Let’s check in on my DISHEVELMENT, shall we?
For those of you just joining us, my last haircut was six months ago. I was due for one halfway through February, but because none of my friends had stepped up to claim the role of Adam in As You Like It I was forced to take on the octogenarian myself, and I thought the longer, more unkempt hair would be appropriate. After all, the morning after AYLI closed and we left for Basel to cruise down the Rhine, surely I could get a haircut there, right?
Hahahahahahahahaha and also tee-hee.
Sure, Georgia Gov. Brian “The What Now?” Kemp opened up hair salons and tattoo parlors (and bowling alleys) sometime in the last 90 days, but do I look stupid? No, I look disheveled, and the basic reason is that I don’t intend to go into a hair salon until I feel safe in doing so.
To my hair stylist, Sammie D., my apologies. I’m sure you’re doing the best you can, but you shouldn’t be responsible for keeping the virus out of my lungs. And as I’ve said before, I have always voted for the candidate most likely to institute universal healthcare and a social safety net that would have taken care of independent business owners and workers in crises like this one. Why should I feel guilty when it’s the rest of you who didn’t?
Anyway, all of this is to say that here is where I am:
It’s long enough to fall free into my face but not long enough to pull back into a ponytail, so I am now sporting a hairband when I can’t stand the annoyance any longer.
But Dale, I hear some of you cry, surely your wearing a hairband is a violation of societal expectations of gender roles too far? It’s a… girl thing!
It is a utilitarian object, pure and simple. Society’s decision that it is necessarily or essentially feminine is without any kind of logical basis. My hair is long and keeps getting in my eyes. What does a woman with the same problem do? She wears a hairband. But I, because I am a man, am expected to forego that solution? I think not.
But Dale, you continue to whine, wouldn’t a manly headband do? Actually, no: I have a headband I wear while doing yardwork to keep the manly sweat from rolling into my manly eyes, but it does nothing to contain my luscious flowing locks. I’m good with my plastic hairband.
It all reminds me of the mid–late 60s when longer hair started coming (back) into fashion. My parents and their peers mocked the Beatles for their long hair — which was not that long, was it? — and many were the jokes about not being able to tell the boys from the girls. I remember thinking then that their concerns were without any kind of real foundation. Times change; fashion changes. And on the whole the changes — since the 60s at any rate —have been for greater personal freedom and greater personal choice.
To say otherwise is to grant a single society’s prejudices a reality they do not actually possess and to grant that society unholy power over your comfort and style.
And do I look like the kind of guy who’s apt to grant society that kind of power?
 I’m not getting any of the tattoos I’d like to get, either. The fact that my Lovely First Wife has forbidden them is not relevant to this discussion.
 Whenever I pointed out how long General George Custer’s or Thomas Jefferson’s hair was, and my parents said, “Well the fashion was different then,” my incredulous response was, “Well, the fashion is different now; what is so hard about this?”