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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Neither Hair Nor There

Happy New Year one and all...

Thanks to my friend, D, I laughed my way into 2008. D got a few of us tix to see the Chris Rock (and Jill Scott) show at MSG. The show was great, the tix were great, we imbibed in our seats, the balloons, etc. dropped at midnight and the subway got us home in ten minutes. I highly recommend doing something like this 351 days from now. 

Speaking of laughing, I just finished "Magical Thinking", a book of short stories written by Augusten Burroughs ("Running With Scissors," "Dry"). Not only did I laugh, I laughed out loud. Really hard. By myself. Usually on the subway or in the waiting room at the hospital. My friend, L, bought me this book to read after my surgery and I just got to it now. It's really true, laughter is the best medicine. (Thanks, L... now that everyone's seen me laughing alone in a corner, the dr's are considering moving me to the psych word for additional treatment). If you like David Sedaris, you'll like A. Burroughs. Get this book. 

Just to keep with the laughing-in-hospital theme... As I've mentioned before, during treatment, one is dressed from the waist down and on top you wear a flimsy seersucker robe (Sidebar: I throw out about three robes a day before finding the one I'll wear. Most of them are missing the ties and people just put those back in the laundry so these useless robes get washed and recycled. Then someone like me comes in and starts sorting out robes. No one in an entire hospital has thought to just buy more ties instead of throwing out tons of robes. THIS pisses me off). OK, OK, back to the funny thing. So, the two techs who most frequently treat me are A and D. A has a real gift of gab. Chats pretty non-stop about music, politics, religion, Brazil, whatever's on his mind. Don is adorable, quieter, loves shopping for clothes for he and his girlfriend. A + D both love to comment on the boots that I wear. So I lie down in on the table and on this day I came in wearing probably a fifth pair they haven't seen. The machines are moving around, being adjusted and there's music playing (supplied by A) in the background. I hear D say to A at the foot of the table, "Yeah she's got nice boots." Al agrees, says something. I, who am not supposed to budge an inch, fly up, 3/4 dressed (remember only one side's exposed) and say, "WHAT DID you say?" Don says, "Oh, we were just saying you have really nice boots." To which I replied, "OOOOH, I thought you said nice BOOOBS...I really didn't think that was allowed..."  Har, har, har... we all got a good laugh from that one especially since the machine broke down that day and people were sitting around frustrated for hours. 

So in between laughing, I've decided that this should be a year of change. This is one of those things that happens either a) from age or b) after having "C" or c) perhaps a little of both. 
I've decided to enroll in a writing course. I've only been talking about doing this for about, hmm, five or more years. I attended an open house at The New School last week and after talking to a seemingly suicidal poet and a chain smoking novelist, I decided I to sign up for Writing for Women's Magazines. 

Last Friday, the day before the 41st anniversary of my being here on earth, I went to get my hair cut. The 2nd time in two weeks (far from typical). I opened a magazine, ripped out a picture and said, "Chop it off." B looked at me like I was crazy... Are you sure? she said... Yep. Get rid of it. 

And so I did. I officially have short hair. Well, long short hair. Within the past three months, I've probably lost about 12 inches. In hair that is. And I can't tell you how good it feels. We all cling to our hair. Some of us hide behind it. Some choose to make a statement with it. Some wear it one way or another b/c a boyfriend likes it that way. Some have no choice but to loose it. I decided that I put too much emphasis on it. Not that I don't style and slop some gel into it now. But I thought by cutting it, there'd be some Samson effect and my Bed Bath Beyond sheets would turn to salt or we'd fall into a recession. 

Oh, shoot. Did I do that?

I kid. 

Really, it was quite cathartic, loosing all this hair. It's as if it had the anti-Samson effect. I feel that much stronger

Many people have asked me, Liz, how do you think you've changed since this summer? 

Well, I can't exactly put my finger on it, but, all of a sudden the little things like hair don't seem to matter. Less seems to be more. More seems to be a lot more. It's all good. Take it all with a grain of salt. Yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda. 

My suggestion to YOU(!) is, do something today that you never normally do. Walk to work a different route. Wear green eye shadow. Eat a pomegranate. Make a concerted effort to make eye contact, smile and say hi to everyone you pass. These little changes will make a huge difference. Even just for a minute or two. I promise, you'll kinda like being hair, not there.