Sunday, August 8, 2010
My wig, or the muskrat as I referred to it, was my daily accessory from the end of January 'til mid July. It traveled to Florida and St. Louis with me. It went to church. It went to the theater. It went to work. It went to garage sales. It went to dinner. All in all, it had a good life. But after six months of pretty reliable service, it was finally laid to rest about three weeks ago.
My wigless test run was in June when we went to Myrtle Beach for a week with Scott, Chloe and Livy. There was no way I was going to sit on the beach with the rat on my head. Not only didn't I want to get sand in it -- although it's washable -- I really didn't want to swelter in the heat. Nor did I want to get hit by a wave and watch it wash out to sea, bobbing along like a hairy jellyfish.
So, it stayed home and pouted while we went on vacation. By mid-June, I had speckled hair, about 3/4 of an inch long, all over my head. It was white and winglike above my ears, with a black/silver/white combo on top and back, tightly curled. Taken in tandem, the effect was Clarabell on the sides and a sheared poodle on the top. I had gone to Hobby Lobby and picked up five bandanas in solid colors, and the day we left I wore one. I looked like Lucy Ricardo in the stomping-grapes-in-Italy episode. The bandanas never saw daylight again after that first day. I went "au naturel". Scott thought it looked great. The girls loved rubbing my head, as the new hair is soft as a chinchilla's fur. I can't resist rubbing my head either. It's like my own personal security blanket. But every time I catch my reflection in a mirror or window, I wonder who is that old poodle?
It really didn't bother me on vacation. Other than my family, everyone we met along the way was a stranger, and I would never see them again, but going without my wig to work was a little scarier. The established staff members knew I was wearing a wig, but there were some employees who were hired during that January-July wig era who thought I was sporting my own hair. In addition, we had just acquired five publications and there were new hires showing up in the office each day. Thus, when I returned to work after being an old poodle for 10 days, I was wigged up.
Then, around mid-July, I had an early-morning follow-up appointment with my radiologist. That meant the following would occur: go into dressing room; remove wig, take off top, put on snap-button smock, put on wig again; see the doctor for about 5 minutes; return to dressing room; take off smock, take off wig, pull on top, put on wig again. I decided that morning that I would go wigless to the doctor's office, and that meant that I would also go wigless to work, as I was heading there directly from the appointment. I was braced for whatever comments would zing my way.
My fears were groundless. Whether they meant it or not, everyone who had a comment made it a pleasant one. They liked it. From the receptionist and the technicians at the radiologist's office to my fellow workers, they liked it. "Don't wear the wig any more," they told me. Of course, these are some of the same people who said they really liked my wig, so there you are!
The curliness could go the way of the wagon wheel within a year, or my hair could remain this way. It's happened both ways with other cancer patients. I'm just happy to once again have a crop of hair on the top forty. And it's so fast and easy to shampoo, dry and get out the door now that I just may keep the old poodle around for quite awhile.