Monday, November 28, 2011

"It’s different"

I had white-blond hair as a child.  My sister and parents are all brunettes, but some random combination of genes led me to blond.  Or else I’m not my father’s child – which is unlikely due to many, many other similarities.

As I grew older, my hair got darker.  It’s settled in a light brown hue.  I highlight it on occasion, but for the most part I don’t stray too far from my natural color.

On occasion though, I get a wild hair (see what I did there?).  I was auburn for a while in grad school.  I had a purple streak for a couple of months (hidden under the rest of my hair – just there for me to know about). 

And this fall, I decided to go with dark brown. 

My mother hadn’t seen my hair until the recent Thanksgiving holiday.  She hates it.  Absolutely.  Hates.  It.

How do I know that, you ask?  This conversation.

My mom:  “Oh.   You changed your hair.  It’s … different.”

Me:  “Yes, mom, change usually does make things different.”

My mom:  “It’s so dark!”

Me:  “Yes, it is.”

My mom:  “I’m just not used to it.”

  … the next morning

My mom:  “Your hair is so dark.  It’s different.  And you cut it.”

Me:  “Yep.”

My mom:  “When did you do this?”

Me:  “Around Labor Day.”

My mom:  “Oh.  Well, it’s different.”

Me:  “Yes, it is.”

“It’s different” is female-code for “I hate it” – except when it’s not.  Sometimes it means “I’m not used to it yet.”  But not when it’s used repetitively.  Then it definitely means “I hate it,” seasoned lightly with “Why did you change it?  It was so pretty before.”


  1. This post reminds me of something my family calls a "Catholic Compliment." Which is basically saying something critical by covering it with a compliment. So if it was about your hair it would have been : "It's so great that you are brave enough to take that kind of risk with your hair." Or if they don't approve of your job, "It is wonderful that you can be happy doing such a simple job."


  2. That is hilarious! My family doesn't know how to give compliments, Catholic or otherwise. But if they did, I suspect it would be of this nature.