Actual conversation between a nice, short-haired, older woman (NSHOW) and me in the restroom hallway at a small-town cafe two weeks ago:
NSHOW: "Excuse me, but did you have cancer?"
Me: (extremely puzzled) "No."
NSHOW: (rambling, I'm not adequately recording this here) "Oh, I was just wondering because of your short hair. I mean...well...I just thought that because you have short hair that you must have had cancer." (points to her own short hair)
Me: "Oh! Oh, nope, no cancer for me." (catching on here)
NSHOW: (lots of seriously sweet yet terribly naive rambling culminating in) "...so you actually chose to cut your hair and style it this way?"
NSHOW: "Oh, well, I just didn't think that I'd ever be a 'short-haired woman' like this..." (ramble, ramble, ramble)
Me: (cutting her off to save her from more embarrassment) "You look fabulous! You'll get used to it. It's way easier to take care of. Congratulations on beating your cancer!" (young son pulls my arm away at just the right moment...)
NSHOW: "Thank you!"
Er...yeah. I think I made her day, but someone should really talk to her about stereotypes...