This morning I am sitting in bed breastfeeding my 4 month old son. My gaze falls to the left in the mirror opposite the bed. Stealthily my reflection looks at me: Is it really me?
My skin is sallow and my eyes are tired. That must be the way it is as a new mother. I am new in the "business" and I have heard that sleepless nights are normal. But last night was really no walk in the park. Every hour I was awake: breastfeeding, holding off, getting tired, breastfeeding, changing diapers, and back again. We chose to do it this way with the diaper-free. Our baby simply cannot stand a wet diaper. And my skin can't handle a night of sleepless nights. I wonder if anti-wrinkle cream would help. Sun? Solarium? Sleep! And then I see.
It's much worse than pale skin. I see a receding hairline. I thought that was a man's thing. I thought it was for old men. I look like an old man! I parted my hair on the side, which makes it worse.I look like an old man trying to cover up his bald spot. Do I exaggerate? I generally tend to exaggerate. "You just don't know when to stop," my father used to say. But my therapist put it really charmingly the other day: "A neurotic woman is like the salt in the soup", or something like that. She quoted a scene from a film and my film memory is worse than my breastfeeding dementia. So all I remember is how I felt: A little sexy. So neurotic is sexy. So I look like an old bald man and feel like a sexy woman. No wonder I pay a therapist to listen to me.
While my son enjoys sucking on me and has no idea what mummy's thoughts are, I look at my crown. I used to wear it on my left. That never made me really happy. For some years now I have been wearing it in the middle because I really like it.
So why did I wear it on the left side?
I have a frightening insight. It was the Bravo Girl's fault. Does the magazine still exist today? In a pseudo psycho article, which I loved to read by the way, I was given the following advice when I was 13: If you parted your hair on the left, you'd look confident. And boys like that. If you want to part on the right, go ahead. It means you like to blend in. Boys like that too. But in the middle means you are balanced and the mediator (a loser). Do boys like that too? I don't remember the opinion of the experts. But I do remember that I was in dire need of a little self-confidence. And if the crown of the head could do that: Wonderful!
I never gave a thought to the fact that my vertebrae might run antiparallel and I look like Charlie Brown with my crown. I am confident. And boys like that. Years go by and I forget why I wear my crown like this. "It just looks best that way," I think to myself. And tease my hair.
For twenty years I wear my crown on the left and then one day my eyes open: It doesn't look that great. But the boys liked it. And I'm more confident too. Maybe it's not the crown, but life. I've been parting my hair in the middle ever since. It looks great. Feels great. Well, I'm definitely not balanced. I'm neurotic. And mother. With receding hairline. I think it's the breastfeeding hormones. At least that's what my husband says, and he read about it in a magazine. I hope the experts know what they're talking about, and the hair will come back.
I tie my hair up. My son is stuffed. In the bathroom I put on some anti-wrinkle cream. That's much better.
If you parted your hair on the left, the others would see it on the right anyway. What was I thinking?