Hmmmm, Did You Do Something Different?

Ok, so here's a moral dilemma I've struggled with -- let me know what you guys think. Consider this a formal poll of your social practices.

When is it appropriate to comment on a woman's apparent pregnancy?
A. When and ONLY when it's verified, ie. you're in the room watching the baby come out of her.
B. Never.
C. When you've heard from someone else.
D. When she looks like she has a beer belly that you don't *think* was there before.
E. When you're her boyfriend and you haven't been getting any from her.

Ok, the reason I bring this up is that I ran into a casual acquaintance tonight. I asked her how she'd been and she said "Good, good. I, um, had a baby."

So NATURALLY I did the whole 'Ohmygosh!Congratulations!ThatisSOGREAT.Noway!' thing. To which she responded "Well, when I saw you back in June, I was seven months pregnant. And you didn't say anything! I left with my friend feeling sorry for myself because I thought you just thought I was fat." So then I had to explain to her my personal theory, ie. choice "A", listed above. Friends, if you are apparently with child, let me be the first to say you will NOT hear it out of me. Never will the words "Are you expeeeeeeeeecting?" fall from these lips.

I realize the margin of error on guessing wrong is probably very very small after a certain point. When the belly is past the boobs, you're pretty much good to go. My thing is to not comment until they (aformentioned Possibly Pregnant One) insist on making it conversation -- that, or if the labor pains strike on my watch. That's just me. I'm playing it safe. Hey, at least someone is.


There has only been one time in my life that I had short hair. It was (appropriately) in the 80's. Lice was going around my classroom and, next thing I knew, my mom had given me a really short haircut. I would describe it to you as a bowl if it had that shape. Unfortunately, my unruly hair had no shape whatsoever. The shape was kinda like cotton candy, only not soft. Just gross. To compensate, I wore my favorite puffy pastel reversable sweater (I'm not a fashion girl, so the fact that I remember the outfit is meant to signify how traumatic it all was) to school. Matt Evans was quick to tell me that, well, he liked my hair better long. I went home and stared in the mirror and cried. For two days. I never spoke to him again (and when I say never, I mean it. I'm a woman of my word). I also never really cut it again. I had one near-cut trim when a Persian hairstylist in Vestvood took liberties with the 'trim' she was commissioned to give me, but never has my hair risen above shoulder level.

Until last week.

I called my mom and told her I wanted to cut my hair off. Only fitting that she of the 1980's Lice Epidemic Hairstyling Fiasco be the one to once again take scissors to my locks. Was there a moment of regret? Not really, more fascination. Something that had been part of me so long was being amputated, but I couldn't feel a thing except surprise that I'd made the decision. I don't know what I was cutting off, but it felt awesome.

The first shower after you get your hair cut (I'm talking over a foot of tresses here, folks) is scary. You have phantom hair. I have since shared Phantom Hair stories with people, okay, just my sister, who grew her hair equally long and cut it. She recalled throwing her hair back in the shower and nearly knocking herself out when, lacking hair weight, she made cranial contact with a shower wall. But enough about her, let's get back to me ;)

Somehow you think that if you change your hair, you change your life. I'm not making this up. I watched the Lenny Kravitz Behind the Music special, and when he needed to rejuvenate, what did HE do? That's right- he cut his hair! And what are half of celeb magazines focused on? How women took their lives into their hands and cut their hair. Even Persian tribes believe that shaving the hair encourages growth. Granted, that's in children, but I'm short. I'm ready for change. As the wise philosopher Lauryn Hill once said "If you're not changing/growing, then you're dead."

So the report one week in is... well, I just feel like I'm wearing a wig. And I feel like I look older. But I'm also proud of myself for doing something really scary and having no idea how it would turn out. But on the other side, I'm learning not to be attached to it. It's just friggin hair. I know, I can hear you calling in the COSMO cops right now.

And yes, there will be the Matt Evans-es of the world who will remind me that - tsk tsk - men like long hair. But to them I say: Why don't you go worry about the pluralization of your last name and get me an answer on that instead of worrying about my hair?

It's possible to look one way so long that it *becomes* your identity instead of just decorating it. When you take that away, who are you? That's what I'm trying to figure out. And it seems I have about two years to do just that.


This afternoon a friend sent me this link that sends you to Merriam-Webster to find out what the most popular words looked up in the last year were. Click on this link and you too will read that:

"Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year 2005

Based on your online lookups, the #1 Word of the Year for 2005 was:

1. integrity

Pronunciation: in-'te-gr&-tE
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English integrite, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French integrité, from Latin integritat-, integritas, from integr-, integer entire
1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : INCORRUPTIBILITY
2 : an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS
3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS
synonym see HONESTY"

The NUMBER ONE word that Americans didn't understand the meaning of was... ***integrity***?

I couldn't even bring myself to read the rest of the list. Oh brother.