I’ve had a couple of requests for pictures of my new, shorter coiffure. Let me explain why I cannot post such an image on my blog (for all to see).

My baby brother, David, works as an electrical engineer for Lockheed Martin in Maryland. The security clearance process there is VERY strict. It took months and months for him just to get PENCIL clearance (don’t ask what precisely that it or I might have to kill you). Then he got super-duper-super-secret-super-high clearance (that is, I believe, the technical term; I don’t dare ask, because I think he might have to kill ME if I ask too many questions). This is all a little amusing – not because I mock their process – I don’t mock the process, Spy People who might happen upon this blog. It’s just that David is a living incarnation of Dudley Do-Right, Mother Theresa and a boy scout all smushed up together (in the nicest and best way possible). We have enough indication to believe that he is, indeed, a genetic member of our family. But he is so NICE (not that the rest of us are evil incarnate, it’s just that David is so NICE). I’m now considering an alien abduction scenario where, periodically throughout his life, David was kidnapped and given experimental treatments that made him the pinnacle of virtue and nobility. And perhaps they also made him so TALL. In my theory, David knows absolutely nothing about this, of course. Otherwise, he couldn’t have passed all his polygraph tests. I picture those tests occasionally for my own amusement, because David has SUCH a low-key way of approaching things. I imagine that when they asked him hour after hour upon hour of questions that every single line on the paper or screen just looked like this:
Does this seem scientific enough?

Let me further put this security thing into perspective: If his wife calls him at the office, everyone in the room HAS TO STOP TALKING. Yes, if anyone gets a phone call from the “outside” EVERYONE IN THE ROOM HAS TO STOP TALKING so they don’t inadvertently leak pencil secrets (or whatever the super-duper-super-secret-super-high level clearance secrets are). So, in deference to him, I must maintain my anonymity. Why then, you may ask, do I go about blithely posting pictures of everyone else in my family? Uh… Well, it’s because they are shorter than I am so…

Okay, okay, all that about David is completely true except the part about my picture. All y’all who know me are well aware of the fact that I am NOT photogenic. Even when I am good-natured about the process and try desperately to not ruin – say – someone’s wedding pictures, the result is generally very unflattering. There are ALWAYS skeptics who don’t believe me. There are a few things for which they should simply take my word. Here are the top three: I’m NOT photogenic, I have NO ankles, and I have an abnormally large head. I will elucidate further, because someone, without fail, presumes I’m being self-deprecating. Not about these things, my friends, not about these.

Here’s a good example – take my inordinately large head. I haven’t ever worried that it APPEARED particularly humongous. Certainly no self-conscious traumas like this:

Would ya look at the size of that kid’s head! It’s the size of a planetoid and it has it’s own weather system! Looks like an orange on a toothpick!

Or this:

I’m not kidding, that boy’s head is like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! Aye, now that was offsides, now wasn’t it? He’ll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow.

The joke with my somewhat erstwhile husband (who also has a very, VERY large noggin) and I was that our progeny would have to cart their disproportionately gi-normous heads about on little carts until the age of five or six, unable to lift them because of the overwhelming weight. We thought this was FUNNY. Yet even my Mother, when one of my nephews could hold his head up at a very young age, confided to my sister, “Don’t tell Kate, but she really COULDN’T lift her head for a long time. But she had other skills.” I thought this was beyond HILARIOUS.

Still, the doubters tend to misinterpret what I consider helpful as self-abuse. For instance, I went the makeup and wig shop for a preliminary wig fitting for a production of A Little Night Music. During this process they put the combed out hair pieces on you to try to find a good fit and/or match. I was one of a few cast members who needed two wigs (they were THRILLED about that later), so I thought I’d give them a “heads up.” Ha. I said, “I have a really big head.” They immediately dismissed this idea and started pulling out hairpieces. I was just trying to help; I knew they needed to steer away from the tiny, wee wigs for pin-heads and find something more the size of a grizzly bear pelt (okay – a grizzly bear CUB pelt). “No really,” I said, “I have an unusually big head.” They just didn’t believe me. I sighed and let them put wig after wig after wig on my head and watched their eyes get bigger and bigger. Finally, someone said, “You DO have a big head!” I told them it was where I stored all my big brains so they’d feel better. Suffice it to say, my dressed wigs had quite a few added-on curls about the face.

What is the point of all this blather? Trust me when I declare certain facts about myself. I must make another confession now. I don’t actually HAVE any pictures of my current coiffure. This is not to say that, considering the facts I’ve related in the preceding Tolstoy-length essay, I’d be anxious to post pictures of myself on my site if I did have them.

BUT – for anyone who bothered to actually peruse the previous Tolstoy-length essay, here is a picture of me with short hair.
Little pudgy-faced imp.

Yup, this photo was taken in the early ’70’s, but never again will I able to pull off the sneakers and sundress ensemble with such panache.