first with your future wife, before speaking to the rest of the universe via your blog?
LARRY: Uh yeah, I guess, but --
SUSAN: I was not finished speaking.
LARRY: Sorry.
SUSAN: Do not apologize until you know the full extent of your infractions

An awkward silence.

SUSAN: You may speak now.
LARRY: I was just trying to make light of the whole thing.
SUSAN: is it not true, Larry, that you have said your hair was a sensitive subject?
LARRY: Yes, but ... Yes.
SUSAN: So blogging to millions of people, and using the word "nag" in reference to female communication was not the wisest use of the English Language. Particularly in reference to a woman you hope to know biblically in the near future. If in fact you are permitted such bibical knowledge after referring to said female as a nag.
LARRY: Hoestly, I wasn't saying she was a nag. I was just trying to be funny and put the whole thing behind me.
ANNA "THE HATCHET": Just admit it, son. If you admit it, we won’t kill you.
LARRY: Okay, I admit -- what am I admiting to? Never mind: whatever it is, I admit it.
SUSAN: Tell me Larry. If a man speaks in the forest, and his wife is not there to hear him, is he still wrong?
LARRY: I'm going to go with "yes."
SUSAN: You have answered wisely.

Okay it wasn’t like that. But Larry must have felt like it when I talked to him.

Anger is a tricky issue. You gotta be able to work through it in a healthy manner. Larry said in his family they never got angry. In mine, my dad spewed anger on a daily basis. He hit every topic from the Russians and the Democrats and Medicare, with a few “You’ll never amount to anything”s throw in for destructive measure. I hated his anger. And hated my own anger for hating his.

I think about how hypocritical this all is. Women are so darned sensitive about our body image. If I’m not a Size 2 I think I’m fat. But don’t let a man question if I’ve gained weight or I’ll call him a jerk.

Larry’s never commented on my weight. Imagine if I had found out my size had been a topic of conversation between Larry and his friends. “Just get her to drop five pounds, that’s all.” What if Larry had asked his friend Doug to encourage me to go on a juice fast.

I’d have written a lot worse than a few jokes about a Hatchet Man and a nag. It cuts both ways.

Larry and I had a very good conversation about the whole thing. He was calm and patient, and so was I.
Larry admitted that when anger enters a conversation, it seems to overwhelm everything.
LARRY: But when you said you aren't going anywhere, then I can trust this.
SUSAN: And the more we are able to have these conversations, the less overwhelming they'll feel.
LARRY:It will always feel a little scary, but yeah, maybe less and less.
SUSAN: It's an AFGO: Another F'ing Growth Opportunity.

The next day I went back and read his hair blog. You know, it actually was funny.

Four days later he showed up at my doorstep.
Larry had cut his hair.

It was still longish, but he had layers in it. He looked hot. He was also working on some serious mutton chop sideburns. Some people might think those a bit Miami Vice thug.

To me, he looked like a rock star.


Matt White said...

you're lucky, suz. he could be BALD!!

Doug Perkins said...

Actually, Susan, Larry didn't ask me to get you to go on a juice fast, it was a "candles tied up in colored nets with bows fast" - I guess I just forgot to tell you...I guess it's too late now, huh? I'll make it up to you, I saw some really good coten cnady and celery cream rinse I picked up for him. Enjoy your Honeymoon!

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