Should We Marry the Men Who'd Let Us Go Bald?

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As I do about four times a week, I looked in the mirror this morning and thought, "Hell, I should really shave it all off." My hair is such a pain in the scalp. I'm in my thirties, but I'm more or less 100 percent gray already.

I didn't dye it until I turned 30, when I succumbed to the beauty ritual because people were consistently guessing I was 10 years older than I was, and my salt-and-pepper hair seemed largely to blame. From there, it went pure white fast (you can tell from my roots), and I have to dye every two weeks, or it starts to look like I have blad spots. It's incredibly annoying. So lately I've wondered more and more: Should I just shave it all off, go live in a Zen monastery for a while, and then return to the real world with a silver mane?

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Sweet Pants has said, more than once, he'd stand by me if I (a) shaved it off, (b) had a temporary crew cut, or (c) went around with the kind of hair you'd normally see on your grandma after letting it grow back in.

I hesitate to do it mainly because my skin is such a ghostly shade of white that I'd look washed out on top of seeming ancient … but the question is: Should we all marry the men who would stand by us if we were bald?

I ask this in part, more seriously, because a friend of mine who's also in her thirties was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. For the sake of her privacy, I won't go into the details, but it has been an incredibly difficult time for her, for a number of reasons, with bad news on top of bad news. She's been through a year of tough surgeries and fatiguing treatments — but the signs are good that she has a long life ahead of her. More to the point, she has a wonderful boyfriend who has been with her through it all (including the loss of her hair, which is now growing back in).

Thank goodness for people like him.

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