To Shave or Not to Shave

Today went a lot better than yesterday. Productive morning. Had a good chat with my brother. Finally managed to do laundry and, as a result, broke 10,000 steps on my Fitbit for the first time since we self-quarantined.

In the middle of the day, my wife told me that she’d read in an article that women will change their hair drastically after a break-up or other stressful event because it gives them a sense of control. It’s something in their power to change. She then said that, with so many things out of our control right now, if I wanted to shave my head, she was cool with it.

Amazing of her to suggest it (especially since I know how she feels about shaved heads) and I’ve been contemplating it all day. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve shaved my head. The first time was my first year in Japan and, while I loved it, the backlash from work was awe-inspiring. I grew it back out and didn’t shave it again for the rest of my time overseas.

The second time was when I was living in Seattle, shortly after moving back to the U.S. In retrospect, I can see that that time it was a control thing. I was fighting reverse-culture shock as well as what probably a serious case of depression. I wanted to feel low-maintenance as well as get away with something I couldn’t in Japan. It only lasted a few months but it was empowering when I did it.

As for now, it seems like this is the perfect time. I won’t be going back to work until June 1st at the earliest and, oh who are we kidding? Theme parks aren’t going to reopen any time soon. But that’s part of why I’m hesitant to shave my head. Yes, it’ll be easier and all but it also means that I’m accepting that this [gestures at everything] won’t end any time soon.

Then again, maybe I need a drastic physical act to drive home that this is going to be the new normal for a while.

We’ll see.

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