Monday, October 20, 2008

Yep. I meant to do this.

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?"

Me: "Yep."

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...

8 comments:

Rani said...

OK, I just added you to my bookmarks! I couldn't remember where I found you (I just figured it out; it was Jackson's Hiking Sweater on Rav.)! We have a lot in common! (lovin' that soup mix, on-the-fence canning, Gale Woods Farm yarn-with-no-purpose yet . . . should I go on..;)

Also, if you haven't already, you may get a snicker out of this:

http://www.margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/

Beware, there is a bit of cussin' and swearin'.

ok, I'm off to catch up on your blog. Happy knitting!

Heide said...

Well, maybe this was just an opener for her because she wanted to share her good news with everyone. I think you handled it perfectly... so did Jackson. What a delicious looking apple.

Chris said...

Heh, you realize that all of us are going to have to do some silly variation of that when we run into you next. "Hey, did you have bubonic plague? Because I heard that only people with hair like that survive it." ;)

Day to Day Tripper said...

WOW...I still feel bad about asking someone about being pregnant once about 15 years ago. I was very young at the time I tell myself even though I knew then you NEVER ask a women that question unless she's 9 months and your sure. Anyway, the "casual" bathroom conversation about cancer beats it hands down.

By the way, your hair looks great short! Did she not notice the two littlins next to you????

Kristina said...

How is it possible we can have one more thing in common and not be related? Still, I think I can actually "beat" you on this one: I will see your "Did you have cancer?" and raise you with the follow-up comment (after the "No...") of "Oh, I didn't realize you were a lesbian." (!!!!!) I got that not once but *twice* when I cut all of my hair off. Apparently the only thing more treacherous to long hair than cancer is a sapphic tendency. Oy.

Short hair rocks the world, and you ROCK with short hair. I love it. =)

Gretchen said...

Another one here rockin' the short hair! I've never had the cancer question- must not look ill enough for that- but have had the lesbian question and the "did you just get out of the military?" question. I love my super short hair! Wash and go! With four kids, I'm lucky to get the wash in!

And it shows off my cool glasses!

Yay for short hair!

Rebecca said...

I thought that comment by Chris about horrible illnesses and hair was so funny, but then I got to the lesbian comment and laughed out loud. People really say this stuff?!

christina said...

i like how you turned around what could have been an awkward end to the conversation by telling her how great she looked.