Today I had to say goodbye to my hair dresser.
You laugh, but this is incredibly traumatic for any woman. Finding someone you trust with your hair is not an easy feat. When that someone decides to up and move, it can really throw a wrench in your life as a whole. It’s certainly making me question everything.
She and I were chatting today about how women, one in particular she knows, tend to go and do the things they want and need only after they’ve gotten separated or divorced. “Now that I’m free, I can go visit my friends in Ohio. He never wanted to do that with me.” They lose the weight, get the hair cut, care about their clothes, go back to school, take that big trip, watch that chick flick. They go and do all the things they “couldn’t” do when they were married.
How much of this, together we posed the question, is actually just self-imposed? Was the ex-husband abusive, or did you feel like you couldn’t do the things you wanted/needed because you were in a relationship and that meant giving some things up? If you’d asked your husband, “Would you mind if I went back to school?” would he have said, “Yes, I mind?” I tend to think that most of the time, this sudden urge to go and do things for yourself after a break-up was there all along, but you were denying it because somewhere along the lines you got the message that being in a relationship meant that you stopped doing things for yourself.
Then I heard this quote:
“In a relationship with TRUE compromise, you NEVER feel as though you have betrayed yourself.” – Caroline Myss
We have this whole two-become-one thing when it comes to marriage. You know, like marriage means that you automatically give up your autonomy and individuality in order to become one person. One person with one set of interests, one set of standards, one set of expectations. But in all the relationships I’ve watched that really work, both people are completely separate. They have their own lives, goals, dreams. Sometimes they fight for different causes, sometimes they eat different dinners. Being a couple doesn’t hinge on always doing the same thing or agreeing with each other. It hinges on friendship, mutual respect, and above all else, being honest with who you are. Even Burt and Ernie had their own interests, though Ernie’s mostly revolved around baths.
I’m not sure where we decided that if we weren’t living the same dreams, enjoying the same extra-curricular activities, or even sleeping in the same bed that we weren’t a couple. I would never think to abandon a friendship if we disagreed on whether or not to potty-train our kids without underwear or who to vote for for president. Compromise means liking some parts of people, but realistically not all of them, and willingly giving up something that you know is more important to the other. But compromise doesn’t mean betraying your own needs. And if you partner is truly your partner, he or she wouldn’t want you to do that anyway.
Anyway, those were my final hairdresser deep thoughts today. With a final curl of my hair, we hugged goodbye. She gave me a recommendation, but truth be told I can’t even think about finding a new hairdresser right now. I’m too distraught about trying to explain to someone else that I want purple hair without first justifying my intelligence by bringing up all my fancy degrees. I didn’t even have to tell her how much to cut off today. She just knew.
After finding her, I’ll never compromise on my hair. I can promise you that.