Well, actually, I returned a wig and bought a new one, both mail order. The original one didn't look all that great when I got it: I didn't like the color, and it was too long. It made me look like that snobby girl in Sixteen Candles (you know, the snob who was dating Jake Ryan and ended up with Farmer Ted), and all I could think was that Jami Gertz was going to come and snip half of the back of it off. Ultimately, my Pooh Bear ended up wearing it until I finally got around to sending it back. It looked about as good on him as it did on me.
For a while I figured I'd just be brave and go without hair for a couple of months. The scarves were working pretty well, and since the weather is turning cold anyway, it would be easy enough just to wear hats I already have, when appropriate.
A few things changed my mind.
First off, as flaky as this might sound, wearing the scarves has been limiting my wardrobe. While I'm not the biggest fashion plate, it bugs me when stuff doesn't go together. As a result, I've been wearing a lot of black. And while scarves look good with certain tops, they don't look great with polo shirts, which I tend to wear fairly often when I need something a little less informal but still casual. With them, scarves tend not to look like a fashion choice, but a necessity.
The bigger reason: I don't feel like standing out anymore. Or, more accurately, if I'm going to stand out, I want it to be for a reason of my choosing, not something thrust upon me. It'll be another six months before my hair is anywhere close to normal again, and I don't think I can manage a stiff upper lip for that long.
An incident in a restaurant the other night really capped it for me. Admittedly, I was already not in the best of moods - the place was more crowded than usual, and while we'd hoped to see the last couple of innings of the ballgame where the Mets were clinching the division, we ended up at a table with only a partial view of the TV. And the screen was tuned to the Yankees postgame. (Insult on injury, right?) The SO very kindly got management to change the channel, so I got to see the end of the game.
We had to wait a bit longer than usual for our meals, given the crowd, but the table bread kept me from getting hangry (I didn't want to chance the salad bar because I knew my immunity was tanking six days after chemo - salad bar sneezes could pose a big problem,) We finally got our food and were probably about halfway through eating when the couple at the table next to us got up to leave.
The woman stopped, apologized for interrupting and told me she hoped my treatments were going well. Her mom is going through the same thing, she said, so she wanted me to know I'd be in her prayers. I gave her the two-minute speech on my situation, and she said her mom's case is similar. She went on for a minute or two longer and then left.
That pretty much killed the evening. Don't get me wrong: she was tremendously nice, and I appreciate her good wishes. Maybe if I was in a better mood, it wouldn't have annoyed me the way it did. Thing is, I don't want to always have to be generous with my moods. I just don't want to be the target of reactions all the time. I want to control how and when people find out. I don't want to be forever reminded that I'm going through this extraordinary thing. I get enough reminders without the feedback. I just want to blend in.
The SO and I also have a charity dinner to go to next week, which I'm hoping I'll feel ok enough to attend. I seriously considered doing the turban thing, even trying a scarf wrap with a little black dress, which looked fairly okay, maybe a little Norma Desmond-y. Given the self-righteousness of some of the people I knew I'd run into (long story), I almost wanted to create an opportunity for comment, just so I could shove their self-righteous crap in their faces.
|Chemo? You think I look sick?|
And fortunately the new wig arrived yesterday, my early birthday present to myself. True to the photo in the catalog, it looks pretty much like my last normal hairstyle, just slightly redder hair. Folks who haven't seen me in a while are likely not to even notice, as long as they don't look that closely. And really, who looks that closely?
Nobody. That's right.