Taking a break and the long tail of hair.

I’ve been wanting to take a short break from the weekly commitment I made to posting my diary entries when I got my new (gorgeous) website last spring. It’s the beginning of that time of year we academics call “the break”―the welcome end of classes for the semester. For me it also means the beginning of a winter interruption I have long loved in a cold and bright New York. With the crush of end of semester burdens, I missed last week’s post, failing even to find the time to say: I’m taking a break. And then today, my plan was derailed by a news item.

cuts2How could I resist glossing an article about a haircut I know well? The article describes the trend of stylish women having their hair cut by barbers, rather than in a fancy salon. Of the woman posed in the picture, the reporter says: “her closely cropped pixie is inspired by the actress Jean Seberg in the 1960 Jean-Luc Godard film Breathless.” One of the earlier titles for my memoir Breathless was “Being Jean Seberg.” To my chagrin I learned that few knew who Jean Seberg was; the title would never work.

When I was working on the book, many women who were young in 1960 confided proudly that they immediately went to have their long hair cut off after seeing the movie (I didn’t: you had to have the hair for it). I doubt that the master of the nouvelle vague would approve of his breakthrough movie being remembered by a haircut, nor Jean Seberg her acting career, but then who knows how anyone will be remembered?

Do you remember your life by your haircuts? I suspect that many women do.

And on that note I am taking a break. Back soon. Stay tuned.