First, it’s because so many people think I shouldn’t. When so many people care so much about something so unimportant, stubborn Dan-brain kicks in and I’m like… eff it. I’m doing it. That’s just my nature.
Second, it’s because I am trying to make myself see the world from a different perspective than the ultra-conservative, clean-cut, cookie cutter world that has consumed so much of my life in this Utah subculture. I had the same short, blonde, spike-do for like FIFTEEN STRAIGHT YEARS because I feared ever doing anything different. But then, I realized many years ago that the longer I made sure to fit into the norm, the more I found myself harshly judging others who didn’t. Yes. I became just another one of the many norm-squeezing wanks out there, in the end.
Third, and this one is a little more personal, I remember in the brief breath of a moment that I was married to my second wife, I had a tantrum. She had the longest, most incredibly beautiful red hair I think I still have ever seen. And I used to give her such hell about spending so much on premium shampoo and conditioner. I didn’t listen to her when she complained about the upkeep of such hair. I showed her no sympathy. And one day she told me she might want to cut it shorter… and I had a tantrum. And told her no way. And I reinforced to her that I loved her long hair more than anything, and I wanted her to keep it long, and I didn’t want her to cut it. Never once did I listen to what she wanted or why she wanted it. And she kept it long for me. Not for her. For me.
Let me tell you. When I ventured outside of the norm, little by little… And I grew up, little by little… And I learned what it was like to be loved and hated by so many for the exact same reasons, little by little… And I learned that I’d rather laugh at everyone else being the same than at one person being different… And I was able to think back to that tantrum, and those one-sided conversations, and realize what a friggin’ wank of a norm-squeezing husband I was…
All of that led to me wanting to somehow understand long hair. It led to me wanting to know what it took to grow long hair, what it took to keep long hair, and what it took to have others have feelings about my long hair. Yes, in many ways, my long hair now is hugely me trying to understand just how poorly I looked at life, and at her, and it reminds me just how unimportant my opinions of others really is. In other words, a big part of why I’m doing it is because I know that by doing it, others will have opinions, and I want the reminder for the rest of my life that nobody’s opinion should ever matter except my own when it comes to things like this. And I really want to be reminded for the rest of my life that my opinion of others (in such matters) carries exactly no importance.
So I grew my hair out.
And I’m still growing it out.
And in the end, I have been keeping it long for one main reason. Take a deep breath, those of you who hate it.
I LIKE IT THAT WAY.
I like it that way. Me. Yours truly. This guy right here. I like it.
I don’t care if you love it or hate it. I like it. I don’t care if you love or hate that I dye it. I don’t care if some people think it’s weird for a guy to dye his hair. I like having dark hair. Me. Yours truly. This guy right here.
It’s my hair. It’s my life. And if you’re going to let my hair influence the way you think about my actions, or the way you think about the words that I write, or the way you think about what kind of human I am beneath the hair, well then…
Maybe you should do something drastic to your hair, too. And keep it that way until you get it. Because right now, you don’t.
Oh. And wouldn’t you agree that…
This Dubsmash would be nowhere near as awesome if I had short hair.