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Andi Before and After

25-Aug-05 20:54

The first question i usually get, after people see that i’ve cut off my waist-length dreadlocks is, “Why?”

Usually my short answer is a little shrug and “It was time.”

In the beginning (<- that picture over there), my dreadlocks were very freeing. I felt released from having to “tidy” my hair, from the every-other-day shampoos, and from being concerned about my hair’s appearance. That last part became a joke between Al and me – before arriving somewhere or before a performance, i’d turn to him and say, “Does my hair look all right?” He’d usually bite his lower lip in concentration, reach over, tug gently at one lock, and say, “Now you’re good.”

After a few years, though, my dreadlocks became an impediment. They were long and thick and heavy, and they took forever to dry. I couldn’t wear most hats comfortably – a problem in these Chicago winters! I eventually began accommodating them . . . when i dressed, when i biked or ran, when i decided to not do things (like swim) because of them, when i rearranged them so that i could sleep more comfortably. What had initially been liberating became a burden. So they had to go.

I couldn’t just cut them off halfway to try living with shorter dreads. For one, i liked my ends, and didn’t like the stumpy end i wound up with after i tried cutting one (about two weeks before the big shave). As a matter of fact, i felt more regret with that one than i ever felt during the whole cut and shave that was to follow. That one dread, lying on top of the trash . . . i don’t like to think about it.

I didn’t have to shave my head, it’s true. I could have cut my hair off at about two to four inches. But when else was i going to shave my head?! This was my chance.

Having dreads for over four years was a journey that i enjoyed immensely. Having a shaved head, and whatever comes next, is a new journey, which will carry its own challenges and blessings. So far it doesn't seem to have affected my health, my friendships, my husband's love, our cat's ability to recognize me (actually . . . does she really recognize anyone?), or any other important stuff. Sometimes it's just hair, after all.

Our cat, Sydney

09-May-05 08:06

Several people have requested a picture of our cat. Actually, it was only one person. OK, it was me. But she's a great cat.

Don't be fooled by her eyes--she's no princess. She has this smoker's meow that sometimes sounds like a duck, a drinking problem (she's obsessed with drinking from certain sinks and Andi's mom's guest room toilet), and she can hack up a hairball with the best of 'em. Atta girl!

What i love about Uptown, Chicago

One of my favorite shots

30-Mar-05 06:42

Andi took this on her way to work one morning. There's really nothing else to say.

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