My family will be celebrating my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary next month. As such, my siblings and I are trying to pull together something special for them in the form of a book of pictures, a page for every year they have been together.
It’s kind of a monumental undertaking, actually. We’re also discovering that it’s easier to find pictures of them as grandparents in the digital age than pictures of them as parents in the 70s. But we’re slowly digging things up, and I’ve come to a shocking conclusion.
I have had the same hairstyle for upwards of twenty years.
The length has changed a little bit, but not much. With very few exceptions, I’ve had it in the same style for almost 2 decades. It’s kind of disheartening, actually.
I lamented this to my sister, and she said, “Why are you surprised? You hate change.”
Really, I do? No I don’t. I like new and exciting things. I love them!
She then reminded me that every time she takes me shopping, I end up with something that resembles what is already in my closet.
Dang. She’s totally right.
But not everything about me is the same since 1992. I console myself with the knowledge that I wear black eyeliner on my top eyelid now, vs. green eyeliner on the bottom. And blue mascara hasn’t touched my eyes since 1989 (when it was paired WITH the green eyeliner and, most likely, blue eyeshadow.). I also have the photographic evidence of a long, drapey sweater that went almost to my knees. I wore it in 1997, and I know I bought it because I wanted to wear leggings underneath it (with chunky socks and Doc Martin boots, of course), and it’s so ugly there is no way I’d be caught wearing it today.
I will admit, though, that the triumph of recognizing that something had gone out of style was tempered with the realization that the sweater my sister was wearing the in the same picture is currently sitting on a shelf in my closet. (I didn’t inherit the sweater, so it means at one point my sister and I had the same taste. It just also means she has moved on and I haven’t.)
I don’t know why this is disheartening. Maybe it means I’m not as daring as I’d thought. Maybe it means I that I am comfortable with looking a certain way, and it’s not that the few times I’ve branched out that it’s looked bad, just that it didn’t look like me (although the Hillary Clinton look? Circa 2000? Shudder.). Maybe we all have this picture of what we look like in our heads, and if the picture on the page doesn’t match the picture in our brains, we get uncomfortable and adjust accordingly.
Or maybe at the end of the day, I am indeed afraid of change. Is change good? Is it bad? Why would I be afraid of it? Like I said, I really don’t think of myself as stuck in the mud, don’t want to do things differently. I’m happy to have somebody say, “Is there a better way? Let’s try it!” and I like the idea of progress, in general terms. At least, I think I do. I mean, who would be against progress? Isn’t that, like, what Mormons DO?
But maybe I am just scared that in the changing, I’ll lose who I am. Or I won’t recognize myself when I get there. Or maybe I’m finally comfortable just being who I am–a fairly average looking woman with stick straight shoulder length blond(ish, depending how long it has been since I’ve been to the salon) hair that is parted from right to left with wispy bangs. Straight and boring, not too outrageous, unoffensive and practical. Maybe that’s my comfort zone?
Give me your thoughts on how you or your look has evolved through the years (or not, as the case may be) and what it says about you or your life circumstance and where you are comfortable.
At the very least, however, I do think I need updated hair. Maybe I’ll head to the salon next week, and (gasp!) get some bangs.