Hold onto your (bobble) hats, pass the sick bucket, take some anticipatory ibuprofen for the rib ache you'll have by the time you reach the end: My other half, DadJokes has produced this contributory blog post - at my pushy insistence - to give his side of 'The Hair Thing and How it Happened'.
I insisted because I wish I'd had a bit of insight into how the him-indoorses of the world would feel at
having their old girlfriends swapped in for balder versions. Then I wouldn't have wasted my money on headscarves and my time worrying about it so much.
So here it is. I can only apologise for the terrible jokery - but now you see where the moniker came from, and you can sympathise with me as you wish.
Although we were both physically in the room at the initial diagnosis, I think I may have been there more mentally than my girlfriend, ever-so-slightly. There were so many questions jumbled in my head I didn’t know what to ask first, so I tried these….
Does she have to have Chemotherapy?
How long does it last?
What do you mean 6 months? 6 months??
Is it every day? Can she stay at home?
And Sophie asked... Am I going to lose my hair?
Am I going to lose my hair! The poor sapling, she was genuinely worried about that. I now know with the wisdom of hindsight why she freaked out about this, as opposed to my ‘hair shmair’ stance. But for me as her significant other (sorry always wanted to use that description since Del Boy introduced Cassandra as such in Only Fools), it was a lot further down the priority list let me tell you.
I’ll be honest, it didn't even occur to me to ask - not because hair isn't important to me, believe me an overdue cut of my own gives me sleepless nights - I simply didn't place any importance on it in this particular context.
Now when Sophie asked me to write ‘the boyfriend's perspective on the hair loss thing’, I duly obliged, but I warned her it might not be quite what she wanted, because quite frankly my dear, I didn’t give a damn!
I actually found it quite hurtful when her mother took me aside to tell me Sophie was convinced I wouldn’t find her attractive anymore, that she was especially worried about bedtime when she couldn’t hide it from me.
I’m going to admit that I had a little weep about that to myself. I took it to mean I was comfortable with my insecurities around her, and perhaps it wasn’t reciprocated. (What? Don’t tell the lads…)
Of course it wasn’t as simple as that and we’ve talked about it since. Losing your hair is a bit more than merely an insecurity. To me only a bit, because my point is, it doesn’t matter to me in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter to me on Sophie (or off!), so its hard to grasp how much it can matter to someone worrying about what I’m going to think about it. Phew. Am I making sense? I guess I’ll never truly understand what it’s like to be told that for the next year you'll be bald (I sincerely hope).
So fast forward to the first cut. Sophie was naturally nervous but I’d done my very best to remain canny about the whole hair thing since the start, I could see we needed a bit of canny.
Claire's haircut was very good, mid-length and wavy. I thought it looked ace but casting my mind back now, I’m not sure if I was 100% honest with my enthusiastic compliments. The cut was great don't get me wrong, but I just loved her long hair. I haven’t told Sophie this, so erm maybe a public apology for white lying. Sorry babe, I was trying to make you feel better during an obvious trauma.
It was only about a week later when she called me with a wobbly voice. “Kenna is coming round to crop me today.”
I had the thoughts; Short short hair? Will she like that? Will I like that?’ Kenna is a long time friend of Sophie’s, I don’t know him so well, but I hear he is a fantastic hairdresser. This was going to be interesting. I can admit now that for a split second I thought about his Hackney roots. Was it going to be an uber trendy haircut from the depths of Broadway Market? (for the uninitiated, a place in London where you are not worth a dime if your jeans aren't rolled up to your knees and you are not covered in multi coloured tattoo's and a handlebar tash)
Turns out it really was amazing and very sexy and I was surprised how much I loved it. But then again I might be a touch biased - if you look as pretty as my missus does, even I could give her a good haircut.....
Yep… you guessed it.
Not so long later and Sophie was literally pulling her hair out (nb. I have a thing about the correct usage of the word literally. Here is a perfect example, please take note Mr.Jamie Redknapp and Ms.Katie Selby).
Quite frankly she was a mess, so I had to step up and take charge of the situation. "I'm taking it off, you will be fine and you will make it look beautiful. Trust me. I will think so no matter what, but I will call you Garibaldi at some points in the future" (um..yup..that actually got a laugh. And I do it too!).
It didn't take long. Whilst I sheared, we cried (yes, again), and Sophie doesn’t believe me when I say that I didn’t really freak out, even secretly, at the Vin Diesel look. Rather I was sincerely moved by how she was feeling and it hurt me to see her cry.
At the time I was thinking she could pull off rasta dreads, let alone a GI Jane crop, but it took me a while to get her to look in the mirror.
I will say this though. It felt very real now because there was finally a visual element to this bugger.
A couple of months have passed now, the love of my life is a baldy, and thankfully she has not once felt the need to try and hide it from me.
I try to greet her with a new name every time I come in the door. Richard O ‘Brien, Uncle Festa, Kojak, Terry Tibbs, Egg head, Right Said Fred, Grant Mitchell (any further suggestions, please comment below – I’m running thin) (like Sophie’s hair) (Sorry).
She just looks like Soph to me. I sometimes even forget that she has long hair (in the cupboard). Just this morning when she was all dressed and ready for work looking a gazillion dollars, I kept shouting her to come back in the room ‘‘let me take another look at cha’’. She looked amazing with this lovely red hair and with eyebrows and high heels – I guess I’m just so unfazed by the bald version it’s actually a welcome shock to catch a glimpse of the old hot one every so often!
Hair's to more of that caper then.