Creatively, I’ve been lucky. In addition to my near misses, crushing disappointments and abject failures — of which there have been many — I’ve been fortunate enough to see two screenplays I wrote turn into movies, my children’s book published by Random House and a TV pilot purchased and subsequently killed by ABC. I’ve had the opportunity to work with my favorite athletes for ESPN, launch Michael Jordan’s cologne and walk the red carpet at the Kodak Theater for my own premiere. But of all the creative projects I’ve completed, none are as important or as satisfying as the one I’m about to begin.
Just over a year ago, I came to the conclusion that despite the proliferation of the Internet, the accessibility of air travel and the global nature of business, we still live in a world with a million lines that divide us as people. Some of these lines are physical — lines formed by the borders of neighborhoods, towns and countries. Others, like the lines caused by race, money and politics are less immediately apparent, but no less real.
I’ve never been much of a conspiracy theorist: Roswell, black helicopters, the JFK assassination. Not really buying into it, until yesterday, when I exposed the grand daddy of them all — The Supercuts Cover Up. To understand the significance of what I revealed, you must go back a ways … to my birth. Unlike the other babies in the maternity ward, it quickly became apparent to my parents, and most of the hospital staff, that I was born with pubic hair on my head. It was a curse I would take with me through my teenage years. As other kids were parting their hair in the middle, growing Aerosmith-like locks and generally spending a lot of time shampooing and conditioning, I was having my wirey white ‘fro shaped like a set of hedges. It started with the Chia Pet rounded ball on top of my head, transitioned to the modified Gumby where I tried to part it, causing the hair to incline from left to right at a 45 degree angle, and eventually resolved itself in the straight-back let’s just keep it military-short and hope no one asks me if I’m still in basic.
Now, while I equate this ridiculously kinky and unwieldy hair with Saturdays watching “Love Boat” — instead of making out with hot Boston chicks in acid washed jeans in front of White Hen Pantry like my buddies were — it has been liberating as an adult. Why? Because I now realize that it doesn’t matter who cuts my hair — you really can’t screw it up. OK, you can, but it’s kind of like buying a house for $16,000 — there’s only so much downside. Armed with this knowledge that no matter what you do to it (my hair will always be in the D+/C- range), I have chosen not to pay men named Shane or Renaldo to cut my hair in favor of women with nametags that say things like, “Claire,” “Sante” and “Lewanda.”