Natalie Zed: Defying Gravity

Monday, April 14, 2008

Shock and Follicle

There was a point when I was sick that I got very, very bored. After about 3-4 days, I was still too weak and achy to do very much, but I could finally think clearly and my brain didn't have anything to do. Ed recognized the signs of a Bored Natalie brewing and, knowing this to be one of the most dangerous forces on the planet, took the precaution of keeping many books and video games at hand, and even bought me a copy of the Lord of the Rings trilogy to keep my brain from turning in on itself.

Despite his best efforts, I still mounted every piece of jewelery I own to the wall with push pins, alphabetized the canned goods, and did this:

The colour of my hair is somewhere between that of a coke can and a fire engine, and I love it. It makes me look even paler, matches my new shoes, and causes very small children to squeal at me in absolute delight.

Dyeing my hair has reminded me of something that I find my turns amusing, fascinating, frightening, and (mostly) absolutely fucking maddening: that most of the world seems to believe that I am public property. I don't know what it is about the way I look that invites people to sneer, touch, and pontificate, but it occurs with alarming frequency. I have heard many pregnant women and women with small children complain about a similar affliction: people feel they have the absolute right to touch a woman's pregnant belly (or her baby!), give her advice, and criticize every aspect of her parenting. I can only imagine what liberties polite society will take when I choose to reproduce; for now, they just focus on my hair.

Here are just a few of the responses I've had to deal with. Please keep in mind I have had my hair like this for less than two weeks.

-- My first day back at work, still feeling queasy, my direct supervisor came up behind me and touched my hair. When I gave him my best Violation Face, he muttered that he "just wanted to see if it was real."

-- An older gentleman actually stopped me on the street to tell me that I would never get a job looking like this. I was on my lunch break at the time.

-- A woman openly stared at me for several minutes as Neil, Tara and I waited to be seated at Red Lobster.When I caught her eye and smiled at her, she became flustered and said "Well, my, don't you look interesting...in that outfit."

-- On the day of the snowstorm, my hair was wet by the time I got to work. A coworkers said I looked like a "drowned, unholy candy cane."

-- More than one person has looked at me, sneered, and then turned to Ed to ask him either how he feels about the way or look, or how he could possibily allow me to do such a thing.

It hasn't all been negative, though. Babies love it. And the day I dyed it, waiting on a street corner by the Palliser for Ed to pick me up, a group of young men walked by. They were wearing very expensive looking hoodies and very bog pants. This was during the Juno awards. As they approached, I had the vague itchy feeling that I knew them from somewhere, but couldn't place exactly where. I smiled at them, they smiled back, and one young man told me he loved the hair.

They passed, and then it hit me: I recognized them because they were the members of Finger 11. If Finger 11 likes my hair, what more can I really ask from the world?

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Natalie Zed updated @ 10:21 AM!!