Permission to dye my own hair, sir!
I received some of my neighbor's post the other day, so I walked it round to their house (as you do, in a neighborly way). I had recently dyed my hair red due too; I dunno, boredom or was it thoughts of being exciting and adventurous, or okay, maybe just a pre-mid-life crisis. Anyway, it turned out not so much red as a screaming pasta sauce color. I figured I would change it back to its natural near-black color at some point but would stick with the Ragu for a while.
My neighbour (the wife of the husband/wife duo) opened the door and, upon seeing my unusual hue, remarked on it.
"You've dyed your hair!" she said, heading the way of the obvious.
"I have!" I replied brightly.
"And your husband allowed it?" she asked.
Thus drew me to a screeching neighborly halt.
"Sorry?" I asked, confused. "Allowed it?"
"Yes," she said, nodding in case the words weren't enough. "My husband won't allow it, he says it makes me look like I've been in a bloodbath. I can only cut my hair."
It is so hard to highlight just how wrong I found that entire exchange.
It's not the first time I've heard it. Years ago when I had a breast reduction (why yes, yes I did) I got those comments all the time - "You're having your breasts reduced? Why? What does your husband/future husband/gay lover/insert dictatorial relationship parallel here as appropriate have to say about it?"
You know what they have to say about it? Sweet fuck all. My breasts, my backache, my poorly fitted clothing, my enormous jugs. If I say they go, then they go. I couldn't give a fiddler's fart what anyone had to say about the size of my mammaries. If they are not sporting them strapped to the front of their chest on a 24-hour basis then they have no say at all. I am not a plaything there for the sport of my beloved.
There are many factors that are important in a relationship, it's true - personality, compromise, sharing, respect, common goals. While I am not advocating tattooing every inch of my body and expecting my spouse to just suck up why they are now with the Human Tattoo Palette, there are many areas where independence is a must. My acceptance in their lives should not be based on something as immaterial as cup size, hair color, favourite socks, or shiny versus matte lipstick. These choices are my own, and although I respect and would like feedback from my partners, it's not going to be the deciding factor for me.
I smiled at my neighbour. "My husband doesn't get a say about my hair color. It's my hair. Every family is different, of course. Oh, and that cut looks good on you."
She patted her hair self-consciously and I made my way home.