by Rachel Zients Schinderman
SANTA MONICA, CA-
I got my hair cut and then my grandfather died.
I knew one had nothing to do with the other, but for some reason, for months after, I was unable to cut my hair. I wore my hair mostly in a ponytail or crumpled atop my head, but there was no hiding the split ends, its drab dullness. Sometimes I just let it fall where it may, flapping and resting wildly on my shoulders.
My grandfather would never have let his hair get into such a state. He was a classy guy. Always impeccably groomed. He could pair stripes and plaid and pull it off with grand ease. Sometimes he wore funny ties, ladies lounging in martini glasses and that kind of thing, but it was never cheesy – just pure sass. Even in the hospital when he had been ill a couple of years ago, hooked up to machines, stripped of his beautiful clothes, his only wardrobe a hospital gown and sheet, I couldn’t help but notice that his nails were perfectly manicured, freshly buffed. He was sleek and elegant, unique but classy. He had been in retail, head of Gimbels, back in the day when Gimbels meant something. So he knew about appearance.