“Men hate the sight of curlers” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask A Man
I’ve reached a critical juncture in this project–choosing between what I want and like and choosing between what Ian wants and likes. Throughout all of these different books across various decades, they have one thing in common–a woman’s job is to please her man.
The other night he sat me down and said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but I think those pincurls and scarf make you look like a washerwoman and it makes me less attracted to you.”
I did everything Arlene told me to, and turns out . . . it didn’t work. That Ian liked me better, thought I was more attractive, when I didn’t put my hair up. Even when I hid all my implements, he could still see them, and it was a major turn-off.
But here’s the thing. I LIKED putting my hair up. I liked the act of doing so, and I felt like I was just on the cusp of getting it right (and if not, well, there’s always hats). One of the things I’ve learned (and enjoyed) about makeup and hair is that it’s time for myself. Just ten minutes or so in the early morning or late evening, not enough to really write or get into a book or anything like that, just ten minutes where I am alone, in front of my vanity, quietly reflecting.
My hair has always been a minor point of contention between Ian and I. When I was living in NYC, I got it straightened, and while he loved it, I hated it. I thought it made me look like everyone else, so I went home and cried and listened to Hole’s “Awful” to cheer myself up. I want wild, curly, funky hair, and he wants something cute and flippy. I don’t want to not be attractive to him, but I also want to feel like my hair is my own to do with whatever I please. Now the next step is figuring out how to mesh both of our feelings on the subject and come up with something I like that also makes me attractive to him.
That’s the whole point of this project–to examine what vintage advice works and what doesn’t work. Ian was just doing what I asked him to do–be honest about the status of each stunt I undertook. He didn’t like this one, and that’s fine. He’s not a bad person, it’s not a control issue, I’m not going to dump him because he doesn’t like pincurls.
I’m sure he’s relieved to hear that.