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sneakybea
August 29th, 2009, 07:34 AM
So I was on the phone with my mother the other day, and I mentioned to her that I was at a loss for how I wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday, which is only a month away. She said she and my dad would treat me to something I wanted to do (which is very sweet), but she added "like get your hair cut."
Now I've mentioned before that my mother teases me about cutting my hair all the time, and has ever since I grew it out as a teen. I usually just laugh it off, because I just think it's her kind of humor---like the way we jump on each other's grammatical mistakes, just snarking a bit. And I also think my mother has hair issues because she had really long hair as a child, and when she finally cut it, at age twelve, her mother didn't speak to her for three days (something I think is pretty terrible, by the way). And yet. . .
Right now I'm looking for work and my self esteem is pretty low, and what she said hurt a little, I don't know why. She hasn't seen me since January, so she wants me to cut my hair because it looks bad. I would never let her or anyone else, for that matter, talk me into cutting my hair, and I've always looked forward to keeping my hair long past the age when many women cut it---I think of it as letting my unconventional side show. And maybe her suggestion, in addition to being half joking, has less to do with me and how my hair looks than that notion some people have that you should cut your hair at age forty.
I'm not really fishing for compliments, but more wanting to know how you cope with these kinds of remarks, particularly when you're having self esteem issues anyhow. Thanks in advance!

SHELIAANN1969
August 29th, 2009, 07:46 AM
I know it's frustrating when people harp on the same old thing over and over. :flower:

Happy upcoming birthday!

My gran knows how much I love my hair, but always teases about cutting it, I just look at her with a horrified look and say no way!

I know she is teasing, because it gets my goat, but I won't cut!! never never never!

Just let it slide, life is too short to be upset by it or to be hurt my an offhanded comment.

Some people think that going to a salon *is* a treat, I find it stressful and avoid them, but some people love them. Maybe you could suggest something you could do together to spend time and have fun?

Don't sweat it, have a great birthday, after all....It's all downhill from here! :D:D:D (my little humor, I am 40 too!)

Madame J
August 29th, 2009, 08:00 AM
"But Mom, I don't WANT to get my hair cut." The key here is to act completely and utterly perplexed by her suggestion because it's so out of line with your personality and likes. I really think that innocent/confused responses are received better than snarky ones because it shows the person who made the offending remark that you don't even understand why someone would suggest that.

There's an advice columnist named Carolyn Hax whom I adore. I don't always agree with her advice, but she has the best "come backs" for annoying remarks. There's the icy stare, the "Excuse me?" (with or without icy stare), and the "Wow." "Wow" is said deadpan, in response to something incredibly offensive and/or personal that it's really completely inappropriate to be saying/asking. None of them is overtly snarky, and doesn't involve even working up the energy to zing the other person.

While I agree that it's best to try not to dwell on annoying remarks, sometimes you do feel the need to make some response to remind the person that they're being annoying. And none of the above responses could be accused of "overreacting." And if you get accused of "not being able to take a joke," you can just say "Oh? That was a joke? It wasn't very funny." Again, innocent tone is key.

But yeah, definitely say something about how getting a hair cut is not the treat you want, and maybe they could take you out for a manicure/special meal/shopping trip/etc. Happy upcoming birthday and I hope you have fun!

sorraia
August 29th, 2009, 09:33 AM
I agree with you regarding your Mom having hair issues due to what happened to her
with her Mom. I am not sure how comfortable you are talking to your Mom about it but the
the next time the topic should come up maybe you could share with her as you did with us as to why you choose to wear your hair long. Which by the way I think is beautiful thing.
Maybe you could ask your Mom what she dislikes about you having long hair and if it's a possibility she is associating your long hair with the incident that happened to her and her Mom. Perhaps discussing it with her will help her heal some old emotional wounds and assist her with the understanding of your choices.
If you are not comfortable talking to her about it, just let it go and realize this aspect of your Mom is coming from a place of pain and not a reflection of acceptance of you.

