Thursday, April 26, 2012

That old chestnut

I dreamed last night that my mother cut my hair into a sassy style that I love, love, loved. It was short, but not too short, all tousled and cute.

In reality, the last time my mother cut my hair, I sat pouting on a stack of Sears, JCPenney and Montgomery Wards catalogs. She used a piece of Scotch tape and her sewing scissors to trim my bangs and even with those fancy precautions, my poker-straight hair went cattywampus. The tyranny of cowlicks cannot be denied.

More surprisingly, my hair color had reverted to its original chestnut.

Something shifted. The mood changed. My hair morphed into a mullet.

My mother disappeared. I stood in front of a mirror and glared at my reflection. Why did I let her talk me into cutting off my long, silver hair? It had taken me so long to grow it out, longer than it had ever been. Now it was gone. Snip, snip. Back to the beginning, Lisa Carole.

I woke up. My hand went immediately to my head. Still long.

I never know from what psychic crevasse my dreams pull themselves. What little thing or big thing or pattern of things stoked the engine of that train of thought? Was it the conversation I had with myself last week about the career choices I'd made? The fact that Chloe and I have been talking about what she's going to do after graduation? Could it be my involvement with the Silver Panthers, a mildly-militant group of anti-hair-color activists at the office? We do like to talk about how we liberated ourselves from the shackles of Clairol and told L'Oreal no más, merci.

Symbolism isn't my strength. I could guess what it meant. Rely on some half-formed assumptions I have about myself and my mother. Only half-formed because it's safer not to look directly into the sun.

A dump truck filled with what ifs backed up next to the bed and someone pulled a lever.

I drifted into a dreamless sleep covered up in issues like an old, worn security blanket.

MathMan didn't even stir.

Dream interpreter or dreamer? You're up.


  1. I'm still trying to figure out the sock monkeys coming out of the walls and my inability to scream audibly. Definitely not the interpreter here.

    1. Sock monkeys coming out of the walls? Tell us more, O. What else was happening?

  2. All I know is, I told my kids that if they ever had a nightmare, they could scrunch down low and leap high into the sky and fly away.

    It always worked for me . . .

  3. Watch out, Lisa. This is the kind of writing that will land you a column. My new favorite word: cattywampus.

    In my estimation, there are two obvious things going on here. You've finally forgiven your mother for her efforts in raising you and something is telling you that The Silver Panthers are not to be trusted.

  4. Well, I'm reading this (fabulous) post at 3:50 am, so I think it's safe to assume I've been dreaming too. I can't remember much about the dream, though I think there was something about a fire hose. . . . Bobbi would have a field day with that.

  5. When you stood infront of the mirror did the hair change or was it the same haircut seen differently? What specifically was the feeling staring at it and who was it directed at? Fear, anxiety, anger? Toward whom?

    The Doc

  6. I have a lot of hair dreams, especially ones where I go back to coloring it. I almost always feel conflicted in my dreams when my hair is colored to approximate my original haircolor. Just as in real life, I'm always dissapointed that artificial color can't ever approximate the original dark rich browns and ebony with shinny purple tones.

    When I awaken, I'm always relieved that I'm still grey (I'm actually mostly white now!) rather than feel disspointed by the results of haircolor.

    While I'm not militant about haircolor, it is for me both a personal statement and a bit of a political one as well. Just sayin'. :-)

  7. Only a dreamer could come up with, "The tyranny of cowlicks cannot be denied."

  8. That's the thing about psychotropics ... you've never certain when flashbacks happen.

  9. Ah, the mother:daughter dream. Yes. Those are particularly loaded. Especially when you yourself have a daughter.

    So hair is symbolic of power, right? So if you were happy and carefree and bouncy with that sassy do, it's indicative of some new freedom in your life. The mother piece? Maybe you feel as though you two are on the same page about something?

    I love butting into other people's dreams!

  10. I never remember my dreams to analyze them. But I'm going to agree with the statement "You've finally forgiven your mother" and maybe THAT'S why you had that dream about your hair?

  11. Snifter of vinoer beforer bedder.

  12. i had a dream i was being chased presumably to kill me and i was naked excepting army boots??? OMG-who knows!!

    i won't go into the symbolism or anymore than that...apparent dream rebound from ambien i am no longer taking? or that dinner.... GF and basically just rice...again. xxx

  13. I know for a fact I'm far too lazy to even dream about coloring my hair. It was bad enough when the perms grew out.. However, I did have a dream about taping my wrinkles into my hairline but I kept needing more tape. Shades of Katherine Helmond in Brazil.

  14. I keep dreaming I'm blond and thin. That one's probably self explanatory.

  15. Haircolor. The directions have the warning of possible blindness. I always questioned if applying toxic dye near your brain is a wise choice.
    Yet I have solid streaks of gray coming in along both front sides....
    In men, considered distinguished, in women, washed out?
    So it was music to my ears, to hear your words "how we liberated ourselves from the shackles of Clairol and told L'Oreal no más, merci."
    Free at last!

  16. I'm going for the distinguished look, myself.

    Not that much black hair left at all...

  17. I've been entertaining the notion of accepting the inevitable. It's just so hard to come to terms that my original color no longer exists. The natural color that constitutes my regrowth is a dull, mousy gray; not a pretty silver or white. You've heard of dish-water blonde? I am now a dusty looking Pacific Northwestern sky shade. Just kind of lackluster and lifeless.

  18. I have rich a complex dreams just about every night, but I don't analyze them. Every once in a while I'll have such an unforgettable, lucid dream that I can't help but think about it/interpret it, but usually I just let them go, night after night.

    Except when I have those "my teeth are crumbling and falling out of my head" or "I'm trying really hard to run but it's like I'm in quicksand" dreams -- those are the easy and obvious ones! (Stress, loss of control, stress again.)

  19. The scotch tape bangs - bad memories - mine were always waaayyy too short.

  20. Does your mother ask you if/when you are going to color your hair? Just wondering. That said, the slide into a mullet would have made me wake up screaming. Glad you have all your hair.

  21. That's so funny you had the haircut dream. I've had the same one, including the horror of looking in the mirror to see a mullet.

    What does it say that you and I have the same kind of dream?

  22. I tried to comment earlier but blogger ate it.

    I still dye my hair and it is a dried out mess for it too. I've been thinking of just coloring the front and leaving the back be so that when I do finally get the courage to grow out the front it won't be such a drastic change. I know someone with dark hair that is doing this and it looks cute. It threw me off for awhile until I finally figured out what she was doing.


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