Archive for October 17th, 2008


Adventures in Wig Wearing, #2

My thought for the day is- what do you say??

Let me explain. As you all know, I’ve now got a baldy head, thanks to chemo and a hefty haircut, and have been wearing a wig for two days now when not at home. Actually, I am, to my utter amazement, totally comfortable with my nudie head, but I am aware that there are those who see me on a daily or at least regular basis who might not share my comfort. This is the main reason that I have been wearing a wig to work, for example. My colleagues have been massively supportive (except for a comment made to me today by my dear friend Gareth Thompson- it was so rude that I can’t even bring myself to repeat it- he knows he can get away with these things because he is a very old friend and knows it will make me laugh!! Suffice to say that he had some theories about how much hair would fall out. You get my drift.) but I have no desire to make them feel uncomfortable around me.

That said- I have no social cues for dealing with comments about my “new hairstyle”! Yesterday, I went to pick the kids up from daycare, and one of the girls who looks after Ricky said how lovely my hair was and when had I got it done. I kind of stood there mouthing silently for a second before blurting out “I have cancer and it’s a wig”, which was SO tactless and kind of mean of me. She was totally mortified, and I felt like an utter bitch. It wasn’t that I even meant to say something that would make her feel like that- but it hadn’t even occured to me how I would deal with these kinds of questions.

At the other end of the spectrum, is the local shop and service station in the centre of Ballygowan, which is pretty much the only local resource which covers all our day to day needs. The staff in there are, without exception, an absolute delight and it’s a pleasure to shop there. It’s also the first place I went with my Sinead O’Connor hair. They’re used to seeing my with my tired old ponytail, and the girl behind the counter obviously took one look at me and worked out the situation. Despite the queues behind me, she asked me in a clear, ringing voice how I was and made it clear to the whole shop that I had cancer. I was rather embarrassed, even though she was being really sweet, but again, the whole bitchiness ALMOST set in and I had to resist the urge to loudly comment “What do you mean? I’m a lesbian- my hair is a statement!” (PLEASE don’t shoot me down if you’re a lesbian and you read this!) I was in again tonight, with the wig in place, and she again asked me really loudly all about it, how I got it, etc etc, and I felt mortified again. It’s not her fault at all- she’s trying really hard to be nice and offer support. I am the one who has the issue.

I don’t really know how to deal with either situation, and in hindsight I am totally bewildered that it didn’t occur to me before my hair left town that I would have to deal with these kinds of situations. I’ve been concentrating so hard on myself and my own feelings that I didn’t stop to think about others and how they would handle it.

I think if people tell me how nice my “new haircut”, ie wig, is, I should probably do what’s kindest to them, and simply thank them and leave it at that. I have to find a way to stop myself from just coming out with it. It’s not fair to them.

How I deal with the lady in the garage- she’s lovely and means well. I’m not ashamed of having cancer, it’s not like I could have prevented it. So, I guess those conversations will probably continue.

Any thoughts?


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