Saturday, April 22, 2006

Clearly I need to get my hair cut more often

I thought hairdressers were supposed to be like bartenders - confidants and keepers of important information. At the very least I assumed a hairdresser would remember someone whose baby died.

I suppose this shoots my "everyone sees me as a mother in mourning" theory all to hell. Which isn't such a bad thing, really.

I know it's been a while since I got my hair cut - five months, give or take a few days - but I thought for sure she'd remember my tale of woe. I figured going today was safe. I'd told my story and wouldn't be asked again. I might get a look of pity and a sympathetic, "How ya doin'?", but otherwise the subject wouldn't come up unless I brought it up.

Apparently the bleach in my hairdresser's hair is affecting her memory. She remembered I'd had a baby recently, but had no recollection that we didn't bring him home with us.

Her words were, "So, you had a baby - now that's two, right? Two children?"

Oh Lordy lady, you couldn't be more wrong.

So, with my head tilted back and my neck uncomfortably resting on the edge of the sink, I had to tell her - again - that we had a baby boy, but he died shortly after he was born.

I have no idea who else was within ear-shot, so I don't know how many other mouths dropped open, but I'm sure I heard hers hit the floor.

She paused, then said "Oh...oh yes - I remember now. I'm sorry." in a tiny, horrified voice.

I spent the rest of the appointment trying to make her feel comfortable, as though we both couldn't see the foot still lodged firmly in her mouth.

It didn't bother me exactly, it just kind of disappointed me. I wanted to go out as Kristin today. I just wanted to be me having a relaxing bit of pampering time. I didn't want to be dead baby mother today. I didn't want to hear the tiny, horrified voice and I didn't want to have to do the "it's okay, I'm fine" juggling act for the rest of the appointment.

But I did.

I know full well I'm being completely contradictory. I know I've said a million times that I want to talk about Thomas - that I hate that I can't talk about him like other people talk about their children. I do, I do want to talk about him and I do hate that I can't be a normal mother talking about her normal son.

But I also hate the awkward silence and palpable discomfort that the mention of his name and the story of his life so often cause. Some days I don't have the energy for it. I know that Thomas' story usually results in downcast eyes and pity - I will know that for the rest of my life.

So sometimes I like that it's a story only my heart knows. I can protect us both then. I don't have to face the pitying looks and I don't have to share Thomas with someone who doesn't want to hear a sad story. In fact, if I don't have to tell, he doesn't have to be a sad story instead of the beautiful, wondrous miracle he was.

I suppose the solution is either to lie when someone gets the details wrong or get my hair cut more often.

Sheesh, and after all that she didn't even cut my hair the way I asked.


Laura said...

(((Hi Kristin))))

I haven't even gone back to my regular hair dresser--she knows what happened, and even sent me a gift certificate, but I haven't gone back. I don't want to talk about it--I just want to relax and get my hair done. That, and she had been putting way too many highlights in my hair! Can you change hairdressers and start fresh with someone new? It's hard because I always feel like I'm cheating on my regular one when I go to someone new. I'm a hair-do ho.

You are helping me so much in understanding what I'm feeling. I want to talk about my son or my pregnancy, too, and not to have people feel sorry for me--just to talk about it. It makes people uncomfortable, and I hate that. And I hate having to tell people that my baby died. I feel like just punched them in the face, and then I'm falling all over myself trying to make them feel better.

delphi said...

My hairdresser said, when I told him that our son died due to a likely cord entanglement, "The same thing happened to us." But it didn't. His kid lived.

Why do I go back? No one cuts/colours hair like he does.

However, the bleach has definately ruined his brain.

MB said...

I've found the times when I want to talk about Audrey are when people want to ask about her or how I'm feeling. I want genuine inquiry and interest. Not sympathy and awkward silence. If that's where we're headed, I'm not interested.

MB said...

Oh, and I totally ditched my hairdresser and regular manicurist. In fact, the day Audrey was born, I had sent my grandma to my hairdresser for her hair-do. I've never been back, so I have no idea what they do or do not know.

Nikki said...

((((Krsitin)))) sorry a day to get your self pampered turned into a repeating yourself and details of having lost Thomas. You think certain things would stick with someone especially your loss but I guess some people just have no clue. (((HUGE HUGS)))