It's like this:
The back of my head? Is totally flat.
Flat, I tell you.
From the front I look like a normal woman. Chin, nose, forehead... (five head, actually... you could use my forehead as a movie screen, no lie) ... all the basic parts that offer the appearance of genetic perfection. (Meaning I do not descend from apes. At least not recently.) My head slopes upward and has a nice, rounded dome where my skull has allowed room for my brain.
(My knowledge of basic skeletal anatomy is astounding. I'll give you a moment to experience awe.)
Then? There's the BACK of my head.
From the back I look like Herman Munster.
Only shorter, with fabulous edgy nicely highlighted hair and cuter shoes.
It's tragic, really. It's also the main reason I always leave a room backwards.
And why I covet a Bump-It.
I spend hours per day trying to tease, torment, and fluff out the back of my hair to give the appearance of a normal skull. I spritz, spray, wax, mousse, and gel that shit up and out. I never rest my head against the back of a chair because my hair will either break off because it's so brittle from the product or burst the air pocket in back that is holding my hair out and irrevocably flatten it for the remainder of the day.
It's my cross to bear, people.
It's why there is always the faint look of sadness in my eyes. It's why I carry with me the slumped shouldered posture of a person who has lived and suffered unimaginable woes.
It's what has made me the person I am today.
My flat head was always one of those things that was there, but no one mentioned. Oh, we were aware of it... Kind of like when you have a friend with a giant wart on the side of their nose and you never make direct eye-contact with it because, well, you know. You want to pretend it simply doesn't exist.
Thousands of stylists through the ages would cut and color my hair and look away after handing me the giant mirror to check out the back of my head. Nope, no flatness there!
I was so deeply in denial that I assumed it wasn't that bad. I mean, if no one mentions it, it CAN'T be that bad.... right? Right? RIGHT???
Several years ago I needed an emergency hair repair (due to my terrible habit of believing I can cut my own hair) and my usual stylist was punishing me by refusing to show up and fix it for me. (I am totally not making this shit up. I called her and she was all, "I told you the last time that the next time you did this I was going to make you suffer and look stupid for a week to teach you a lesson.") I was desperate. DESPERATE. (I may or may not have had a brief moment of insanity where I thought to myself, "You know, I could totally use clippers on the back of my hair... that would look good, right?" and then followed through with my dastardly plan.) So I called another stylist who said she could fit me in.
That'll teach you, Mean Regular Stylist.
As I was sitting in her chair and she was assessing the damages, she suddenly said casually, "Wowwww... the back of your head is rillyyyy flaaaaaat.... I don't think your hair is long enough to hiiiide thaaaat..."
Me: *nervous, self-conscious giggle*
Her: "No rillyyyy... it's suuuuper flaaat.... How do you usually style it?"
Me: "Um... you know... blow dryer, round brush, mousse, gel, hair spray, tease it..."
Her: "Wowwwww... yeahhh, this is baaaaad..."
It's... it's... it's... BAD? Like, fatally bad? I can die from this??? I have a rare form of flat head cancer???!!!
She sighed and clipped and snipped and shook her head, wiping the sweat from her brow as she tried valiantly to camouflage my tragically flat head, only to finally finish and say resignedly, "Well... this is the best I could do..." and then hand me the huge mirror to check out her work.
Wowwwww. There's like a sheer, frightening drop from the slight cowlick at my crown to my scrawny neck. It's a perfect head to skydive off of, or to possibly commit suicide from. One leap and there is literally nothing to break your fall: Not my flat butt, not my skinny calves, nada.
What. The. Fuck.
I realized, for the first time ever, that I am totally flat from behind. No hills, no valleys... seriously. It's like at birth my mother flipped me onto my stomach and ironed me flat from head to heel.
How could no one have told me??? How could they let me live like this, happily walking in front of people and acting like I'm not a freak of nature?? HOWWWW???
When I got home I confronted my usual stylist and demanded to know if she had realized my head is rillyyyyy flaaat.
She was all, "Ummm... yeah? Why?"
Me: "HOW COULD YOU NOT TELL ME??"
Her: "Dude, seriously... HOW COULD YOU NOT KNOW?"
It's like finding out for the first time ever that you were born a boy but they dressed you like a girl and changed your name from Robert to Suzie because you had an abnormally small penis and they never told you.
Or like Steve Martin in the movie The Jerk where he finds out at the age of 40 that he isn't black.
Or like one of my "friends" on Facebook who was born to an upper middle class family in California's Central Valley, who has never spent one day of her life in the woods, on a farm, or living in a remote cabin in the deep south but who thinks she's a redneck. (God that irritates me. You have no freaking idea. I'm all, "DUDE... I KNOW WHERE YOU'RE FROM!!! STOP WITH THE FRIGGIN' 'Y'ALLLLL' AND THE MEMES FEATURING HUNTERS DRESSED IN CAMO AND TALKING ABOUT THEM TAKING YOUR GUNS OUT OF YOUR COLD DEAD HANDS!!!! YOU BUY YOUR MEAT AT SAFEWAY!!!" GAHHHHHH!)
Lost my train of thought for a mo... sorry.
Anyway, I had to get that off my chest. I've been holding it in for a long, long time and I just need you all to know that when you stare at the back of my head or walk behind me, I know what you're thinking. I know that you know. And I want you to know that I know that you know. You need to know that I know that you know that I know.
Now you know.