tfw is a mini personal essay series I’m try to do on Tuesdays to recount second-person experiences of feelings and experiences we all have. Or maybe I’m the only one who has them?
You did something to your hair. You got a haircut or you did some coloring: you did something to your hair. You got it done. You got it done on a Saturday and you really like it and you got lots of compliments when you went out that day. Sunday, you got some compliments but people mostly assumed that it was old and didn’t say anything. It was your hair.
Then, Monday. Work.
You think nothing of your hair. In fact, the two days with the new hair has made it your everyday and you’ve forgotten something is different. You arrive early and you go to your desk and you start your day with your new hair. You wait for the other people you share an office with to arrive.
“Did you get a haircut?” someone asks, as you make tea. You don’t know who they are but, yes, you did something to your hair. “I did,” you tell them. “When?” they ask. Umm, fucking between Friday evening and an hour ago. When the fuck do they think you got a haircut? In the bathroom, literally before this conversation? “Saturday,” you tell them. They nod. “It looks good,” they walk away.
You talk to a friend in the office. You exchange pleasantries and complaints and commiserations and, throughout the conversation, your hair is not brought up once. You are relieved. But why didn’t they notice? They see you every day—and then some. They should have noticed your hair.
You look for something in the office. “Did you do something to your hair? It looks different,” someone asks. You nod. “It has some color in it,” you say. “No, it’s not that,” they squint. They do a swirl with a finger. “It looks different.” You know it looks different: you did something to it. You were attached to your head when you had your hair done. You know what was done and can speak at length about it. You go to say exactly what was done to your hair but the person has finished the conversation with a smug, knowing smile that you didn’t do anything and, instead of punching them, you walk away.
You sit at your desk. You talk to a few coworkers. You talk and catch up, asking about your weekends. You don’t mention anything about your hair. They smile and look at their computers and go back to work and don’t say anything about your hair and you’re annoyed because these people see you every day and they should notice that you did something to your hair and you’re now mad at them but you’re also mad at the people who pointed out your hair and you wish you didn’t have to talk about something so obvious as a haircut but you also want them to but you don’t so instead you look at your computer too and you resume your day until, near the day’s end, one of the people you share an office with goes “Did you do something to your hair?” and you stare at them and you wonder if now, nearly eight hours since arriving to work, their eyes just started working and you don’t even care that they are or are not talking about your hair anymore and you just look up and tell them “Kind of?” which is not even true because you definitely did do something. They laugh. “Kind of? That’s not an answer,” they say.
You leave work. As you bike home, you decide not to do anything to your hair for a while. When you get home, you look in the mirror, at your new hair, and think about how it has already grown out. “What should I do next?” you think, a hand passing through.
The cycle repeats.