This sighted woman had a bit of a rude awakening of how far gone my husband’s sight has gotten…
I had been thinking of cutting my hair really short for a long time, and my husband had always argued against it, saying how much he loved me having long hair. I liked it too, but I had gotten into a bad habit of dying my hair in different colors as a way of “changing my shoes”. I had been doing this for almost twenty years, and now that I’ve gotten older and soon going into a teaching profession, I realized it was time to stop mutilating my hair. I needed to embrace the true color that I am – Dark mousey blond. It is part of who I am, I figured. It’s about time I let me be me without trying to alter it.
But I was not willing to be patient with watching it grow out and constantly pulling my medium length hair into a ponytail when I was in a hurry to get out the door. I remembered the days, in the 80’s, of being a kid with spunky short blond hair. Before I turned 15, my hair was a bright flax color. I loved it! It would be even lighter in the summer as I swam in the pool nearly every day (a part of the survival code in Tucson, Arizona). As I grew into a woman, my hair became darker, thus bringing me into the dying world and lightening it to keep it bright. I did that for a long time.
After my daughter was born, I noticed my roots were even darker as I had continued the blond dying, and I began to think, “Why not another color?” I tried red, brown, black, and combinations of the colors with highlights and color blocking. I even went to the extreme of hot pink color blocking with black hair. My recent craze had been dark brown with purple bangs.
I think its time to move on from this constant abuse of my hair.
In the beginning of my color craze, my husband could see the colors I would pick. He loved the blond the most, as that was the color he met me with. He laughed when I got the hot pink. “You’re a nut, you know that, sweetie?” He would say. I would nod and love the attention.
Of the past couple of years, I would get a haircut or dye my hair a different color, and I would have to tell him what I had done. He would have me stand in a bright light for him to see it. He would always compliment me on how it looked, but I had always kept my hair with some length to it. He liked that.
Last year, I joked that I was going to shave my hair completely and be bald. “No! Don’t do that!” He would say with a bit of authority. I asked him why, and he came back with how much he liked me with long hair. I told him how I was tired of dying it, always resorting to putting it in a ponytail, and knowing how bad the health of my hair was. “Just stop dying it and let it grow out.” That’s easy for him to say when he didn’t dye his hair for almost 20 years!
I tried for almost 6 months of not dying my hair after dying “one last time” with a color I thought might be what my natural color was. I had it cut into a bob, hoping that was just long enough to make my husband happy while also being short for myself. It was okay. I didn’t really care for it, as my curly/wavy hair wasn’t very obedient in staying in a style I wanted it to be. The nagging idea of cutting my hair really short was always at the back of my mind. “Cut it ALL off and start completely fresh!” It was something that went over and over in my mind.
Well… After much deliberation, and Pinterest searching. I found the cut I wanted and said, “That’s it. I’m doing it.” I ran the idea past my mom, as she is my best friend and would be honest with me. She gave me the message, “Go for it.”
I didn’t tell my husband. I thought I’d surprise him. I just wondered how long it would take for him to notice. I giggled at the idea of him seeing me in the bathroom, which has the best lighting for him in the past, and going, “What happened to your hair?!”
The next day, with my kids in tow, I went to the hair salon with the picture on my phone, ready to show the stylist what I wanted. I had even gotten my kids approval on what I picked, even though I had thought of going shorter than what I showed the stylist. “You really want to go that short?” The lady asked me with an eyebrow arched. “Yes. I want to get rid of all this frazzled and dyed hair and let it grow out naturally, but I think it’ll do it better with short hair.” The woman nodded and agreed.
I sat there, ready to go, and she pulled out the buzz clipper with an attachment on it and started shaving the back of my head. I smiled as I saw my long locks fall to the floor. My daughter’s, who was watching, eyes grew wider and wider as more hair fell to the ground. I saw her say, “Wow.” The stylist then turned to the scissors to shape the rest of the hair to fit with the style I had showed her. It was finally short! There was still quite a bit of the dyed hair to grow out, but with the right care and eating the right foods, it would grow out quickly and be healthy.
Back to my husband.. I went home and got everything ready for dinner before he came home. My daughter brought me his lunch bag, which told me he had arrived, so I called out, “Hi, Honey!” I hear him respond, though I can remember not really understanding what he said. I came around to him, with the dining room light shining very brightly, and greeted him. He kissed me and appeared to look at me. I didn’t hint anything as I asked him how he was doing. “I’m hungry. How long do you think until dinner is ready?” I told him it would be roughly another 10 minutes. He still didn’t notice. I figured the light wasn’t bright enough. The bathroom light might be better, I mused.
He still didn’t notice anything when I stood in the bathroom light. I was going to be patient.
The next day, with the sun shining brightly into our room, he still didn’t notice.
“Could he not be able to see me? At all?” I wondered.
Finally, that afternoon, I told him what I had done. “No! You didn’t really?!” I moved closer to let him touch my hair, and I see his face drop with shock. “Why?” he wailed. I explained what I was trying to do. “You might as well shave it all off, if thats what you want to do.” I had to laugh as that was my initial idea.
Who knows… I might.
“You couldn’t see me?” I asked. He shook his head and explained that he doesn’t see faces anymore. It was my turn to feel a drop, but only it was in my heart. Not even in the bathroom could he see me. I just wanted to cry. It was definitely diminishing. It’s amazing that he’s still working… But I thank God that I’m a year away from graduating from Grad school and will be hopefully employed as a teacher by then (Or, I hope, sooner). I am realizing now that it won’t be much longer, but hopefully not before I graduate, he won’t be able to see the computer screen and be able to work again.
With this in mind… I am beginning to wish I could win the lottery and take my husband somewhere special before he loses it completely. I just don’t know how I could do that with such a limited income. I’d be open to any ideas from my readers.