Oops, I shaved my head (published november 28, 2008)

For several weeks before I left, my family and I joked around about how England would change me. I made wisecracks about getting off the plane with blue hair, giant tattoos, various facial piercings, a baby … but nothing I joked about could compare to what actually happened.

I’m bald.

No, I’m not kidding. I, Catie Osborn, have less than a quarter inch of hair on my head.

The story of how I came to be this way is a long and detailed one, but basically, it’s gross, and you don’t want to hear it. While I wasn’t actually affected with anything at the time of my haircut, I was warned by the good doctor that I could very easily get it, and exposure, in itself, was enough to endanger myself and others, especially my dad.

So, in the interest of my father’s health, I went to the barbershop in town like the true adventurer I am, and Ihad it all sh-sh-shaved off. Sorry, it’s still kind of hard to say. The lady at the barbershop actually started crying halfway through my haircut, which was a little disheartening. Funnily enough, she also shaved off about half of it, stopped, looked at me, and said, “Are you SURE you want to do this?”

So I’m bald. Which, all in all, isn’t as incredibly tragic as I thought it was going to be. People either think that I’m G.I. Jane or Natalie Portman … or Mr. Clean. I’ve started rocking a lot of fun hats, and I bought a really terrible wig for those occasions when I can’t wear hats respectfully. Thankfully, it’s so cold here all the time that no one questions me wearing winter hats 24/7.

Most of my close friends, both here and at home, know about it already, and it’s been really fun waiting for the perfect moment to unveil my new look. My favorite way to do it is to wait until someone is complaining about the terrible day he or she has had, and then whip off my hat and say something like, “Yeah, I know how awful it must have been getting a library fine. Did I mention that I DON’T HAVE ANY HAIR?”

There have been a couple times when I’ve been sad (like when I found my favorite hair clip after two weeks of looking for it, only to realize …), but I’m trying to keep a positive attitude. It’s only hair; it will grow back; and now I have a really awesome story to tell. Although losing the excuse of “I can’t, I have to wash my hair” has been kind of a bummer. And I keep getting chased out of bathrooms by girls who think I’m a boy.

To tell the truth — and here’s where it gets cheesy, folks — I did it for my dad. He has gone through so much in the past year that I feel as if having a crappy haircut for a few months is the least I can do.

Last year, my amazing theater professor, Cory, and I were talking about how she had shaved her head for a part she once played, and I remember her telling me that it was just the right thing to do. I never thought I would be faced with a situation like this, but I am really glad that I have people like her in my life to help me remember what is really important.

And yes, I would have preferred to keep my ’do, but you know what? Seeing my family, especially this year, at Christmas is WAY more important than being able to put my hair into a ponytail — any day.

At least my family knows what to get me for Christmas. A new car.

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