Eckhart Tolle has a You tube video titled "Being Present in Relationships" that I found very informative when dealing with situations such as this.
Have a wonderful Birthday.

sorraia
August 29th, 2009, 09:34 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vshBnR4Z9x8&feature=related

Eckhart Tolle " Being Present in Relationships"

marikamt
August 29th, 2009, 09:39 AM
"But Mom, I don't WANT to get my hair cut." The key here is to act completely and utterly perplexed by her suggestion because it's so out of line with your personality and likes. I really think that innocent/confused responses are received better than snarky ones because it shows the person who made the offending remark that you don't even understand why someone would suggest that.

There's an advice columnist named Carolyn Hax whom I adore. I don't always agree with her advice, but she has the best "come backs" for annoying remarks. There's the icy stare, the "Excuse me?" (with or without icy stare), and the "Wow." "Wow" is said deadpan, in response to something incredibly offensive and/or personal that it's really completely inappropriate to be saying/asking. None of them is overtly snarky, and doesn't involve even working up the energy to zing the other person.

While I agree that it's best to try not to dwell on annoying remarks, sometimes you do feel the need to make some response to remind the person that they're being annoying. And none of the above responses could be accused of "overreacting." And if you get accused of "not being able to take a joke," you can just say "Oh? That was a joke? It wasn't very funny." Again, innocent tone is key.

But yeah, definitely say something about how getting a hair cut is not the treat you want, and maybe they could take you out for a manicure/special meal/shopping trip/etc. Happy upcoming birthday and I hope you have fun!

I agree..... I say something like "personally, I LOVE my hair and DH thinks I am beautiful with it... is there someone else whose opinion is more important (w/ a very perplexed look on my face".......

Also, I am turing 40 tomorrow.... I know how that feels- even when you are not "depressed" about it, it is just weird... kinda makes my stomach hurt :)

Your hair is beautiful!!!! And there is nothing wrong w/ coming here for a little "boost" when feeling down... isn't that what we are here for???

But all that being said, I know it hurts...... easier said than done, right?? Hang in there girl!!!

11eleven
August 29th, 2009, 09:55 AM
Looking at your picture in the thread I can see that your hair is beautiful!! Just follow what feels right for you.

missfortune9335
August 29th, 2009, 10:27 AM
Is it possible that your mom knows your self esteem is a little low right now and she thinks that going and having your hair done would make you feel a little pampered and special? For a lot of people a sassy new hair cut makes them feel better, maybe she was just wanting to help and didn't realize it really hurt your feelings?

pilateschick7
August 29th, 2009, 10:51 AM
I'm sorry mothers can really push our buttons. Mine is not particularly supportive and thinks that I need to get highlights because I am dishwater and a cut. However we have found a middle ground, she appreciates the woodwork skill (pretty hair sticks) of my recent purchases. Luckily my family is crafty.

What about saying "haircut-not so much, but I would love a gift certificate for a facial." Because you know it will come up again :)

going gray
August 29th, 2009, 11:25 AM
I understand how you feel. (Imagine the remarks I get at my age) Maybe next time you talk to your Mom, or see her in person, explain how much you enjoy having long hair & that it's part of YOU & what makes YOU happy. That might put an end to the "hair cut" remarks.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY...Enjoy your day when it arrives.

Redheaded Raven
August 29th, 2009, 11:26 AM
What everyone has already suggested are good suggestions, so I really don't have anything to add other than. :grouphug:

nowxisxforever
August 29th, 2009, 11:40 AM
Ouch :( Sorry hon, I know how that can be. I'm pretty lucky for having a supportive family, but my mother also will take cheap shots at me. She thinks I'm crazy for growing my hair out-- my entire childhood she kept me short, blonde, permed and layered! Blech, I hated it.

