My college piano instructor wore her hair the same way her whole life, which is to say all four years I knew her. In defense of my center of the universe timeline, old yearbooks and framed photos in her office backed my theory. It was a simple shoulder-length bob, curled under a little at the ends, no layers, no bangs. She pulled it back most days into a short ponytail verging on severe, saved by pretty round earrings and her warm smile. To recitals and graduations she wore it down, a shiny blend of grey and brown the color of wool and the texture of, well I never touched it, but SOFT. Otters maybe.
I’ve always wanted a haircut I like so much I’ll never change it. The style that so defines ME nothing else will tempt or catch my eye. I’ve found it with the men in my life – the dogs, the dad, the horse, and the partner I want to keep forever – why can’t I embrace a lifelong favorite in other areas of my life? For the record I’m not trading my mom in for anyone, and yes, my brother qualifies as another man I’m keeping. I should be all set.
Yet I relate to the fickle side of humanity. Paper towels are on sale? I’ll buy them as long as they are perforated for half-sizes. Jeans, running shoes, dish soap? I feel like I’ve tried them all, always on the prowl for something better. I keep searching for the brand I will stick with my whole life. I don’t have a signature perfume or nail polish – my toes will never ever be Airstream Silver again. Probably. “New Favorite” was an Alison Krauss song years ago that always made me a little sad, an accusation, a song of betrayal and resignation. It’s been ringing around in my head lately for no good reason. Maybe I’m feeling disloyal. Maybe I’m searching. Maybe the way you find your life-long favorites is by sampling, tasting, trying on, buying what’s on sale. Maybe I’m not fickle at all, just open. Not so easily defined.
I’ll say this: I have finally decided since no haircut ever deeply suits me I will just stop cutting it until I am a long-haired middle-aged hippie weirdo people whisper about with birds flying in an out of my tangles and curls. I have ordered a new brand of running shoes – they should be delivered Monday – I think they just might be The Ones. And this donkey painting? He is definitely my new favorite.