Thursday, April 19

In Between Days

Recently, my husband and I were having a disagreement over when a particular event occurred, and it went something like this:

He- “It was last year.”
Me- “No, last year, I had the pixie cut. It was the year before that, when I had the chin length bob.”

That’s right, I don’t keep track of my life by calendars or date books, I keep track by my ever-changing haircuts. Seriously. The Great Japanese hair straightening experiment marks my first book deal. But by the time I needed an author photo, I’d already cut it all off, added some highlights, and was sporting a bob.

I wasn’t always this way. Throughout my childhood and teen years I had long, wavy, brown hair that hung past my waist. And since my hair remained constant, I kept track of my life by summer holidays.

And even though mine was not a vacationing family, (my parent’s were divorced and money was tight), I still looked forward to those long, hot, lazy days of riding my bike to a friend’s house, swimming in the pool, and begging our mom’s to drive us to the beach or the mall so we could cruise around in shorts and flip flops, trying on lip-gloss and looking for boys.

The summer going into ninth grade was when I had my first kiss—some semi-pro skateboarder dude with chapped lips and a name I quickly forgot.

The summer going into tenth grade was when I was allowed to graduate from drop off dates to “car dates.” Car dates were big time—no longer did you need an adult to drop you off and pick you up, now it was just you, your date, and, um, his car.

The summer going into Junior and Senior years I was working at a department store selling business suits to crabby, disappointed, middle aged women by day, and hanging out in L.A. by night.

And then came graduation and the end of my summer breaks. Though strangely enough, that’s also the time when I got my first major haircut—though I’m not sure I was cognizant of this life-tracking shift at the time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that those long ago summers used to represent milestones, growth, and maturity. They were a way to keep track of where I’d been, and where I hoped to be going.

But now I rely on my hair, knowing that this summer will forever be referred to as the one where I grew out the pixie and reclaimed the bob.

What about you- how do you keep track of your life?

9 comments:

Erica Orloff said...

Alyson,
So funny. I'm the same.

Hair . . . and children. I have four, so everything's like, "I was pregnant with Child #3 when that happened" or "I had just given birth to Child #4." ;-)
E

bevrosenbaum said...

Too funny, Alyson--since I was the same way for many years. My constantly changing hairstyles became a big joke amongst friends and family. For the past few years, I've had the same style, with minor variations.

Maybe we really were separated at birth!

Your birthday twin,

Bev

Alyson Noel said...

Erica- My sister has five kids and she keeps track the same way as you!

Bev- The first thing people usually say to me is- "Hey, you changed your hair!" They're almost always right!

Kelly Parra said...

haha! Alyson, my hair is different every month. I'm always looking for a change.

I keep track of my life by memories. I always forget the dates, and just go by..."remember that time". Or "I remember when..." I swear my life is just a box of memories that doesn't have a timeline. :) :)

Sara Hantz said...

You're lucky you can remember things. I'm totally hopeless. It drives my kids mad when I can't remember the time they were born, when they took their first step and all other important events in their lives.....

Luckily, my partner can remember everything so we defer to him.

Gerb said...

Clearly I need to change my hairstyle more often...

I used to keep track of time with music. "Yeah, remember, it was just after Hey Ya came out and..."

But now the only radio we listen to (in English) is AFN and... let's just say they aren't up on the latest releases. I'm afraid without the musical references, my time over here is going to be one big blur... :)

Simone Elkeles said...

I'm a flake and never keep track of time. I seriously sometimes think I have early Alzheimer's. I have always had long hair, I think it's my security blanket. Once I grew my bangs out. And then I did get a perm.

Does anyone else get their hair cut twice a year, no more?

~Simone

Alyson Noel said...

Kelly- me too, but all of my memories are also tied to my haircut!
Sara- It's always good to have one designated memory keeper in the family!
Gerb- I know what you mean, Irecently bought this 80's compilation CD at Starbucks, and from the moment I hit play, I was immersed right into the past!
Simone- I just try to look at it as a scholarship fund for my hairdressers kids! Sometimes I fantasize about letting it all go- though I know it will never happen!
Congrats on your video nomination!

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