My dear friend Yoli at Musings has very gently challenged me to show myself with "bad hair".
So here I present you with a photo that my husband snapped of me after a particularly arduous climb on China's Great Wall. The temps were significantly over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity hovering somewhere around 250 percent, by my reckoning. Not the most felicitous of climbing conditions. Thankfully, you can't see the huge sweat stains under my arms in this particular shot. It does, however, accurately feature my dreadful hair.

Let me preface this by saying that bad hair is much more prevalent in my world than good hair. However, in many ways, I won the roll of the genetic dice in my family - I have good legs (in a racehorse sense) and a decent metabolism. I am extremely - possibly excessively - tall (I'm just a shade taller than most of the men I know), and I have ginormous feet (though I myself very much admire my large feet, so that counts in the plus column as far as I'm concerned). So really, I'm not in a position to complain.

But when it comes to hair, as my mother never hesitates in reminding me, I got the worst of the worst. It's terrible. Awful. Fine, limp, and unattractively kinky (this is not the sort of "curly" that anyone covets), full of errant cowlicks, extremely prone to the wiles of either humidity or lack thereof. I challenge anyone to find me attractive first thing in the morning.

I am, as I told Yoli, pathetically vain, so I tend to post only the more attractive photos that are (very rarely) taken of me. That said, I'm a fairly self-confident human being. This has little to do with any actual merit, and a great deal more to do with my upbringing as a spoiled only-child. It also undoubtedly is due to my inherently optimistic nature. I always, for instance, have the unfounded conviction that I will look better tomorrow than I looked when I awoke this morning.

My optimism, I think, plays the largest role. I tend to focus on the good, rather than the bad, about myself. But here, for the sake of reality, is a list of both:

- terrible hair.
- unfortunate lack of a waist. I have virtually no feminine curves, and you would be hard-put to determine where to place a belt, which is why I virtually never wear belts.
- an excessively long waist. People often mistake me for someone with long legs - only because I am about six feet tall, so my legs seem long in a relative sense. But really my back and waist are disproportionately long in relation to my legs. If I were a short person, my legs would appear freakishly stubby.
- man-shoulders: my shoulders are like a coat rack, and not in a good way. I can't wear any of the trendy sleeves - frills, puffs, or mutton sleeves make me look like a man in drag.
- horse-face. I long for the kind of kitten face that has made so many of the beauties of various recent eras. I look bizarre in sunglasses and entirely out-of-proportion in hats.
- a complete lack of any sort of ability to deny myself anything: I'm a self-indulger.

- I have really nice legs.
- I am brave, independent, and not at all clingy.
- a good metabolism that allows me to indulge in my natural sybaritic tendencies without any great consequences.
- endurance. I can, and have, run 30 miles without suffering any great trauma, when the mood strikes me. I also navigated 11 months of chemotherapy while still maintaining my athletic lifestyle, and a day job. And I can sleep on the ground or in the sand as soundly as I would under the finest of down comforters.
- a world-class immune system. And this one is odd, because I had a form of cancer called Hodgkin's disease in my late 20s, a cancer that attacks the lymph nodes, and severely compromises the immune system. I had a number of tumors, including one in my lungs that (they tell me) was the size of a healthy grapefruit. In spite of that, I catch a cold about once every three years, and am otherwise healthier than your average horse.

So, tell me. What is your weakest point - the thing that brings you down in your least self-confident of moments? Please share. It would make me feel much better about my hair.


Yoli said...

Oh don't even missy! You are gorgeous absolutely beautiful. The hair looks wonderful and just tossed by the wind. You have a body that women would KILL to have and a personality to match your beauty.

I on the other hand can be confused for a hobbit.

flyinamber said...

you are to critical to yourself!you're very beautiful indeed and you have one great personality..and your hair is not bad at all on this look wonderful on every photo of you!

rosemary said...

I have an almost murderous rage when I feel my loved ones have been wronged. I am slow to forgive and long to hold a grudge. I imagine hateful conversations in which I scream all the bad things at the betrayer. Isn't that an awful quality??

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Rosemary, I think that counts as a GOOD quality! We should all be vengefully defensive of those we love. I have a similar internal rage against injustice, and tend to script long rants in my head (which rarely see the light of day).

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Yoli....hah. Petite does not a hobbit make. Count yourself lucky. I have lived much of my life in envy of two or three of my 5' friends. You can't really know unless you had to go through your awkward years at nearly 6' how terribly that kind of height makes you stand out. There's no fading into the background when you're this big!

FDChief said...

Where to start?

I am a stout, balding white guy of Scots extraction with all the physique and complexion problems native to my race. I am basically a short, stumpy-legged, paunchy guy with a broken nose and a weak chin. I have an often vile temper, my tongue can be rough as a file on those I love as well as those I hate.

My knees are a mess, the product of a lifetime of abuse on top of something called "patellar subluxation" that makes walking difficult and running virtually impossible. My eyes are going - I need reading glasses more every day.

I have a failed marriage in my past, a failure largely attributible to my own temper and ignorance, and am presently married to a woman much smarter, more mature and less irascible than I, which means that I have to work hard to try and be the man she deserves. I give my children less time than they deserve.

Hope this helps you feel better.

If it makes a difference, I agree with your assessment of your physical looks...other than to add that your entire package is superbly better than the sum of your parts. You are elegant in the way that cheetahs and madrones are elegant. Spare. Trimmed to the essentials. While I admit to enjoying a bit of excess in women, your lean and hungry look is delightful in its own way.

And I also agree that your hands and especially your feet are strong, expressive, gracile and altogether lovely.

Don't sweat the hair. I've never missed mine...

Yoli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina said...

First of all, your hair is wonderful. what i would do for curls! and you're six feet tall!! my darling! you're lithe and beautiful!

i'm almost as wide as i am tall, and even more so since all i do is sit on the couch with my laptop!

Amber said...

You forgot arms!! You have the BEST arms!!

Susan Angstadt said...

Maia PLEASE I have photos of you when your hair was long and absolutely gorgeous so I would never say you have bad hair or bad shoulders for that matter! You have barely aged in the 19 or so years since I met you.