Did you know the average number of hairs on a human head is one hundred and ten thousand? Well, a head with brown hair likemine. Now, that number varies depending on color, with blondes having the most at a hundred and forty thousand, and reds havingthe fewest at ninety. It’s useless info, I know, but I have a slight…uh…preoccupation with hair, and couldn’t resist reading the littlefactoid that popped up on my search screen.
Where are my tweezers?
My fingertips absently stroke my head before resting again on the keyboard of my laptop.People do some weird things with hair. I just read where one lady in India was eating hers. Eventually she had a huge ball of it inher stomach and it blocked her intestines and made her sick.I don’t eat mine. That’s just gross.My eyes return to the word on the slip of paper Kevin so innocuously slid in front of me this morning. No kiss. No wish for a goodday. Just a gruff, “Look it up,” and he was out the door.Kevin used to love my hair. When I wore it long, he couldn’t stop touching it. When I cut it short and sassy, he couldn’t stoptouching it. He actually came in my hair once, quite by accident, but he did all the same. Hazards of the “job” I suppose, and heapologized when he regained the use of words. It didn’t bother me and I told him that. But I was so acutely aware of the glob thateven after I’d washed and dried my tresses, I couldn’t stop touching the spot. I think that was when he first noticed, but by then I’dbeen doing it for months. He hates my hair now, and I don’t know if he’ll ever love it again. Don’t know if I want him to.
I’m still staring at the word scribbled in Kevin's slanted, blue-inked scrawl, trying to get my mind around it. I can’t even pronounceit.
what? Big words like this make my eyes glaze because they’re usually pretentious for no reason.
.Can’t say it, don’t know what it means, but that “mania” part, well that I understand just fine. Like maniac, right?Typing each letter meticulously so I don’t misspell this behemoth of a term, I hit search and watch as my screen floods with links. Imouse over to one with a definition.
) 1. the obsessive compulsion to pull out one’s hair; 2. also called
;3. also called
Why didn’t they just say that? Hair pulling. Why did they try to fancy it up with a big word? I guess “hair pulling mania” doesn’t havequite the same dramatic flare. On the bright side,
there's a bright side, I can now pronounce it.I select another link, this one describing it as a mental disorder—Oh, goodie! I’m mental!—caused by the inability to manageimpulse control. Well that’s not accurate. I’m perfectly capable of managing my impulses. At this exact moment I’d like to throwmy laptop across the room, but I’m not doing
now am I?I’m not crazy. I’m offended Kevin thinks I am.Rubbing my head, I continue the search to learn more about this mysterious psychosis my boyfriend the marketing rep hasdiagnosed me with.
Possible causes of hair pulling: tension, stress, anxiety and/or depression.
So I’m a
mental maniac. Glad I got that cleared up. I
been wondering….One last link before I go watch television. I’ve been...ill the last couple weeks and haven’t been to work. As a result I’ve ingested alot of daytime programming and I’m convinced my brain has devolved into a gelatinous mass of goo. If anything has made me amorose mental maniac—or a “three-M” as I’m now calling it for shorthand—it’s been the daytime TV.
did I put those damn tweezers?
I click the hyperlink and read the results about suggested treatment methods for someone with my particular brand of insanity. Theshort paragraph describes something called habit reversal training that involves using a competing response. According to this,when the urge to pull my hair strikes I should ball my fists. That’s right; put a “three-M” in a fighting stance. I’ll counter the impulseto pull with the impulse to punch something…or someone. And that, folks, is what we call irony.There’s a tingle on my scalp. Something’s there in the front, like a little bump. I can feel it. I rub the spot continuously, search withnails gnawed to the quick for that one strand causing me so much trouble; finally give in to the urge and look around the desk for my pincers. Before, I’d dive right in and start yanking, but now I use the tweezers, some special ones I bought that feature“perfectly aligned hand-filed tips excellent for precision plucking”. I wonder if Kevin did the marketing for these. Anyhow, I boughtthese perfectly pitched pincers so I can only get the hair that is actually bothering me. At least that’s what I tell myself. The patchesare usually the same.Utensil in hand I run to the bathroom. Big mirrors and bright lighting are perfect to see the spot clearly, so I can only take out theone hair and no more.
Just the one hair….
Having arrived, I search with the fine-pointed tip, prod at the area where I felt the tickle. I hit it, a pinprick of pain, and I can see the