March 21, 1970
By 1970, most young men had said goodbye to their crew cuts and flat tops, which were considered “very 1950’s.” The Beatles, with their mops of hair, had hit the States in 1964, causing gasps of disapproval from every parent in the country.
Jumping on the band wagon, I decided to let my hair grow, too, though it was fine and thin and would never look as good as Nate’s. It grew slower, too, and my current not-short-but-not-long hairdo was, I thought, ugly.
One day while Nate and I wandered through the local mall on our way to buy coffees, I spotted a human-hair “fall” in one of the stores. It was sandy blonde and was attached to a headband. Getting ready for work in the morning would be so easy with that! All I’d have to do would be comb my real hair back, hiding its choppy look, and slip on the headband.
Unfortunately the fall had an exorbitant price: $27 [$184 equivalent], much too pricey for our lean budget.
As always, though, Nate was watching me closely and listening to what I said. Within the week he had donated a pint of blood, presenting me with the money and insisting I use it to buy the fall. I was thrilled and jumped all over him in a show of appreciation.
The first day I wore the fall to school, my students scrunched up their noses and expressed loud disapproval. “It’s not your real hair!” they insisted. “It looks dopey!” But just like they’d gotten used to my new name, after a few days they adjusted to the new hair.
No doubt the general public knew it was an add-on, but I fooled myself into thinking it looked natural. And lightening my own hair to match the fall made me feel like a brand new woman.
Once I set aside the wig, Nate admitted he hadn’t really liked it all that much, though he quickly added that even if I was completely bald, I would still be the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen (….quite the exaggeration, in my opinion.)
As I worked with the fall and learned to care for it, I wondered if he disliked that, too. Any considerate wife would have asked him outright, before she opened the original packaging. That way she could return it, if her husband wasn’t all that fond of it. But I hadn’t checked with him – because I wanted to keep it.
And I wondered, what did that say about me?
“Love does not insist on its own way.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)