So, a couple of nights ago I was sleepless. This can be a dangerous state for me to be in, a time when I am prone to impulsive online shopping and also to chopping off my hair.

I controlled the urge to shop but not the urge to chop.

The results:


I took this picture after going to the Loreena McKennitt concert tonight at the Palace Theater in downtown Columbus, Ohio.  But before we turn to the music of McKennitt, we must thrash out this topic of cutting your own hair.  As it so happens, the November edition of U.S. Vogue had an article about cutting your own hair and how liberating that can be, even if the resulting haircut is not totally awesome. Lena Dunham, of the TV series Girls, reflects:

I will never forget the first time I cut my own bangs:  the power, the adrenaline.  I was twelve years old, standing in the fluorescent light of my parents’ bathroom with a pair of orange-handled craft scissors, unaware that I was standing on the precipice of self-definition.

I, too, took self-definition by the scissors at the age of twelve. But instead of just trimming my bangs, I cut my entire head of hair, which had been styled in very long ringlets that my Mother called finger curls.  And I cut it VERY SHORT.  Pixie-cut short. My best-friend-forever Josie was at my side as I sat, in the middle of the night, on our bedroom floor with the vanity mirror propped up in front of me and whacked away at those golden locks. She was too wise to warn me off:  it would not have deterred me one whit and may have forever put a crimp in our friendship.

So, my chopped-off hair all over the floor, we repaired back to our beds for the rest of the night.

The whole house was awakened by my shrieks in the morning.  What on God’s Earth had I done???

My mother and Josie tried to console me.  Really I had not done a bad job at all, and I looked quite cute with short hair.

My father left the house and went to the solace of Hull’s Market (aka Junior’s) in Morrisville, about a mile down the road from our farmhouse.  There he could gather round the furnace and drink Pepsi with the other men and be safe from the shrieks of womenfolk.

I went on, from that day of ignominy, to a life in which I cut many people’s hair, not only my own but that of my whole family, father and brothers included and that of many friends.  I never had one day of training, although there were instructions that came with the electric clippers I used on my Dad and brothers, because that was the era, in the early 60’s of Short Hair on Men.  Those instructions represent my entire training in things cosmetological.

My fall-back career, if being a lawyer didn’t work out, was to be a professional hair-cutter. But that never came to pass and a good thing too, because I wouldn’t have been able to hack spending all day on my feet.  Think about that next time you are in the salon… think about their poor feet!

So now, to the Loreena McKennitt concert. She was doing a tour called A Trio Performance:


I took this shot of the ceiling at the Palace before I was made to put my little Canon Elph camera away (no photos were allowed at the concert, but I mistakenly thought it was permissible to shoot the concert hall beforehand–I could have gotten away with it with a smartphone, I saw, but I’m not that high-tech!).  The Palace Theater is one of our historic theaters in downtown Columbus, along with the Ohio Theater and the Southern:


And this one of the stage before the performers arrived:


I was in the aisle seat on the center aisle about ten rows back, an ideal position for both hearing and seeing the concert.  McKennitt performed with Brian Hughes on guitars and bouzouki and Caroline Lavelle on cello, recorder and voice.

I was particularly interested in hearing McKennitt because in the days when I performed semi-professionally on Celtic harp and voice, people would come up to me and say I reminded them of her.  Tonight I ordered some of her CD’s and of course I heard her live: I can hear some resemblance between the two of us although she is, of course, a Celtic goddess, whereas I am simply human. 🙂

If you have not heard her, I suggest you listen to almost anything of hers on YouTube.  I can no longer download songs from there, because the apps that permit one to do so all screw up my laptop now, making my keyboard non-functional.  So I can’t include one here.  But I encourage you to go listen to her there!

As to the concert, it was mesmerizing, if way too short.  Hence, I ordered her CD’s. 🙂

And as to my first self-administered haircut:  I sobbed my way to acceptance of it and then actually began to enjoy having it short after being burdened with long hair my entire childhood, which had kept me in thrall to the ministrations of my mother.  With it short, I could care for it myself. A few months later, I experimented with a bottle of peroxide, once again occasioning hysterics that gradually turned into delight.

But I must add here that once in high school, I both stopped bleaching it and grew it out long again. 🙂