That said, she did once tell me I should donate my hair to LoL. I've gotten this suggestion a few times lately, which I find flattering because it means they feel it would be suitable for a wig-- but as soon as I hit them with 2-3 facts about LoL (usually 'alopecia, not cancer' & 'sell, not give' & 'usually don't use the hair they receive for wigs' is sufficient) they don a "oh, huh." face and never mention it again ;) So far as simply cutting... I don't get anyone telling me I should cut my hair without donating it. *shrug* I have a feeling though that as your hair gets longer, she will probably mention LoL...

bte
August 29th, 2009, 11:57 AM
I started growing my hair seriously when I was 39, so it took until I was 40 before people noticed it was long. That is exactly the age at which I got the job I needed.

Age and hair are no barrier to getting employment.

And 40 isn't old!

Lady Mary
August 29th, 2009, 12:35 PM
You can celebrate turning 40 by staying true to yourself. Your hair is beautiful, very shiny and looks fabulous. Don't let it get you down, I hope you have a happy birthday! :flower:

Fiferstone
August 29th, 2009, 01:11 PM
This 47 year old with a mother who will never like her long hair has this to add: Remember that your hair is long because it pleases YOU. End of story. I cannot add anything more than what everyone else has always said, definitely respond with puzzlement to the generous offer of a day of beauty (including haircut) at the salon. "But I don't want to cut my hair." works fine. Perhaps suggest a spa day for the two of you that does not include any cutting/washing/styling of hair? Beyond that, let it go, if she's anything like my mother, she'll never like your long hair and that's the end of it.

sneakybea
August 29th, 2009, 06:32 PM
Thank you all for your wonderful advice! As I said before, I don't normally have such difficulty shrugging off these comments from my mother. My hair is really the only thing she nags me about---she doesn't ask me when I'm going to get married or give her grandkids, for example---and I've always been grateful about that. It's more my ambivalence about turning 40 and unhappiness about being jobless has made me more sensitive, and I'm plenty sensitive already. And I also don't think my mom was trying to suggest 40 was old, unless it was subconsciously---she was just using the excuse of doing something fun as an excuse to suggest I cut my hair, knowing full well I'd rather go to a play or a concert or something.
Again, thanks for all your advice and sweet words.

spidermom
August 29th, 2009, 06:37 PM
You must really care about her opinion. My father doesn't like my hair and suggested I cut it several times the last time I saw him, but I don't give two cents about what he thinks, so I responded with "Cut my hair? That will be the day." Also "Give it up. I'm not going to cut my hair."

All I can suggest is to remember that you are an adult and can do anything you want with your hair. Your mom doesn't get a vote. (and neither do I, but I think your hair is pretty)

Medievalmaniac
August 29th, 2009, 06:48 PM
I don't cope with them...I give them a withering glance of disdain and walk (waltz) off. I really do NOT care what they think. It's not like anybody I know walks on water, feeds the masses, has a madly and insanely large bank account, is fabulously gorgeous, or is famous beyond belief and the envy of all. If my long hair is the worst thing they can find to criticize about me, then I think I'm coming out on top! ;)

I jest, but only slightly - nobody likes to receive criticism or disparagement for her appearance. But the thing is, I spent the majority of my life in a quest to be "normal" like everybody else- and I was really not very happy when I was conforming (or at least looked like I was) because even though I looked the same as everyone else, I still wasn't. I am just me, so I may as well go ahead and BE me, and enjoy it, because trying to hard not to be me not only didn't change my life for the better (sorry, Oprah, but it didn't!) but it made me feel even worse about myself because - well, if I was doing everything right, then why wasn't I fitting in and brilliantly happy?

Answer: because I'm not a "normal person". I hate the mall, I hate going to salons, I do NOT like the beach, I'd rather go to the mountains on vacation (beaches are wonderful in January/Febnruary when no one is there, though!) I don't care what kind of car I drive, I do not and have never owned a cell phone, I don't know what Tweeting is and I don't CARE.

