Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Today I caught some of my hair in the top of the car door. They lay in a long collection of strands draping from the top of the window. Already separated from my head, they seemed -- useful. I gathered them up, twined them around my finger to make a neat loop, tucked them in my purse. What I'll do with them, I don't know.

In 1993, I had short hair. Somewhere in the following years, I decided to let it grow out. Once in a while, someone asks me how long I plan to let it get. I usually answer "The full Princess Leia" or "Well, I'll see how it goes."

Do you think long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, they had good hair care products? Or did Leia oil her hair like the dynastic Egyptians? Perhaps (since they really must not have been human) they had hair that was livelier and simpler to care for.

There are various landmarks in length of hair. Short seems to mean less than chin length, medium, down to collar, long, shoulder length or below. Then there's waist length and long enough to sit on. The full Princess Leia is ankle length. Long enough to step on could be a problem. Perhaps even those with heroicly well-behaved hair and daily assistance in dressing it draw the line at hair they could step on.

One useful landmark -- not immediately visible -- is hair that is long enough to put up easily. When you have enough hair to twist it around itself and loop it through, you can put it up even in the absence of tools. If it's also short enough, that when you have done this the ends don't stick up, you have reached a length of grace. For a while, your hair will make updoes easy.

A later landmark, of less utility, is when your hair gets long enough to get stuck under your arms. I'm wondering if it outgrows that stage now.

So that's all the hair landmarks I know.

I don't really expect to embroider with my hair. It was done on occasion in the medieval period. It is long enough to usefully thread a needle, but it's been a long time since embroidery held my attention. I like to think that if birds pick it up it will make superior nests. There's enough length to weave around and around, and, as hair diameters go, it's thick and should have the strength to hold well.

So I like to shed outdoors when I can. But the freed hairs largely fall indoors, where, when my housekeeping falls behind, they make superior dust bunnies.

That will have to do, I guess. That will have to do.

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