Monday, June 18, 2007


Jeanine made me promise not to write about the horrible haircuts she gave the boys.

I won't.

Nor will I write about Zachary screeching on the top of his lungs as she tried to even out the mess she made.


Or how, with the sheers out, she asked Ben if he wanted a trim and he went running in the other direction.


I'll just mention that yesterday, Walter came to the rescue. Even Ben let him cut his hair.

I love the simplicity of a boy's hair cut. No blow dryers, no combs and precise scissors. Just a set of sheers and a sheet wrapped around them.

And, of course, a good eye. But I'm not writing about that.

Zachary finished first, and in true Zachary fashion, was supportive of his brothers.

In the end, all three boys have great cuts for the summer. I have to be honest. I eyed those sheers and thought very seriously about shaving mine down to a four. maybe a three. I grabbed a tie and pulled my hair back as tight and as high as I could. I'll never grow it out again, I reminded myself.

The kids have been very clear about how much they like my hair long. I know why. No one calls me "Sir." As a parent trying to move through the suburban world, I have made some compromises about how I look. My butch fantasy of a crew cut, muscle tee, jeep wrangler, black Labrador leaning out the window doesn't fit their image of what "Mom" should look like.

Maybe it's a cop out- a desire to fit in and not have to, once again, explain myself. Part of what I love about the kids elementary school is not having to explain, again, who I am, who Jeanine is, who Walter and Allan are. Everyone knows.

Maybe, deep down, I got sick of being called "Sir," too. Once, when I was nine months pregnant with Ben, Jeanine and I went to the Home Depot. At the checkout, the young clerk handed me back my credit card and said, Here you go, Sir...

I went ballistic. Nine months pregnant and he called me Sir?

Jeanine grabbed my arm. No, honey, he said your name. He said, Here you go, Sara.

How do I balance being true to myself, teaching the boys it's okay to be different, and being respectful that I've already put them out on the edge. Two Moms, two Dads, no divorce. Haven't I made their lives hard enough?

I remember a friend growling "No mullets... no more goddamn lesbians with mullets in the newspapers..." She felt it was important, in any mainstream media campaign, to blend in and not call attention to ourselves. She's no lipstick lesbian but certainly not afraid to pull on a skirt every once in a while. Finding middle ground isn't painful for her.

It is for me. I'd rather have my teeth pulled than wear a dress. Unless it's for a drag routine. Then I'll pull on heels, too.

Like it or not, every time I walk into the school, or the dry cleaner, or the grocery store, I am a role model. I am the lesbian with three boys. I'll never blend in- I'm 5'10" tall and not exactly a shrinking violet. But I don't have a mullet, crew cut or muscle tee. My dog is a golden retriever mix and is more likely to curl up on the floor rather than hang her head out the window. I drive a station wagon.

Oh my god, hand me the sheers!

Seriously, I don't know what I'll do about my hair. The weather is getting warmer. Days at the ocean are meant for swimming and playing- not combing and pulling hair back into a neat knot. I'm not sure how much of my longing for a butch haircut is about being stuck in a suburban life that at times, is less than exciting. My desire to shake things up has been well documented over time.

In the meantime, I'll enjoy watching my boys get their haircuts.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK -- hair angst is not a GLBT issue. Those of us who hate what pitiful hair we're endowed with wish you well, and many choices. Graying, thinning, curly -- let's agree that it's not what defines our beauty. xxxx Annette

9:00 PM  
Blogger Michael Rogers said...

Hair angst is not a gay issue? I thought it was the gay issue in some circles.

I remember a back yard haircut experience with my dad when my brother went first. I ran away...far away. Even then, at that young age, I knew....don't let a straight man anywhere near the hair.

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