Please Tell Me If...


Last Monday before my evening shower, I was looking at my hair in the mirror. It's a rather dark bathroom; no window. And I don't like overhead light, so I have a lamp on the vanity I turn on instead. 

My short hair, which grows very quickly, was showing signs of needing a cut. Kay was coming to pick me up to go see the doctor the next morning. So I impulsively reached in the drawer for my scissors and started cutting a bit here and there, on top and at the sides. I have to take my glasses off to see how to do this, odd as that may sound.

My hair has gray in it, and I started cutting at the sides in front of my ears. I thought: Boy, it sure got gray over here fast. 

The next day, we go to the doctor, then out to eat. Kay sat across from me and of course saw my hair, and I still had no idea what I'd done. 

Yesterday in an email I mention something about my hair, and Kay emails back that she noticed the bald patches, but thought maybe it was a side affect of medication and decided not to say anything. But added: "Please don't cut your hair again." 

So then I knew it was bad.

Folks, I still could not see what I'd done clearly. I'd look in the mirror and look sideways and just couldn't see if what I was looking at was skin or gray hair that kind of blended into my skin. And I have new glasses, so no one bring that up. I guess I just don't see sideways very well.

I got in the car and drove down the street to Supercuts. Luckily Shelley was there, who has cut my hair before. I tell her my dilemma and say I thought I was cutting gray hair. I ask her to tell me the truth, because I still cannot completely see the damage I've done.

She tried to keep from laughing. "Well," she said: "There's just not a whole lot I can do. You've cut all the way down to the skin. But I'll try to blend it in." Since I get my hair cut very short, I figured that wouldn't be too hard. 

It was. I still look like I have the mange. 

Once home I promptly email Kay and ask her to please never let me walk out of here again and think she was being kind by not mentioning that I look like I have the mange, or something even more embarrassing. To please be totally honest with me. 

I mean I have feelings. But I'm one of those Honest Joes, or Jo Anns, if you will. I tell it straight. I would have told her if she had bald patches on either side of her head.

I realize people think they're being thoughtful. But if you're like me, you want your friends to let you KNOW if you have spinach in your teeth. That you want to KNOW if the end of your dress got caught up in your underwear in back after you went to the ladies room. That you want to KNOW why others will be staring at you but you don't know why. 

I know she was trying to be nice. She's always very nice. I met her when she volunteered, as one of my readers, to come help me move here. So she's a dear friend, and we happened to hit it off right away. We have the same feelings about many things; the same sense of humor. We both love to read the same kinds of books.

Oddly enough, in college she went into social work, but almost went into journalism. I took some social work classes, but ended up getting my degree in journalism. We realized the other day that we share the love of a favorite poem by Emily Dickinson.

But where she is thoughtfully silent about things like this, I border more on tactless. Things often fall out of my mouth before I've found a proper filter to put it through.

If the shoe had been on the other foot, I'd have said: "What on earth did you do to your hair?"



All you wonderful and caring friends out there, you may be sparing our feelings. But you're letting us go out in public where people will be staring at whatever has gone awry. And we'd really (or I would) just rather know than go out there blind to it. 

Kay is a very sweet and caring friend. Kay is taking me to my ankle surgery next month. I couldn't ask for a nicer or more thoughtful person to call friend. 

Now I'm writing this because to me it is amusing. It is one of those stories I will laugh about and tell to other friends occasionally when I recall it in the future. I would have been amused even if I'd been told about the bald patches.

But I'd rather know. Because I don't want others staring at me and not know why.

Do you have a similar story to share?




70 comments

  1. Brenda, this has me smiling and laughing because I've done some dumb things and like you I would rather know!! I now know better then to EVER put scissors to my hair. So glad you have a friend to take you to your ankle surgery and also hopefully next time she will tell you that you have bald spots! Thank goodness hair grows back!
    hugs,
    Linda

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    1. I often on impulse just reach for those scissors. Yes, I must take them out of the bathroom drawer. I would have to give it all a bit more thought if I had to go in the kitchen to get them.

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  2. Happy Friday Brenda. Those bald spots will grow out pretty quickly. I never threw that much caution to the wind when it comes to my hair. One thing I spend money on is my hair. Once a month color to touch up my gray roots and a good blow out. There have been a few times I wish someone would have told me my zipper was down. One of my closest friends came to work one day with two different shoes on and I had noticed she had her shirt on inside out. Poor dear. I did tell her. And we had a good laugh about it. Keep your scissors out of the bathroom. Have a wonderful weekend~!

