Hair Today

by Rachelle Conroy

I was standing in a crowded beer tent, choking down warm beer and swatting mosquitoes when I first saw it. Long and thick, it seemed to beg to be stroked, even playfully tugged. Sporting just the slightest hint of a wave, it was subtly teasing as it gently swayed with each body movement. When I had gulped down enough liquid courage to reach out one shaking hand to actually touch it, it was as downy soft as that sweet spot between a kitten's ears, the spot where you just can't help but plant a big, wet kiss.

An annoyed masculine voice muttered "What the hell?", halting my probing fingers. Red-faced and literally caught red-handed, I guiltily tried to snatch my hand away, but it was trapped. My watchband snagged, then caught firmly, leaving me no recourse but to pull sharply, regardless of what physical pain it caused.

"Ow!"

This time the voice was more then just annoyed, it was pissed.

The short, but furious struggle that followed was not a pretty sight, but when it was over I was victorious. Not only had I succeeded in extracting my hand from the most gorgeous head of long hair I had ever seen, but I had met the owner of the glorious locks, and he was the man of my dreams. A man whose hair could rival that of any supermodel's: thick and shiny, tumbling halfway down his strong back, and shot through with the shimmering white-gold highlight's only the natural sunlight can produce.

What is it about a man with long hair that causes women to sneak a second look? Or in my case, cop a feel?

For me, it was totally the naughty, bad boy on a Harley persona. This was the guy my mother always warned me about, the kind that were up to no good, the kind who played the guitar, and prowled around in skin-tight Levi's. I felt a little wild; a little risqué standing next to my longhaired man, as though I was some sort of romance novel heroine who was on the verge of being sexually tamed by the barbaric Viking. It was exciting, those first few months of dating, living the life of a rebel's girlfriend.

Then reality hit.

He didn't wear a black leather motorcycle jacket dripping with heavy silver buckles. There wasn't a tattoo to be found on his body, and there wasn't a single Guns and Roses CD in his collection. Instead, this wild-child chose to dress in dark brown work pants, the same kind my own father favored. He drove a sedate, four-door car, diligently kept his bird feeders full, and although he did like to blare music while he was showering, it was the smooth tones of Barry Manilow, not the raucous growl of heavy metal. In short, this was simply a nice, hard-working man, who just happened to have the hair of Fabio.

I admit, I was the tiniest disappointed when it finally sunk in. I wasn't playing the adoring and understanding Valerie Bertinelli, and he was no Eddie VanHalen. I had been so wrapped up in the idea of being in a relationship with a modern-day rogue that I overlooked some really important things. This was an honest, decent man, one who called me when he said he would. He made sure I had my fair share of the covers in bed, and checked the oil in my car. So he wasn't dark and brooding, he didn't have a colorful past, heck; he never even had a cavity. I don't know why I thought that I would be living dangerously by being with him, perhaps it was one too many music videos and the dozens of romance novels I had read as an impressionable teen. He had long hair, and I had labeled him, unintentionally maybe, but it was a rude awakening, and I had learned a formidable lesson.

Eight years later, we are married and have a little boy. The long hair is gone, and modified crew cut has taken its place. I chuckle quietly to myself some nights, watching my former bad boy coaching our son in the proper way to hold a toothbrush. Sometimes he catches my eye, and with a simple crook of his eyebrow, makes my heart race, as thrilled as a young girl screaming at the strutting rock and roll star on the stage. It is then when I understand that it may have been the hair that initially snared me, but it was the man himself who captured my heart.


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