Thursday, November 03, 2011

This is the Thing...

My hair has been "my thing" for most of my adult life. When I was a kid, my mother cut it short. I had gorgeous, silky blond hair...but I was never allowed to let it grow. My sister...yes. Me, no. You know how in some families, one kid gets scapegoated? Well, heck, that was me. I was a weirdo from day one...too sensitive for most of my White Trash, beer swilling, loud mouthed family and my mother, being one of the most sadistic, abusive cunts I've ever had the misfortune to know, derived a great deal of enjoyment in making sure I looked (and felt) as ugly as she thought she was. Ok, so yeah, I've still got a wee bit of bitterness tucked away. The logic behind all her bitch ass bitchery was that I looked very much like my Auntie, who was the town beauty and who got all the attention. My mother, who actually isn't really that ugly, still had to fuck for attention. Hence, three kids by the time she was 19, unmarried, miserable, and eventually, an alchy part-time prostitute. With a beautiful daughter that she routinely punched in the face and forced to dress like a boy.

I digress. Sorry folks.

The point of that rant was that now, I am in my 40s. I wear dresses (that I make myself) and had waist length hair, still blond (with just a teensy bit of help), and so fucking pretty I would spend hours brushing it, braiding it, girling it up, etc. I wanted to look like the Princess that I wanted to be as a child...and frankly, I DID. Princess hair, Princess clothes. I was Princess all the way. I still have more hair products in my bathroom than that of a thousand Drag Queens. What a funny kind of rebellion. "Dear mother, I'll show you who's boss! I'll wear a dress! See that? Do ya??!"

Alas, I get to keep the dresses. The hair, however, is now in the hands of Locks of Love.

My oncologist told me that the chemo I'd be receiving would render me hairless in less than two weeks. I cried over it. I bemoaned that that twist of fate. Then...I said to myself, "FUCK this."

I had to think seriously about what defines me. How long can this "I feel pretty...oh so pretty" rebellion really go on? I had to think about it without the bullshit soul-searchy, dumb ass book (that gets made into a movie starring Julia Roberts) kind of way.

So, ok. Cancer might kill me. I accept that as a possibility. But I will not go down without a fight. Fighting means becoming (yes, it sounds cliche) a Warrior. I will look the part (I'm method that way).

So. Tuesday morning, exactly one week after my 43'd birthday, one of my oldest and dearest friends (Tomm) shaved my head at my request. Later that afternoon, I was surrounded by a throng of women (all friends and Warriors all in their own way) at Acme Bodyart where I had a dragon tattooed on my now hairless head, another tattoo on my arm, and a piercing in my upper left ear. Everything except the scalp tattoo was fairly painless. The scalp pain...was beyond anything I'd ever experienced. The artist (Dusty Palmer...who is a wonderfully brilliant inkster) was wonderfully supportive, stopped and re-started when I needed a break...and talked me through everything. He even said that I was a beast due to the amount of pain that I was enduring in relative silence. I've never been called a beast in my life! I'm a delicate sort of gal. Really little...I need help lifting a bag of cat food! And now I'm a beast! I loved it! I could spend hours writing about how positive and professional an experience it was...but I think I've written enough for now.

I feel fairly odd. My body...has been modified inside and out this week.

On an "up" note...I have gotten a gazillion compliments on the tattoo...from (get this) OLD ladies! They love it! I thought they'd be afraid but they all seem to think it's a hoot.

Cancer ladies, I hope you'll consider the non-wig, scalp tattoo as an option. I feel (and look) like a total badass. I loved my hair but losing it did not make me feel like the victim my mother tried to create. It made me the Bitch who isn't afraid of her OR of cancer. Fuck 'em both. Fuck 'em right in the ear.