In his 1917 poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", T.S. Eliot writes, "I have measured out my life in coffee spoons." Don't get Very Mary wrong, she loves a good iced hazelnut cappuccino, but measuring her life in coffee? She doesn't think so.
Mr. Eliot, as a woman, Very Mary makes a blanket claim for most of her sex. Hair, Mr. Eliot, hair. We measure out our lives in hair. Good hair. Bad hair. Growing-out-stage hair. Hair.
Case in point.
January 2005: Very Mary was going with a trendy short do. Her naturally curly hair had a very difficult time agreeing with this particular style, and Very Mary spent nearly an hour every morning blowdrying it straight. Short hair is easier? Bah.
Then Very Mary decided to let her curls hang loose. Free and wild. Time to grow out those tresses, girlfriend. Oh how Very Mary hated that bobby pin/weird bangs/poofy afro-ish stage.
This particular stage seemed to linger forever. See, Mr. Eliot, Very Mary's hair tends to grow out, not down. That would be horizontal, not vertical.
Finally, oh finally, gravity took hold and Very Mary's hair began to lengthen rather than poofen. Her curly tendrils reappeared and her co-workers oohed and aahed over Very Mary's lush mane. Oh vanity, thy name is hair.
April 17, 2008: And now, yes now, Mr. Eliot, the hair has grown far down Very Mary's back. But instead of whipping her tresses about in the way that only long-haired women can do, Very Mary feels fussy. Her hair is long, that's true. But it's also thick. When she forgets to add product to it, her hair revolts into a giant mass of frizz. As it continues to grow, she continually battles the unwieldy baby hairs that sprout from her hairline, thus making any sleek hairdo impossible. She constantly
yanks the sh*t out of pulls her hair into braids and buns and twists and large floppy messes onto the back of her head. She sometimes thinks that an hour of blowdrying per morning might actually be a good idea. Until she remembers the bobby pin stage.
Mr. Eliot, Very Mary actually has dreams, yes dreams (as in plural) in which she can switch her hair from short to long and back again, much like changing out a necklace or bracelet. Women, Mr. Eliot? We measure out our lives in hair. Keep your coffee spoons to yourself, sir.