Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Third Amendment

It's only been four years since I started working on a bucket list, it's true, and I've got my whole life to complete the next 90 items, but I think it's time to reconsider at least one item and replace it with another, more interesting, or just personally rewarding item.

When I was a kid, my dad invented this natural gas lever you can attach to your gas meter at your house so that if there's an earthquake (or some other emergency) you can easily and quickly turn off the gas supply without having to wait for a professional to come over. He got it patented in the States, and I was naturally quite impressed. Still am. But I'm no engineer, like he is. I don't have a scientific mind, and I'm not a tinkerer. This is one girl who won't be reinventing the light bulb anytime soon. And I'm perfectly fine with that. I won't have pangs of regret on my deathbed if I haven't invented something new.

So I'm going to replace item #4, "patent an invention," with something else that I've thought about doing since I was in high school, but never really thought of as a real possibility until now: shaving my head.

It might seem silly, and maybe it is, because it doesn't take much effort or time to do, but it is something significant in our society where looks (and hair) signifies so much. Why can't a person (especially a woman) shave her head bald without it MEANING something? I'd like to know what it feels like to not have to worry at all about doing anything with my hair in the mornings. I'd also be curious to see what kind of reception I get from men, women, children, dogs... not to mention my family and friends...

Definitely going to freak my mom out. Ha!

I thought I'd have to shave my head when I cut off my dreadlocks back in 2005, but the roots were loose enough I just had short hair I got trimmed into a pixie cut. It was both a relief and a bit of a disappointment I wasn't forced into it. But I LOVED having short hair. True, you can't change up your look, but then, there's a trade-off for everything. If I don't have any hair I don't have to shampoo, condition, or use product.

I imagine it will be freeing. And yes, shocking, considering my head will be bleached compared to my face. A long time ago I watched a documentary about a group of people who went adventuring around the world on a tall ship (I think it was a school program) and the tradition was that whoever was crossing the equator for the first time would shave his/her head. I thought that was painfully cool. I resolved to do it one day. Thing is, I have no idea when or if I'll cross the equator in a tall ship, and even if I do, I may just not want to lose all my hair at that particular time in my life. At this point in my life, however, I'm excited about the idea. Nervous yes, but excited. And I think it's worthy of being on a bucket list.

Leaving a half inch of hair was also initially what I'd also imagined I would do, but then, if you're going to shave your head once in your life, don't you want to know what you look like with NO hair? If I shave it to the scalp I'll discover what my head shape is, what my scalp feels like, and be able to truly start all over again with a new head of hair. Who knows, maybe it'll grow in straight! Yeah, right. And besides, it'll take about 20 minutes until my slick noggin has stubble again.

Might do it this summer. Probably. No promises though.

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