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    1. My middle name should have been "impulsive." I don't color my hair. I just don't care that much. And oddly enough, I will be 58 in February and just have gray blended into the brown instead of all gray. I'm lucky I didn't cut an ear off.

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  3. One of my favorites is when I went around all day with only one dangle-y earring. Then I asked my mom why she hadn't said anything, and she said "I thought maybe that was a new style, and you wanted it that way". ah yeah...
    I've learned never to cut my hair, My hair is super fine, so if I'm not careful I have "bald spots" showing.
    Have a great weekend, Brenda!

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    1. I've been told by several hair dressers to NOT cut my own hair, but do I listen? No. My hair is that cork screwy coarse stuff. So every gray hair that comes in looks like a curly fry.

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  4. When my boys were little I tried to cut their hair to save money. It just didn't work. There's skill involved in hair cutting and it's worth the $10 or $20 at SuperCuts. :)

    I'm like your friend and would never have told you, by the way. Only want to say nice things to my girlfriends.

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    1. Well, I gave the dogs a little mini cut the other day. Their hair grows fast too. The next day I noticed that poor Abi had a mullet. It's right above her eyes, so I'm kind of scared to take the scissors to it. I might get brave enough to get the electric razor out I ordered. I know I can't let her walk around like that. She's very vain and loves to have her picture taken.

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  5. Well....it grows fast as you said! I try not to trim my own hair but it sure is tempting to do it sometimes. I think we all have hair stories...none told as well as yours though! Hugs, Diane

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    1. I t-r-y not to. Sometimes I just don't try hard enough.
      Brenda

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  6. Okay, I just looked up mullet. And that isn't it. What is it called when your hair in one spot is long and sticks up in front while the rest of it is short?

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    1. No, it's just above her eyes and before her ears. I somehow got the top of her head flat, and then this sticks up.

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    2. Does she have a mohawk?
      Sorry about the haircut, but I'm glad that you can laugh about it now.
      Glad you have a good friend to help, and I hope the ankle surgery goes well.

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  8. My daughter and friends have orders to alert me to outdated fashion, decor, bad breath, food in teeth, hair being weird in back, chin hairs, drooling, etc. !!!!

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    1. Well, that's good. A whole brigade to keep you looking your best!

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  9. When I was younger, I wouldn't have said anything but now that I'm older...well, it's funny how getting older loosens your lips! haha! So, yes, I would have said something. My moment was when I almost walked out of a public bathroom with one of those paper liners somehow still clinging to my backside. I guess it got caught in my waistband or something. One of the women saw it and grabbed me before I got out the door. That could have been embarrassing! lol!

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    1. Yes, that would have been a bit embarrassing. I can just hear a small child asking mommy why that woman has a tail.

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  10. LOL I can't think of one like that right off the bat but I know my SONS would not be kind and thoughtful...I could just hear THEM saying what on earth did you do, blah blah blah. Guys are not very tactful...they'd never let you run around with mange :)

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    1. There's simply nothing to be done until the patches grow back in. Guess I can hide out till it grows a bit. Hope it's grown out by November 5th. I'm having ankle surgery that day, and I don't want nurses to whisper about me because I have patchy hair.

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  11. 'this is the second time my comment disappeared?

    Oh gosh Brenda, sure hope you hair grows fast. Here's my story: I graduated collect with a Microbiology degree and worked in the Microbiology lab in a hospital. We needed to wear lab coats. I had just pulled a lab coat our of the driver, put it on, and headed out the door to work. The lab was right off the ER room, and I usually walked in the ER doors. I walked in through the ER and people were looking and laughing, I thought I was being paranoid? I continued top walk through the hospital corridors and into the lab, when finally someone said, "what's that thing hanging from your lab coat"? I turned around and saw a BRA had attached to the hem of my lab coat! Gosh I was mortified! Now I never leave the house without "checking behind" before I leave the house!

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    1. Oh Cathy, that's a good one! Bet you avoided people for awhile.

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  12. I have another story about a tampon pad, anyone want to know?

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  13. In a rush one morning, my husband and I got dressed and went shopping for several hours. When we got home I noticed my shirt was buttoned up wrong. I asked the husband why didn't he say anything..... he says "I never noticed" :/

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    1. Typical male response. I have a story about not noticing. My ex husband was acting huffy and finally he said: "Do you not notice something different about me?" I said no. He said: "I shaved my beard off weeks ago and you never noticed." He's right, I didn't. Perhaps one reason we're divorced. I should never have married at all. I'm not good "wife material."

