Hair Envy

A few years ago I worked out of a different office at my company. I worked in the field with mostly men. There were quite a few women that worked at my office, but we didn’t really get along.


The women there were older. Serious. Kind of uptight and in my view, not very interesting. They would never talk about their vaginas in the workplace or split their pants and flash everyone their underwear or any of the other things I haven’t even shared with you guys yet.

This sums them up pretty well. Older, white, and with awful fashion sense.

I mostly avoided them and they mostly avoided me. It was a fine arrangement.


And then one day, there was a new employee, E. She was close to my age and exactly the kind of person I like. She was sarcastic and loud mouthed. She was funny and cool and witty and she laughed a loud infectious laugh that was irresistible. We immediately liked each other.


Every morning I would stop by her desk to talk and crack jokes. She was great.


One day that first week of meeting her, I went to lunch with a group of the guys and I met another new employee, C. He was so cool and funny too. He was a big, burly, biker type, but laid back and sarcastic.


He and I really hit it off and in my head I was totally shipping C and E. By the end of our conversation I was convinced they were soul mates. So I asked him if he had noticed her. He had noticed her. It turned out E was his wife. I secretly take a bit of credit for their marriage, even though they were married before I knew them, because I would have made it happen if they weren’t already married.

I do this in my head to literally everyone. I don’t even care if they are married, straight, gay. You are all shipped with other people!

Have you ever had a crush on a couple? I had a major one on them. I’d talk to E every morning and have lunch at least once a week with C. They were from New York city and had recently moved down to Florida.


I heard the story of how they met and got engaged (which are my two favorite stories to hear in case anyone wants to share). I heard about how they were trying to have children. We grew fairly close over the period of about six months.


One day I was talking to E and she brushed a strand of hair back off her face. Normally I am hesitant to compliment women. They almost always take it as a come on. Maybe I don’t know how to do it in a way that seems platonic. But I had to tell her.


“Your hair is gorgeous!” She had the kind of hair I always dreamed of having. It was milk chocolate brown. Silky smooth without a hint of frizz. It was was shoulder length with perfect body and shine like something in a hair commercial. If she hadn’t been so cool I would have hated her for her perfect hair alone.

Like this adorable one right here.

She gave me sort of a bemused at my compliment and I worried I had overstepped my bounds. Or come across as flirting.


She reached up, grabbed a fistful of hair, and yanked the whole thing off her head. She was completely bald underneath.


I have no idea what kind of look I had on my face. It took about 45 seconds for my brain to catch up to what my eyes had seen. I was beyond dumbfounded.  I was completely confused and speechless.


My expression must have been good because E laughed for about 5 minutes until her face was red and tears were running down her face. She was gasping for air when she she finally replied.


“For $200, you could have a gorgeous head of hair too!”


I managed to say something totally smooth like “Why…what… It’s a wig?”

She laughed again and told me all about her alopecia. And then she asked, “Haven’t you noticed the days I wear other wigs? Or the days I don’t wear one at all and just do a bandana?”

Stan Sitwell. Also, I think my real hair generally looks like this terrible wig.

And do you guys know what? I hadn’t. I don’t know if she had never worn anything other than that wig around me or if I am just the most unobservant human being on earth.  But I’d had no fucking clue.


It was a complete mindfuck. E immediately called C and told him all about it. And they never let me live it down.


17 thoughts on “Hair Envy

  1. There are people at work who I see every day who really have no clue – my hair is short (slightly less than shoulder length) and curly. There are days when I blow it out completely straight and am always faced with complements on my “new haircut”. Even though it technically hangs about 2″ longer than when it’s left curly.

  2. I’m definitely one of the most unobservant human beings on the earth. I think all sorts of nice things about people’s hair but I never say anything because I honestly have no idea if they actually did something to it or I’m just totally blind and it’s taken me three weeks to notice that they dyed it platinum blonde.

    I’m sure my reticence has caused me to miss out on a lot of these kinds of stories.

    • I just compliment everyone now all the time but I try to make it seem like I’ve noticed that it was different. Like, I’ll say, “I love your hair.” And then if they’re like, “yeah, I did it weeks ago.” I’ll just tell them I’ve been admiring it. It’s pretty slick and apparently not lying.

  3. I get compliments on my hair – but if they only knew. Underneath these silky, flowing, golden tresses, the “real” me has wiry, frizzy, salt and pepper (mostly salt these days) pyramid hair (you know the style – all narrow at the top and a big flair of frizz at the bottom – just the shape of a pyramid). I never thought I would be one to be vain about my looks – but if they ever stop making hair color, anti-frizz serums, and flat irons – I would be incredibly bummed.

    PS – once my son shaved off one half of his beard and mustache. I didn’t notice for a full day

  4. Oh wow! I thank you for bringing this to my attention. Maybe it will help tone down my hair envy. My hair is a mess of waves and curls and unpredictable straight pieces. It’s mostly brown, but kind of auburn, and in the sun it’s red, but then there’s always some gray, and those are always wiry curly bits, and I either crazy bun it or rely on implements. Ugh. Yes, they must all be wearing wigs.

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