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February 18, 2007



I'm sure it's a big step cutting off that hair. I also think there comes a time in a man's life when they need to do it. Long hair on an older man (not that h-band is in that category yet) is usually not that great.

Chris Owen

As someone who's had short hair and sixweekly cuts for what seems like centuries, you take a haircut as an unsignifcant event.
But when my son broke up after nearly ten years in a destructive relationship and then had all his hair cut off to a No 1, rather than the waist length effort he'd favoured since leaving school. I knew we were marking a letting go and moving on.
It was a real "moving towards" moment and a declaration of new knowledge and self-belief!


As I told you on the phone.....I couldn't even picture what Jesse would look like with short hair. You know what? He's just a handsome guy...long hair or short. I think he looks awesome. Loved this post Jor...and the pics. -Mom -xo-

Elizabeth Michel

This is a beautiful piece, Jory, both sad and funny. Dad and I loved reading it. Then we went on to remember your H-band on the day he came into the world--bald!

That was several years after I first laid eyes on Dad's shoulder-length corkscrew curls. It was the first day of medical school, and although I pretended not to notice him standing behind me in the registration line, I thought he was cute. I guess he liked my long hair, too, because he sat down next to me a few minutes later.

Dad's long tresses didn't last as long as Jesse's. He had to cut them off that June in order not to scare the patients at a rural Appalachian clinic. I kept mine until I finished residency, and no one seemed to mind. That might seem unfair, but so were a lot of other things, like the patient who wouldn't let me examine his prostate gland, or the anatomy professor whose opening slide was a cartoon of variously sized women's breasts, each with the name of a fruit beneath it, from melon down to apricot.

Well, enough of that--thanks for posting the photo of the "new" Jesse!

Love to you both,



There's something about funerals and haircuts. I never thought I'd cut my hair, then suddenly there I was, burying one of my best friends, and for some reason the hair had to go.

My personal theory was always that a shift to the internal landscape triggers a need for an external change as well. I don't know if there's anything to that theory, but the Iliad has Achilles cutting off his long hair and leaving it on his best friend's grave, so this is not a new phenomenon.


I bet that felt really free-ing to him, leaving the past behind like that you know. Not to compare your H-band to Britney Spears, but that was my first thought when she shaved her head, maybe she's trying to have a clean start. But then it became clear that maybe she just lost her mind. :) Regardless, I'm happy for your H-band that he took that step!


I think someone else said it but this is such a beautiful post. It made me think about when I cut off my "big" hair. For most of my life I had this long mane full of large loopy curls. Whenever someone complimented me it was on my hair.

Looking back I know why I cut it off. For years the only thing I felt somewhat confident about was that I was pretty, not smart, whitty or fun. Of course, I was sure my hair was what made me pretty. Then I went back to college. I was ready to let go of "pretty" and wanted to focus on "smart"--and it felt so much better.


Hey Jory, interesting post. I've just done the same thing after always having long hair as an adult. I think my child hair was untameable and always resisted brushing, so the first chance I got I let it grow. I wonder if there's some profound metaphysics behind my getting it cut that I'm just not aware of. Perhaps I was secretly afraid I'd lose all my superpowers. Perhaps in life a little dissatisfaction leads to a desire to change, and perhaps hair is an easy place to start. Unless of ccourse you're phobic about hairdressers, like me.


Whoops not implying H-band is dissatisfied of course. Nonono.



Wow, can I identify with your post! As the only girl, middle child of five; only Redhead in immediate family, extended family and surrounding 50 miles of rural community in Montana my hair became my signature AND my albatross. I started growing it out in my teenage years. In my senior year of high school (one day after the pics were taken), I went to the local specialist and left the yard of tresses on the floor as I donned the now imfamous "shag". Unfortunately, I tried of the inevitiable "bad haircut days" and began allowing the tresses to accumulate once more. Years (and years) have passed and the tresses continued to grow...past my waist, past my hips. Hair became "ME"...mind you, not in my mind..but in the mind of those around me. Distance family and friends call for the occassional holiday chat and the call is punctuated with "Still have your hair?" instead of the unusual "How are you doing?"

As years have passed and I am now a grandmother of five, I have come to realize that it is unfortunate that people confuse "hair" with "me", when the truth is that (while beautiful) it was always just a gift from God and Mom...not an attribute of my goodness or intellect.

Recently I cut and layered the tresses, though still very long, people were shocked. Like your H band...it was time. It was great fun...the first three inches to go were my divorce in the early 90's, the next six were the "joys" of single parenting two teenage girls, the next six were the decade of "Dating for Dinner"...the last three, just cause.

Yep, I think I lost five pounds!!!

Kim Pearson

Lovely piece of writing, Jory.

Curtis Mchale

I wore long locks throughout my years in college. I can say that once you've grown your hair long, you get attached to it. But there came a time when I finally had to cut it as a requirement for my first job. Sometimes you do have to let go of some things you've grown fond of and grow up in life.

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