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  14. I can't count the times I've gone somewhere with two different earrings or shoes. My husband never says anything (he thought the earrings were a new style) if he notices. I can count on my daughter to tell me, though! One day we'd been out to eat and were stopping by the grocery store so I asked her if I had anything green in my teeth. She said, "you have red and green in your teeth". Thinking she was being a smarty pants, I ignored her. Of course we ran into someone we knew in the store and had a nice visit. When we got home, my husband said, "you might want to go check your teeth, you're wearing part of your meal"! All my daughter could do was laugh and tell me she told me so! Another little story that made me promise to always tell my friends if something seemed out of the ordinary. I was working the front desk of a very busy recreation center. My co-worker was a sweet, handsome, 18 yr. old young man. He clocked in for his shift and I thought to myself, 'he must be trying to grow a beard' as he had a bit of a 5:00 shadow. Well several hours later, another co-worker came in and asked him what he had all over his face. Turns out he had brand new navy blue towels and they left fuzz all over his face, after his shower! He asked my why I hadn't said anything so I told him I thought it was a new beard. I hadn't had my glasses on and I thought it would be too weird if I got up close to check his face out! Thank goodness he forgave me and we're still good friends!

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    1. A blue beard? Well, I can't say anything. I thought my skin was gray hair.

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  15. you and are are cut from the same cloth. I want to know too....whatever it is. Hope you have a great weekend!

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  16. I couldn't help but notice there's a bald ad in your sidebar. Coincidence? lol

    BTW, I think you have a piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe :).

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    1. I know. For some reason that happens at night. I took the empty one off. Thanks for letting me know though! I WANT to know!

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  17. I had an embarrassing incident with TP a couple of years ago. I was at one of our local large hospital's doctor's building and decided to stop by the restroom before going into the doctors office to wait forever. I had put a couple of layers of TP on the toilet seat, using several separate lengths of TP. Before I left that restroom, I stood at the sink in front of a miror and washed my hands thoroughly, adjusted my collar, and checked my hair in the mirror. Problem was, it was not a full length mirror. I toddled on down the 1/8 mile of crowded hall way, went into the doctor's crowded waiting room. I stood there at the desk waiting for the person ahead of me to sign in, so that I could sign in. I finally signed in, went through the insurance card procedure and copay. My back was to the crowded room the entire time. Finally, I was finished standing there and went to sit down. I had just sat down in one of the few chairs left vacant, when a very kind, sweet, lady came over to me and bent down to whisper to me. I had TP at the back of my slacks. I stood up and sure enough there was an approx. 2 foot long tail of TP that had gotten somehow caught up in the waist band of my slacks. I had my own little parade down the crowded corridor, and then stood all of that time with my back to the crowd in the waiting room, with a TP tail. I thanked the lady, but I was so embarrassed, I could feel the heat in my blushing face. I can feel it again as I write this.

    Sometimes I get a notion to trim my bangs. Finally, at age 60, I can almost always rely on myself to listen, when I tell myself to put those scissors down, step away from the scissors, and don't dare pick them up and start snipping. Comb the bangs over to the side a little and get in the car and go to Great Clips. Just step away from the scissors. Then I remind myself of the Mamie Eisenhower bangs I accidently gave myself once. That always works to make me step away from the scissors.

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    1. Oh my! Yes, that would have been embarrassing. But luckily, as time goes by, the embarrassment will dim.

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  18. Oh this is a funny post. I have a habit of whacking off some hair once in a while, especially my bangs, then wind up with half an inch left Its better if I can just suppress the urge to pick up those scissors! I do cut my husband's hair for him now as he isn't up to going out anymore, and I don't do such a bad job on that. And thanks for the reminder, I need to trim the dog!

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    1. Maybe I should hide all the scissors. I forget where I put things. Maybe I'd forget. But then you need scissors sometimes for other things. I'll just have to stop myself before I take them to my hair.

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  19. Oh Brenda..you are so funny sometimes..I can't think of anything at the moment but I'm loving this post!!

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    1. Well, there are "senior moments." And there are just plain old embarrassing moments!

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  20. I have come home so many times and found food in my teeth, hair sticking up, smudged mascara - always after lunch with this friend or that. And never EVER has anyone ever told me. They're very kind, but Brenda I'm like you and would rather they whisper the news to me gently so I can fix it!

