I’m a bit of a chameleon. I like to spice things up, change things around, and the thing that most frequently changes (other than my clothing) is my hair: style, color, cut, all of it is variable. Because I’m not shy or coy about the fact that I dye my hair, people who didn’t know me before college (when the chameleon in me took hold) often ask about my original hair color. Well there it is, in all its glory, in the above picture. As a kid, I had long blonde hair with bangs. In middle school I grew out the bangs and figured out that the reason my hair held curl when my mother put it in rollers was that it’s naturally wavy, so after driving my mother crazy going through what she calls my “Gravel Gertie” phase (hey, learning to style naturally wavy hair all by yourself at 12 years old is just asking for frizz and tangles, ok?), I wore my hair in all sorts of variations (braids, curls, waves, straight, half up, half twisted, ponytail, pigtails, the list goes on), but always long. My freshman year in high school I tried the “layered look” (still no shorter than my shoulders) and hated it, and grew it right back down to the middle of my back. The older I got, though, the more adventurous I felt about my hair, and in college I got tired of being blonde and went red. Since then it’s been everything from merlot to mahogany to platinum. Then between sophomore and junior year of college, I got up the nerve to cut it all off and donate it, and from there on out you never know what I’ll do with it next. But this picture is my “virgin” hair — uncolored and mostly untamed.
But enough about my hair.
In some respects, I look at this picture and think of how different I am (have you noticed the WWJD bracelet yet?). There again, I look and see the same face, same typical expression of physical affection, and oh, look: the same pattern of becoming attached to a guy who has no interest in me. Gee, look how happy he looks to be in this picture. Now, in all actuality, he was my boyfriend at the time, and that look is probably more directed toward his mom, who interrupted us kissing to finish off a few leftover shots on a disposable camera; but when I look at this picture, at the expression on this guy’s face and his body language compared to mine, I can scroll through and put a list of guys in his place. I had a discussion two days ago with a female friend of mine about the hell of unrequited love, which she thinks is evil and a symptom of a fallen world because, as she puts it, “There shouldn’t be such thing as love given without love in return.” What I find myself wondering is this: What do you do with it? How do you make it go away? And why does it always happen to me?