A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with some of my colleagues, and we were, for some reason, discussing hair. I was mostly listening- I don't "do" my hair much, at this point (obviously). Then one of my colleagues mentioned that I had beautiful hair (a surprise- I tend to think of it as very fine, and therefore mostly adept at escaping however I put it up)- and another woman responded: "How did you get to see her hair?". (The answer? We'd roomed together at a conference.)
I never thought of my hair as something secret or special, that other people would be interested in seeing.
I knew that my husband found it special that he was the only one who got to see my hair. I'd seen women (well, college students) have this reaction to other women's hair.
But my hair? What's the excitement in that?
Apparently, if you hide it, it does become special. Even if it's your own- someone else will still find it exciting, even intimate.
I kept wanting to say- 'but I'm not hiding it from you! You could see it any time, there's no problem in that.' But it felt too odd. Strangely exclusionary to the one man in our peer group.
I don't know what to make of that moment. Brief though it was, it really surprised me. I have now something special, off limits, that I never really thought about that way. Making sure it was covered? Sure. Feeling uncomfortable in boundary-stretching situations? Sure. Something other people were actively curious about? Never thought in a million years.
Have any of you had a similar moment? How did you feel about it?