Annie the Lab Tech

Blond WigsIf I’m not a cutter, does that make me a plucker?  Do we have a snappy little name to define our subset of mental illness?  When I first started doing it my mother would absently mindedly slap my hand away; my father would remind me that no one wanted to date a girl with bald spots.  It was when I went away to college and started to come home on breaks that it began to hit them that this wasn’t a cute little quirk, like when a girl casually twirls her hair as she types or sits reading on a park bench.  Those are cute little visual vignettes that could be counted as character-building in a romantic comedy.  No, my plucking (I’ll go with it) was definitely less look how adorable I am, I don’t even know I’m doing this sweet motion and more it feels really, really good to pull the tiny hairs on my head, such sweet pressure builds up and then there’s that elusive release when I feel them give, one at a time and there’s a small fluff of hair suddenly in my hand.  I saw a therapist for a while when I became to resemble a shoddily kept Barbie doll, but since I hadn’t been molested or riddled with poor self esteem since birth, she seemed baffled as to what we might fill the hours talking about.  So I stopped going, kept plucking, and went with it.  I cut my hair short for a while, but that only led to such vicious little pulls that I began to think of myself of a very angry elf, constantly attacking my head with stubby fingers.  I have a wig now.  It’s long and fabulous and thick, and I pluck all I want at night when it’s off – but during the day, I just enjoy the compliments I get on my tresses.  My therapist always had a problem with the fact that I wasn’t ashamed of myself, but I figure, hey, some people do really, really terrible things, both to themselves and others.  If I’m a nice person who works hard, has lots of friends, a career, talent, and I just don’t have a completely evenly dispersed head of hair, I’ll take that trade.

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