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    1. Maybe you should just tell them about this post and tell them you'd really rather know.

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  21. Oh, yes, I had something SO embarrassing happen to me that fortunately, someone told me. I was mortified, but thankful that she said something. One day, I'll write about it on my blog, but 3 years later, and I'm still cringing when I think about it!

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    1. Share when you're ready. And don't take scissors to your hair if you happen to have that bad habit. You have such pretty hair!

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  22. My scissor happy moment, or bathroom surgery, as my hairdresser Mother called it, happened when I was 11 years old. I was getting a 4-H award. When I was getting ready I thought my bangs were too long. So I took the scissors to them, I also got a big hunk of one eyebrow. So in my 11 year old mind I thought no eyebrows would look better. My Mom came home from work in a hurry to get to the program. I averted my face and didn't say much on the 15 mile drive to town. I kept my face turned from her, and went right into the girls room. Of course all the girls in the room decided they could fix the problem. An older girl, with very black hair and dark, dark eyes had her eyeliner, and drew big black brows on my very pale, freckled face, over my green eyes. We all thought I looked great. I sat in the front with the other kids, and when my name was called I walked up on the stage and turned to face the audience. My Mother gasped very loudly, and turned quite pale. It takes a long time for eyebrows to grow back in, it is just a good thing I was 11 not 15.

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  23. So funny about your hair. I do trim my bangs. I have a system on how to not cut too much. Even if i did you wouldn't be able to tell. My hairdresser once cut them all the way to my skin.
    I could erite a long postcabout these things. But I will just tell you the tp ones. One I had a wad of it in my waste line in back. My doctor told me............then after my aunt's funeral, I went to see my mom in the hospital. My mom had just had her kidney removed at the same time her sister passed. I went to the bathroom and walked down the hall with my adult son. We walked right by a whole family in the waiting room. When my mom saw me I was so embarrassed but I think my son was more embarrassed. Not only was there a tp tail but my whole back of my skirt was tucked into my waist line. Omg my panties were even showing.

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    1. I guess one way of looking at it is: Actresses and actors bare themselves to the world regularly. We're lucky if we even see panties.

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  24. Sorry, but I just about "cried" down both legs while reading this! LoL Such a sweet one, that Kay! I'm like you. It pops into my head and promptly flies out of my mouth. I would have said something and then immediately apologized for being rude. Have a great weekend and thanks for the giggle.

    Grace & Peace,
    Pam

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    1. I guess one could preface it with: "I don't want to be rude, but you look as though you have the mange." Wouldn't have made me feel any better.

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  25. LOL- Oh- I think we need a picture- 'deed we do! lol That is hysterical and one reason I won't cut my own hair. lol Yes- I am the same- please be blunt...it pleases me! xo Diana

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    1. I've always preferred blunt. You know where you stand when people are blunt. I've never been good at all the small talk, which is why I've avoided parties my whole life. I don't want to hear: "Oh, I don't know how to tell you this..." or "I hope I don't make you angry by saying this..." or "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but..." Because if they say it that way, it's automatically going to hurt your feelings, because they've just put that notion into your head. Subliminal messages are strong ones.

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  26. Oh my, Brenda! The closest I've come is once when I ripped out all my eyelashes on one eye with an eyelash curler. Talk about looking strange, it seemed like one eye was upside down...but I couldn't miss that I had done it. And I never use eyelash curlers anymore...

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    1. Which is why I'm now proud to say I never once used eyelash curlers. They looked like demons of hell coming toward your eyes. I just couldn't make myself do it. But then you know when I was pregnant at 17 I blew up a stove which then threw me against the opposite wall. I was without eyelashes or eyebrows probably for the entirety of the pregnancy, as I was about to enter my third trimester.

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  27. Thanks for the laughter ! I just read your post and all the comments and am still laughing. I can recall a few such moments in my life but as another commenter said, I still cringe when I recall them, so I won't write about them now. However, I really do appreciate someone telling me if anything embarrassing is showing, sticking to me , or in my teeth ~ and it almost seems a betrayal to realize I have spent a whole lot of time with someone who did not tell me my hair or anything else about me was in a "weird" state. But then, I am more blunt than my very kind friends and I quickly remember how kind they are and that they put up with the likes of me. You have a very good & kind friend !

