Everywhere But Home

News and musings from wherever my crazy life takes me. My body may be back in Illinois, but at least for now, my mind is still in Mongolia.

Bah Humbug

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Today I had an argument with myself over how to wear my hair to church for Christmas Eve.

I got a keratin treatment yesterday because it helps to strengthen and detangle my otherwise brittle and knot-prone hair. It’s something they have to flatiron in, and so yesterday (and today, because I haven’t washed it yet), my hair is straight for the fourth time in my life. That makes it very much a novelty, so on the one hand, I might as well leave it that way for church tonight. Plus it’s better to let the keratin set for two days before you wash it.

On the other, it’s a novelty; it’ll probably be the first time most of the people there have seen me with straight hair, so I’ll be sure to get lots of comments on it. “It looks good straight!” “Why don’t you straighten it more often?”

I don’t want to spend Christmas Eve explaining to people that I don’t straighten it more often because I don’t own a flatiron, and that I don’t own one because I actually like my hair curly. Is that so unheard of, that I like having curly hair? I know they won’t mean it that way, but when people compliment my hair, what I’ll be hearing is, “You look better when you change your appearance. You should do that more often.”

The comment I got most often at my school’s New Year’s party last year was, “Why aren’t you wearing makeup?” It wasn’t enough that I had taken my director up on her gracious offer to let me borrow a dress, and to get my hair curled; without full-out face paint, I merited only comments on the insufficiencies of my appearance. Needless to say, I did not have much fun at that party.

I don’t want to spend Christmas Eve being made to feel (even unintentionally) like I owe it to the world to change what I look like in order to make other people happy, or that it’s absurd for me to actually like how I look. Frustration and resentment are not conducive to the Christmas spirit.

/rant. Maybe now that it’s out there, I can actually get on with the business of cleaning the house and preparing for the holiday.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas from my family, including me in my natural curly-haired state.

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Author: everywherebuthome

Linguist. Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. Expat in Mongolia. Writer. Scout, dancer, gymnast, equestrienne.

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