I am so much happier doing things my way and doing what I like than I ever was "fitting in." Fitting in cost me a fortune, and a lot of time (I got my undergraduate degree in French and teaching instead of medieval studies because it wasn't practical and I couldn't make a living doing it. I went back to get my medieval degree, and then I married "the right guy". The right guy (money, looks, family, etc) turned out to have some serious emotional and psychological hang ups that led to a divorce and the necessity of abandoning my degree efforts, not to mention my development of a fledgling drinking problem as a means of coping with the fact that I "had it all" and still didn't have a thing. I am now just starting to look at doctoral work (finally!) and AM getting paid to read books and talk about them, and paid fairly well - so it turns out, "everybody else" wasn't right, after all. And since the moment when I walked away from "Mr Right" and what everybody else thought was best for me and struck out on my own path, I have been the happiest person I know. No more ulcer, no more drinking problem, no more smoking, no more self-loathing. I get a lot of comments about how happy I am and how inspirational I am. It's because I am ME.

So, if there are people in my life who want to criticize my hair, that's fine by me...they clearly have nothing else to criticize, and I'm happy and clearly, they aren't. And that is not my problem...nobody helped me out of my sadness, it was my work to do. Well, long hair makes me happy. And studying medieval culture. And wearing long swirly skirts. Ren faires make me happy. Painting makes me happy. Doing community theatre makes me happy. I feel like I am crafting a wonderful existence - and since we only get one, it should be as wonderful a one as we can make it.

That's the best advice I can offer you. I'm sorry your family is being so wretched - but it is YOUR life, be happy, be blessed. :)

Lady Mary
August 29th, 2009, 06:57 PM
Answer: because I'm not a "normal person". I hate the mall, I hate going to salons, I do NOT like the beach, I'd rather go to the mountains on vacation (beaches are wonderful in January/Febnruary when no one is there, though!) I don't care what kind of car I drive, I do not and have never owned a cell phone, I don't know what Tweeting is and I don't CARE.

I'm with you there! Yuck to malls, salons, getting nails done... I especially do not care for those social networking websites (don't really get the point of them either.) I tell my husband all the time I want to live in a cabin in the woods next to a mountain. He feels the same way :laugh:

I do own a cell phone however, have for years, but it's my only phone instead of a land line telephone. I have it for the free long distance to call my family and in case of car trouble :flower: (I couldn't change a tire if my life depended on it.)

keight425
August 29th, 2009, 07:33 PM
If my long hair is the worst thing they can find to criticize about me, then I think I'm coming out on top! ;)
...
Answer: because I'm not a "normal person". I hate the mall, I hate going to salons, I do NOT like the beach, I'd rather go to the mountains on vacation (beaches are wonderful in January/Febnruary when no one is there, though!) I don't care what kind of car I drive, I do not and have never owned a cell phone, I don't know what Tweeting is and I don't CARE.
...
That's the best advice I can offer you. I'm sorry your family is being so wretched - but it is YOUR life, be happy, be blessed. :)

Seriously... PREACH IT Medievalmaniac!!! That was an awesome post!
And the line about tweeting just CRACKED me up because I say the same thing all the time.....

Bunnyhare
August 29th, 2009, 07:41 PM
It hurts me when families are the horrible-est to eachother, mine included..i have come to the conclusion that I am who I am and they can love it or leave it..I have self esteem issues big time and actually always got the opposite.."when are you going to stop cutting your hair and let it grow?" but it hurts either way..its like they want you to be them and not you...Your hair IS beautiful and if you love it keep it! I loved the ide of telling them you said something I want to do, lets go get a manicure or pedicure! I have no advice on how to get better self esteem because i struggle with it every day....Hugs and Love to you! You are in my heart and prayers for work and a happy heart!

tangocurl
August 29th, 2009, 09:05 PM
I started growing my hair seriously when I was 39, so it took until I was 40 before people noticed it was long. That is exactly the age at which I got the job I needed.

Age and hair are no barrier to getting employment.

And 40 isn't old!

I love this--what a thumbs up for authenticity. :cheese:

tangocurl
August 29th, 2009, 09:09 PM
I am so much happier doing things my way and doing what I like than I ever was "fitting in." Fitting in cost me a fortune, and a lot of time



I feel like I am crafting a wonderful existence - and since we only get one, it should be as wonderful a one as we can make it.

