After one too many nights of waking up at three am from a dream that the Boston Strangler had come into my house and chosen me as his next victim only to find my hair wrapped around my neck, I finally garnered up the effort to pick up The Phone and make an appointment to cut it all off.

I've been trying to wait it out until it was long enough to cut off and donate. Because, apparently there's a great desire among pediatric cancer patients to look like you're auditioning for a revival tour with Devo.

But despite the photos on their website, it seems like a great organization and a good thing to do because, after all, it's for the children, right? So I had the stylist cut it all off.

My hair has never been so long:
or so short:
in my life. (My bathroom mirror has also never been so filthy.) It was also quite amusing that in the time I had not been going to get my hair cut with my regular stylist, they not only remodeled the entire place, but she also got pregnant and had another child, who is now nearly a year old. That ought to be a window into how fast my hair grows.

I'm not a short-hair-kind-of-person, so I fully expected my head to look like a bee sting caused it to swell eight times
its normal size the second I exited the salon. And it does. I'm banking on the hormone-laden pregnancy to help this grow into something I'm more comfortable with as quickly as possible. What I didn't expect was how much darker my hair became once ten inches were removed from the ends. I never realized what a redhead I'd become with the long hair and I have to say, I miss it.

I've always had a thing for redheads -- from the time I was a teenager. I think it goes back to the senior I had a crush on and got to sit next to on a trip to the Sonora Desert Museum during my sophomore year. Because if you, too, were driving through the desert with your science teacher in a school-owned van toward Yuma, Arizona, the only thing you'd have to look at is the senior in the seat next to you and you'd probably develop some sort of weird transference that would last the rest of your life, I guarantee you. Or maybe that's just me. The funny thing is I don't even remember what that kid's name was, nor do I think I could find him in my high school year book if I really even tried.

But from that point on I always loved, and wanted to be, a redhead. I'm not a dye-your-hair-kind-of-person either (mainly because that would require my spending more than $20 and fifteen minutes inside a hair salon every two months and that would be unacceptable), but I have spent a lot of time over the years silently willing my hair to become red all on it's own. Not just red highlights, but the kind of red I was naively certain as a teenager that Deborah Kerr and Maureen O'Hara did not get from a bottle but had been born with - the kind with which God had played a cruel joke by neglecting to bless me. (I also seem to have spent a good deal of time as a child watching old movies, as those are the only two famous redheads I could come up with off the top of my head and I then felt it necessary to place a wiki link to them since I doubt any people outside of my mother will know who they are.)

I dyed my hair once in college. But since my hair by then was actually quite dark brown, it really only succeeded in making my hair look a little red in the right light. Friends and potential dates got tired of me dragging them outside the building into the sunset and waiting for an expression of "Wow, look at your red hair!", which never came. Once, a janitor at the place I worked asked me if I got my red hair from my mother or my father and it was the greatest compliment I'd ever received up to that point in time. I may have hugged him.

So, despite my life long desire for my hair to magically change color with no effort on my part at all, I have resigned myself to what my drivers' license says my hair color is: brown. Not even brunette, because that would somehow imply that it meant to be that color, but rather brown as in, "well, it's not blond, red or black... it's definitely not green... so the only thing left to call it is brown." I secretly hoped that somehow The Dormouse would be born with red hair, so I could vicariously live my life through her in the years to come, but there again, God opened up his mouth, let out a great "Ha!", and then gave her the same dishwatery blond hair I was born with.

So now I'm lamenting the fact that I was probably as close to being a redhead as I'd ever be in my life and I just cut it all off because of a couple bad nights and some high humidity. And I'm wondering if there's a wig out there for me. Perhaps a red one?

Just the color the kids were hoping for

(All kidding aside, this is a great organization, which I don't mean to belittle in any way. Even if your hair is not a long as their specifications, you can still donate shorter lengths of hair, which they will sell to help fund their mission. Check it out if you're at all inclined.)