The Winner by a Hair

by Brian on March 23, 2007

in Just For Fun

The votes are in and the result is decidedly…inconclusive.

On February 8, I posted two pictures of me – one with short and one with long hair and asked readers to vote on which I should keep. I pointed out that my daughter Merav favored the long look while my wife Jody felt I was sexier with short hair. The goal was to grow it until Purim so Merav could dress me up like a girl for the holiday, then decide what to do. A month after the original post appeared here, the Jerusalem Post published the article in its Friday edition, both print and online.

As a result of all this exposure, over the course of the last month and a half I have received hundreds of opinions – by email, posted as comments to the blog, and in person – at one point a mini-van literally screeched to a halt in front of me as I was jogging and the driver yelled out “keep it long!”

Despite that dramatic proclamation, the votes were split almost evenly. Here are some of my favorite responses.

A long hair supporter wrote: “Keep it long. Jody can handle it. You had the guts to go to Egypt but not face the wrath of your wife?”


A short hair proponent countered: “I think the new comb-over is very becoming (i.e., Jody wins). But for Pete’s sake don’t put it in a ponytail – that is so much the look of an old codger trying to look hip and failing miserably.” OK, got the point!


On the other hand, a faithful email reader commented that “my 65-year old husband has hair long enough to keep in a ponytail. When asked why, his answer is because I can.” Was that a vote for or against?
Another reader shared that she had experienced something similar. “A few years ago my husband also grew his hair. He also said it was ‘just for Purim.’ Please, make your wife happy. Isn’t it a small price to pay for Shalom Bait?”


One reader warned me that trying to reclaim my youth would ultimately result in folly. “There are so many older men (and women) who think that by copying the kids’ styles as they age they are fooling others about who they really are, but the kids only laugh at them behind their back.” Ouch!


But long hair could be good for business, wrote another reader who runs a mall-based pretzel concession and grew his own hair long a few years ago. “With sales up 22 percent from 2005-2006, it’s hard to argue with that logic!”


Then there were comments that split the difference and made me wonder why the writer listed his or her address as anonymous: “You are very good looking in BOTH your pictures!” Gee, thanks, he said, blushing.


Some people didn’t like the religious connotations of my longer hair. “Cut the hair and put back the yarmulke!” wrote one reader from the States.


I even received a note from a woman named Irene Stein who sells hair care products and suggested that if I still wanted to please my inner rebel and keep it long, she could help ensure my hair grew in thick and lustrous.


But my out and out favorite comment was this one: “First and foremost, always please the person who sleeps with you. Nothing else can match the pleasure you’ll get back!”

That final point was emphasized this past Shabbat in shul when Jody told me that, when she looked across the mechitza (don’t tell me that she shouldn’t be doing that, come on…we all do it), she was just not attracted to the man she found looking back. Well, what choice did I have. Two days later, Dave my haircutter worked his magic and I am once more my true love’s paragon.

Here’s the result, a few hours after the haircut:

Thanks to everyone for being so interactive. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been writing This Normal Life for nearly five years now. Blogging is not about one-way publishing – it’s the feedback makes all the difference. So please keep on reading…and writing in!

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