You ROCK. Just what I needed to hear today!

Medievalmaniac
August 30th, 2009, 06:09 AM
Hopefully it was just what Sneakybea needed to hear, too! I'm glad I could make your day. ;P

sneakybea
August 30th, 2009, 02:21 PM
Hopefully it was just what Sneakybea needed to hear, too! I'm glad I could make your day. ;P
It actually really does help, Medievalmaniac, and you sound a lot like me, too, except I study ancient history, not medieval, and I'm more of an urbanite (I love the mountains, but could never live there).
In general, I'm feeling lots better about what my mom said, because I realize that her issues are her issues and her preferences need not be mine. Usually I'm able to remember this, but sometimes I guess I'm not. It's also weird because she isn't a nag about anything else, which makes it harder to dismiss. But I'm going to, and everything you all have said really helps.

Medievalmaniac
August 30th, 2009, 04:11 PM
I'm glad to hear you are doing better!! Keep your chin up! (it makes your hair look longer when your head is slightly tipped back...! ;op )

tangocurl
August 30th, 2009, 04:54 PM
Well, you all can see my age there on the left; I thought I was too old for my mother to tell me what I should do with my hair, but she does anyway, and I just laugh. I wish I could laugh everything off so readily!

LadyLongLocks
August 30th, 2009, 04:55 PM
Lots of great advice here :)
I am way over 40 and have knee length hair. I used to hear it from my mother all the time!
My hair is longer than ever and she actually supports me and my hair now! So don't give up!
Instead of a haircut, maybe you should let her help you pick out a few hair toys. Let her get sort of involved and maybe she will warm up to it. Or just accept that she just isn't a long hair lover and enjoy your day because it is all about Y:)U!
Your hair and bun photo's are very pretty. Hope you have a great Birthday!!

JamieLeigh
August 31st, 2009, 10:09 AM
Just let it slide, life is too short to be upset by it or to be hurt by an offhanded comment.

I couldn't have said it better. And you said yourself, you realize that she's joking and you know it doesn't mean anything negative. Try to realize that 40 is just one of those numbers (like 30 and 50) that people tend to feel apprehensive about anyway, without any help from other things. Long hair is one of the best and most beautiful things to happen to women over 40, in my opinion.

Just try to let it roll off and enjoy your 40th birthday with your gorgeous mane of long hair! :flower:

wonhwa
August 31st, 2009, 02:45 PM
Do remember that you are on this earth to be happy, to be kind to others, and NOT to decorate anyone else's world, or make yourself look as they want you to look.
Have a happy birthday, and smile at your Mom and say, Instead of a haircut, how about some new hairtoys? Or a new dress? Or SHOES, oh yes, shoes ;-)

You are not here to be an extension of your Mom, because if we all did that, we all would look like Eve! Or whoever came first....

Happy Birthday!

Mutinous
August 31st, 2009, 02:54 PM
Stay strong :)

I think a lot of the time it just has to do with parents/grandparents growing up in times where long hair (whether on a man or woman) was just not done, as it was impractical and maybe expensive to upkeep? They don't mean to offend (and I don't mean to preach either) they are just very much of their own time.

Or at least that's how I have always understood it.

As for your birthday, why not go for a weekend break? Flights can be quite cheap (if they are quite local) and you could get everyone to pitch in and that way you would get a memory for your birthday :)

Demetrue
August 31st, 2009, 03:05 PM
Hmm, I was pregnant and had long hair when I was 40! A funny comeback would be, " Actually Mom, I was thinking of getting extra long extensions for my birthday."

ccaswick
May 11th, 2010, 02:22 PM
Probably way too late to comment, but wtheck, gonna toss my pennies into this thread anyhow. Why is it that mothers think they can get away with saying the most cutting and hurtful things to their daughters? I guess part of it is that they know which bullet will strike the right "spot" if you will. Anyhow, we will be the ones changing their diapers, paying their bills, selling their homes, selecting their nursing facilities, etc. They probably should have a little more respect. LOL.