Here’s the thing you need to know if you are going to get bangs. They’re work. A lot of times, especially at my job, my patients ask me “Do you have kids?” and I just smile and say “No.” But in my mind I am like Are you kidding me? I don’t have a cat, I don’t have a dog, I don’t even have a pet rock. I am always like a thousand miles late on scheduling oil changes for my car. I have plants but I do best with cacti and philodedendrons (read: low maintenance). Anyways, I have freaking bangs, ok. That’s what I can be responsible for right now. Bangs. They are more work than you think.”
About a year ago, in the spirit of trust and cooperation, in a zombie-like rosemary mint shampoo induced trance, I told my hairdresser she could do whatever she wanted. I ended up with bangs for the first time since 1991. And you know what? They were cute! They were fun! They totally went with my face and my new chin length hair! WHY HAD I BEEN AVOIDING BANGS SINCE THE SEVENTH GRADE!?!
No sooner had I experienced the thrill of lathering my newly shortened locks and the first post-shower shake of my new hair when I realized all the ramifications of my new coif… You have to blow bangs dry. Because if you don’t, they don’t even know they are bangs. They would act like regular hair if you let them, just going this way and that, trying to blend in with the rest of your hair, so you have to heat style them into submission or else put them back in a clip or a headband. Which is like the sound of a tree falling in the woods with no one to hear it, a complete waste.
Over the past year, I have learned not only how to properly maintain my bangs, but I have also learned what people mean when they talk about tuning out their spouse. I am not placing blame or naming names but I am saying in our household there is one person who is frequently like “Are my bangs out of control? Are they? What are they doing? I don’t have a mirror. Seriously, are they crazy right now?” and another person who is neither answering or making eye contact and more than likely either watching the Daily Show or reading the business section. This person is prone to confirming having actually heard the bangs inquiry despite having fully ignored it, as evidenced by the propensity to ask at any given time, “Are my bangs out of control!?” in a way that is completely sarcastic and somewhat mocking.
You know who suffers the most in all of this? The bangs. And they don’t suffer silently. They may wait quietly for a period of time but inevitably they will exact revenge. Take this weekend for instance; Dan and I went camping. I didn’t bring my blow dryer because I didn’t know what the availability of electrical outlets would be like. As it turned out they were plentiful. Each time I used the ladies room at our campground the sight of the plethora of outlets taunted me and my bangs, which by Sunday morning were all but plastered to the top of my head, having been held down by some combination of a headband, head lamp, bike helmet and/or fleece hat for 48 hours straight.
Monday came and my bangs seemed to mock me, as if to say, “You ignore us, we ignore you!” Despite having washed and blown them out on Sunday night, I awoke Monday, having pressed snooze no fewer than ten times with bangs pointing north, south, east, and west. It didn’t go with my business casual outfit. With just ten minutes to get out of the house and still make it to work on time, I plugged in my slim yet powerful Chi flatiron. It heated up with warp speed while my bangs were forming what would turn out to be an army of resistance. For as soon as I released the steaming hot straightening tool from my hair, instead of the totally under control look my hairdresser so easily achieved in the salon, I had bangs that were poker straight, resting at a 45 degree angle to my head. I tried to get them to lie flat, but they would not retreat. I backpedaled, quickly wetting them and blasting them with my blowdryer to no avail. At a 45 degree angle they remained, their proverbial heels digging steadfast into the mud/my scalp.
I came to the breakfast table with armed with a battle plan and a barrette in my pocket. If my bangs did not relax down by the time I got to work, I would clip them back. As I inhaled my oatmeal, Dan happened to look up from the paper. For what might have been the first time since I have known him, he took a good look at my bangs. He stared for a moment. “Your bangs. They’re really… straight.” I had kept my cool up to then but everyone has a breaking point. “I KNOW!! I KNOW THEY ARE STRAIGHT. THEY ARE STRAIGHT AND THEY ARE IN A DIFFERENT ZIP CODE THAN MY FOREHEAD!!! I HAVE NO TIME FOR THIS!!! I AM GOING TO BE LATE FOR WORK AND MY BANGS ARE OUT OF CONTROL. I have a barrette just in case.” Moved by the gravity of the situation, Dan laughed hysterically and finally for once agreed, “Your bangs are totally out of control.” I wanted to ask him if he was sure but I knew that he was and that would be like asking if your butt was eating your too-tight jeans when you can totally feel them giving you a wedgie as you ask the question, so I said nothing and accepted that my bangs were a disaster that even Dan could recognize.
It was kind worth it just to get Dan to acknowledge my bangs. I think he is starting to get how hard it is to be me.