A Dancing? Bird

I was asked the other day just how I decide a blog topic for any given post.  “How do you know what to write about?” was the question.  I had to think about that.  Really.  I usually just let fly before thinking where I’m going.  Outline?  Not me.  Beginning, middle, end?  Hardly.  Write first in draft so I can carefully edit?  Never.

I often spend considerable time writing something and posting it, only to dismantle it minutes later, hoping I got to it before anyone happens upon what is certainly a poor and paltry effort.  Or something inappropriate.  Or banal.  Delete, Delete, Delete is more commonly my battle cry than I care to admit.  When one’s wings are made of spoons, the ability to propel oneself into a literary sky is often diminished.  Unfortunately, fighting rigid wings is my usual state of being.

Darn those hard, inflexible, tarnished spoon-wings.

To make matters worse, the metallic taste in my dear little beak only points out the rigidity of the rest of my bolted-together mind.

Why so hard on myself?  Maybe because I know the process of writing anything — a blog post, a page of prose, some dialogue, a journalistic effort, a small poem — comes with the obvious responsibility to actually say something.

Let’s take this morning as an example.  After peering into the mirror for the millionth time this week, hoping against hope that I’ll find just one small and brave fledgling hair on the top of my head, I honestly don’t know what to say. There is no volunteer hair — only the sight of a growing land-mass of scalp surrounded by a receding tide of hair.  I want to say something about that.  I want to write about the beauty of bald women everywhere.  If not that, then I want to enunciate the tragic disappointment of going bald in a hair-filled world.  I’d like to wildly sing about Popeye the Sailor Man who “likes to go swimmin’ with bald-headed women.”  I want to find not only the eloquence, but also the elegance of yet one more human condition to conquer, if not at least to understand.

But my wings are made of spoons.  Rigid, hard, unyielding spoons that simply cannot fly in the face of this particular misfortune.

Bald after brain surgery or chemotherapy when one knows that shaved or chemically altered hair will slowly grow back is so completely different from bald forever for no good reason.  Me, whine?  Yes.  Vociferiously, ad nauseum, standing-in-front-of-the-mirror crying huge crocodile tears, day after day whining.

“It’s part of the grieving process,” my husband points out.  “Process, Schmocess,” I retort.  “You try going bald and see how it feels,” I cry.  “Um, I am bald,” he offers, pointing to a circle of scalp on the back of his head.  “Yeah, well … well … you have a boy hair.  It’s supposed to fall out!” I say before resuming my tearful search for that one little hair that I know is not going to show up for active duty.

So there you have it.  That’s the best I can muster this morning.  It’s one day’s worth of not-so grand Eloquence.  Less-than perfect Elegance.  Hardly soaring Dialogue.  Yet, these are the words of a small bird momentarily overwhelmed by the incomprehensible in the world of all things female.  Maybe it’s simply one more blog post that will go up for one nanosecond before my better angels swoop in to press Delete, Delete, Delete.

But then again, maybe there’s another spoon-winged bird out there who might be struggling with his or her own image in the mirror.  Maybe we’ll find a way to even slightly bend the rigidity of profound disappointment for yet another part of life — the forever de-hairing of our heads.  Maybe we’ll stop obsessing over our falling hair and instead sing the Popeye song — loudly, with our chins held high and our chests bursting with joy.

I like to go swimmin’ with bald-headed women.  I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.  Boop Boop.

Maybe tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “A Dancing? Bird

  1. Hi Auburn-

    like you might have the same autoimmune condition as about 2% of the US population – alopecia areata. Have you had a diagnosis of that?

    My nonprofit helps women in the US meet others who are also challenged by this change to the self-image. Our next event is a dinner at the Bleu Boheme restaurant in San Diego on July 16th.Not exactly in your neighborhood, but perhaps you were planning a trip to SD? Every woman who attends has some form of alopecia areata – so lots of collective experience there as well as fun and. I call it Eat. Talk. Share.

    Please visit our site to join the list for event invitations. We will return to Phoenix again.

    Hang in there – it’s a process to adapt to the changes, but we can live a normal, beautiful and successful life without hair in our hair obsessed world.

    Thea Chassin, founder and president
    Bald Girls Do Lunch Inc

  2. Thank you, Thea. I’m sorry I can’t get to SD on the 16th, but I’ll be first in line to attend your next event in Phoenix. If I may, I’d like to add your organization to my “Because I Care” section. Yes, the diagnosis of alopecia is a toughie and it’s been hard for me to come to grips with. I truly appreciate your lovely note and I look forward to meeting other two-percenters. Any thoughts on locating a wig that doesn’t feel like a head sauna? Phoenix is brutal in the summer and the women here are famous for their shorts, tank tops, flip-flops and pony tails.

    Again, thanks for stopping by with such kind words. I almost don’t need now to obsessively check that mirror again — Almost.

  3. It can get pretty hot here in New York in summer.

    I like looking different every day just like I enjoyed wearing my long hair differently when I had it: pulled back, side part, ponytail, etc.

    So being hair deprived now, I mix it up with scarves tied into fashionable fabric buns and layer wide brimmed summer hats over them. It is pretty and you can feel “pulled together” and most importantly not hot. Add earrings and people just think you look great and don’t even notice there is no hair under there. They say, “wow-how pretty that hat looks on you”.

    I also wear a piece from http://www.healingheadwear.com . It is open mesh on the top so your scalp can breathe under a hat.

    Wigs: I wear iwig.com form New York, which can be ordered online. Their product line is at a better price point than what is on their website, so call them for the current prices. The tops of mine are hand tied (so the hair can go in any direction). I use a light density of hair which keeps the heat down. I find their caps more breathable than most and lighter. If you use them, the owner is a gracious supporter of BGDL, so mention that you heard about them from us.

    But I have to say that when summer comes ( or while vacationing in a warm clmate) I use hair as an evening wear accessory while sporting my bald look or hat/scarf look during the day. That’s the beauty of being open about having alopecia – you have the freedom to change up your look any time you wish.


  4. I have always found hairless heads attractive, for which my husband is quite grateful. Just more places to kiss, as far as I’m concerned.