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    1. Yes, I do have a kind friend. And yes, I feel the same as you do. But then, as you mentioned, I have to remember that she puts up with the likes of me on a regular basis. And I might blurt something out at any given moment that would curl your eyelashes. (So you wouldn't need eyelash curlers!)

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  28. Thanks for the laughter with my morning coffee! I know I've had a few embarrassing moments...but thankfully with age, I can't seem to recall them! I do trim my bangs from time to time...but I just snip here and there...and so far at least...no disasters! Have a great weekend! ;)

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    1. But I snip here and there until there's little left. I don't know why I can't stop. It's just that one side is longer, so I'll just take a little nip over here. And then I see that it's different from the other side, so one more little snip over there. And before I know it, I look like I have the mange. I don't seem to have the capacity to know when to quit, put the scissors down, and walk away.

      And you're right, with age we probably won't remember. Or we won't remember anything else, but remember the embarrassing moments!

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  29. Loved your story.....the day before I was going to a out of state wedding where I was to see many people that I have not in years you know the kind? ones that want to see if you've gained weight or have any wrinkles on your face yet blah blah blah...well I went to just get a cut on the top a bit like I meant a inch or so cause I have the long island ladies hair that talks with the dead that gets styled and doused with hair spray....well she cut the top about 5 inches. I was crying there was nothing I could do with it.I had to go to the wedding like that. So now I snip just the top a bit MYSELF the rest is long . But its not our hair that people look for its the kindness we put out there... Lisa @ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

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    1. You're quite right. Let's look at the glass as half full!

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  30. I can't say much, because I am always chopping on my hair. Then I just let it do its curly thing. Thanks for the laugh, although it probably didn't seem that funny to you after being out all day. xo Laura

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    1. Yours is so curly, you probably can't tell if you cut too much.

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  31. Oh my ,the good news is that your hair will grow out soon. I'm like you Brenda. I always feel that people want to know. I first got this feeling when I'd see men on public transport with their zippers down. Again I got this feeling when I met a young woman getting on a bus. She was obviously going home from work and her rather thin dress was tucked in the back of her pantyhose. I was mortified on her behalf. I thought if that were me, I would want someone to tell me. Well these days I do not go around telling men their zippers are down unless it is a relative, lol. Too many people with mental disabilities roaming about on the streets these days. However I do tell a woman if there is something she might be embarassed about. I just tell her as quickly as possible ;-)

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    1. I think that's the right thing to do and the best way to do it.

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  32. I once took the train down to Chicago to go to the Art Institute. After looking at the exhibit, I walked back to the train station, stopping to buy a warm chocolate chip cookie. As I was walking down the aisle on the train to find a seat, I noticed every man was looking at me intensely. I thought, "Man, I must really be looking good today." Still glowing from the attention when I got off the train and got into my car, I flipped the mirror down and looked at myself. My mouth from chin to nose was speckled with melted chocolate.

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    1. Kind of like a joke played on us by ourselves, isn't it?

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  33. Once in jr high, we were walking up the stairs from a basement classroom, one on the girls had an dark red overflow on the back of her white skirt. The boy walking behind her, a 14 year old boy, tore off his sweater and wrapped it around her. I was just amazed, usually 14 year old boys are not the sole of kindness or discretion. Most would have been sniggering or just so embarrassed they could not have done anything. Some people are just genuinely nice.

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    1. Oh, how very sweet! His mother must have raised him right.

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  34. In the name fellow sisterhood I always discretely tell someone. I sympathize as I recently cut my bangs and spent a month looking like Mr. Spock! My hairdresser said it was so bad even she could not fix it. New rule never cut own hair. Never fear it will grow back.

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    1. Yes to all. Mine just said she didn't have hair to work with. And I get it cut REALLY short. Can still see those darned patches though.

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  35. Oh Brenda! I'm laughing because I have been a hairdresser for 38 years and I've seen it all! I love it when people get drunk and either do their own hair or think they've become a barber for other drunks! Your hair will grow and remember you can wear a hat! I went to the mall with 2 completely different shoes on and neither Ray or I either one noticed until we got home! Oh well, ya gotta laugh!

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    1. I don't know if I've ever done that. And it's been so long that I could actually wear two shoes! But I constantly think navy is black and black is navy and get outside in the light and see my mistake. Or I'll look down and see a stain on my tee shirt that is just about a foot below my mouth, so it's obvious I was eating and let some slip out.

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  36. The pupster's hair - I would call a Rooster. That's what we used to come the "comb up" in the 80s....

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