This evening, I’m getting a hair cut, a seemingly simple, insignificant routine activity. Except, it’s no longer routine for me – I’ve only gotten one slight trim in a year. My crazy hair has taken on a significance I hadn’t imagined it would.
In all of our years together, I’d look at hairstyles, choose one I liked, that I felt looked like it fit me, and I’d have it done. When I’d get home, I’d always ask M if he like what I had done. He always said yes, that I was beautiful, and was honest if he liked one way better than another.
As we began this journey, I began to ask him more and more for his preferences for personal things. What lotions he liked, grooming and clothing preferences, among many others. But, asking, “How would you like me to?,” is much different than, “Do you like this?,” isn’t it?
The former is open-ended, it’s truly asking him to express HIS preference or wishes. The latter is closed, it implies that I’ve already chosen and want his reinforcement of MY choice. The former is pressure free, it’s a true communication, while the second has a feeling of pressure, the feeling that the choice is really not a choice, and lends a greater possibility for hurt feelings.
My hair was the first thing I sat down and asked M about as I began to let go. I asked him how HE wanted to see my hair. A blank slate, no agenda or pressure. My hair, an outward part of my physical identity, an expression of me….I wanted him to have a voice. I wanted not only to please him, but I wanted him to look at me and see that he is a part of me, even of my outward identity.
Not only did his eyes light up at the opportunity, but having that voice has meant more to him than I ever imagined it would. It’s meant more to me, too. He wanted it long, for my crazy curls to flow crazily on my head. It’s grown so much and he loves it….it even morphed into a rule.
Every time he compliments my hair, which is frequently, I feel such an appreciation for the level of intimacy and communication we’ve grown. When he brushes or caresses it, when he wraps his fists around it, my heart is reminded – I feel such a sense of belonging.
And it all began with my crazy ass curls (so she better not fuck it up).