Monday, December 27, 2010


I've been wearing a lovely cap all weekend trying to keep my hair from falling all over the place during the day. Emily sent it to me to protect my scalp for when I lost my hair, but I've been using it to keep it all together.  It's been 3 days since the hair started to come out, but today was really bad.  Bob's been wanting me to shave my head so it wouldn't feel so devastating and to take control of it.  Because of the snow, we worked from home today. so I went one more day before I had to make a decision.  I tried to ignore it today, but it was too much even under the hat.  I couldn't imagine going to the office tomorrow picking off literally hundreds of hairs off my face and shoulders all day - I have (or had) a lot of hair! So I gave Bob the go ahead.  He was pretty excited about it, ran upstairs to get the shaver and I thought he was just preparing the razor.  I turned the corner and he was already bald!!! I laughed and cried at the same time - what an incredible thing to do!  He made it easier for me to just do it.  So I closed my eyes, covered my face and relented.  Bob talked me through the whole thing building up my confidence for the big reveal...

Hair is one of those things that makes the woman (or man).  For me, my hair was my nemesis growing up.  Being redheaded, I was ridiculed and teased for a good portion of my childhood.  I had bright red hair and was commonly referred to as carrot top.  Back then, red hair was not something everyone envied - it made me 'different' and I had to adjust my personality to it.  It really gave me the resilience against the teasing to survive and flourish.  I believe it's because of my hair that I am the way I am today.

I think I was about 16 when I was sitting in the chair at the hair salon when someone actually complimented me on the color of my hair.  It was an 'over the top' compliment - you know the kind when they call all the others hairdressers to look and marvel and question if you color it or not.  That's when I started to really appreciate my hair.  It went on like that for years and years.  Really became my signature.

I turned 40 and my color started to change.  My hair was filled with many different shades of red, blonde, light brunette.  When it started to change, the red was the first to go.  It started to turn white - like my Uncle Rudy's - one of the other Italian red head's in the family.  But the white actually looked blonde among the other colors, so most people just saw me as a blonde. 

I was helping at Sarah's play when she was in high school at Arlington a few years ago.  I was fitting kids in the costume room when someone referred to the blonde lady... and I realized it was me!  I was no longer the red head, but the blonde lady. 

Why didn't I color it?  Honestly, I didn't have the time or energy to keep it up. I never wanted to look like a dyed red head and the only way to do it was to spend an inordinate amount of time and money to make it look natural - not my style at all!  So, I finally gave up and I became a blonde full-time.

The irony is - when I was little, I always wished I was a blonde to be like everyone else. Then my wish came true... and now, I have no hair red or blonde!  All this is so bizarre and unreal for me.  But, it's all a part of the process.  Now my defining feature is not the hair on my head, but the LACK of hair on my head!!

Bob wanted to take our picture to mark the day... and he posted it on facebook!  At first I was nervous, but I don't mind revealing my new look that way - it's safer for me.  The comments come flooding in... all so kind and supportive.  My dancer 'girlfriends' made me a fabulous video to remind me to 'Let My Freak Flag Wave' and they are right!  Thanks J, L and A!!!

Most of all, I realize I am who I am - hair or not!!

Bald and Happy!


Jessica said...

You both look awesome! Good for you Mary :-)

Kimberly Sabatini said...

You look beautiful...really truly beautiful. Bob gets a two thumbs up also. (((((hugs))))) Its all about leading the way and setting trends. <3

DOI said...

Mary, both you and Bob have enough spirit, love and courage to brighten the whole world. And I am reminded of something my daughter-in-law said when I was ready to resume showering with my young granddaughters after my mastectomy: "They will learn that even when you change on the outside, you remain the same inside."

Lisa Buglione said...

Gold star for Bob! Hair is just hair... it will grow back and doesn't change who you are. Just keep plowing through Mary!