Throughout most of my life, my hair has spawned people’s willingness to freely offer their unsolicited – and often unwanted and catty – opinions and advice.
When I was a child, Mom had my hair permed so it was short, curly, and easy (for my parents) to take care of. As I thankfully outgrew those awkward pre-teen years, and the mantle of my hair care was passed to me, I decided to skip the perms, and simply let my hair grow…and grow…and grow.
That’s not to say my hair is a rat’s nest, or unkempt. It’s long, usually straight, and hits below my butt cheeks. It’s healthy, clean, and shiny.
Okay, it’s super long, and draws many a comment. My husband likes when I leave it long. Sometimes I’ll stem the free-flowing tide of comments/opinions by braiding my hair and pinning it up. That just makes life easier in many ways.
A friend’s mother has told me I’m too old to wear my hair like a teenager. I guess I didn’t get the memo that dictated what hair styles/lengths are appropriate for what age groups.
My friend’s mother also has let my friend know that she has “such a pretty face, (and you know where I’m going with this), if she’d only lose weight.” Ah, the art form known as the backhanded compliment.
You’d think my friend would’ve learned at the hands of her mother about not offering uninvited appraisals…but she, too, has given – more than a few times – an unsolicited opinion as to what I should do with my hair. When her daughter opted for a haircut and subsequent donation of her ponytail to Locks of Love, I was immediately informed that I should do the same.
According to the locksflove.org website, “Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children free of charge.”
It’s an admirable mission statement, and an admirable non-profit organization. I just wasn’t looking for a major haircut. When I do get my hair trimmed (note I said trimmed, not cut), the stylist takes off three-to-four inches, which doesn’t produce the needed length of ponytail required for a donation.
I’ve found a quote from British-born author and traveler Charles William Day, (1815-1854) on the subject of opinions that I’ll close this blog post with.
I know, I know…you’re wondering how anything Day penned during the Victorian Era can possibly be relevant today?
I agree that his etiquette manual – “Hints on Etiquette and the Usages of Society” – may seem rather silly in this day and age. Who among us will find the advice, ‘Eat peas with a dessert spoon; and curry also’ of use?
What I do find spot on, in 2019, are his sage words from “The Maxims, Experiences and Observations of Agogos”:
“There is nothing in the world so easy as giving an opinion; consequently, in general, there are few things so utterly valueless.”
What unsolicited opinions/advice have you been on the receiving end of?
Drop me a line in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.