The new haircut was so radical, she did not recognize her own face in the mirror. Her hairdresser called it “modern” and “fresh.” It was definitely not her usual shoulder length bob.
The haircut made her uncomfortable in her own skin. She was plain Jane. Jane with the mousy brown hair. Jane with the no-nonsense approach to life. Jane who wore cardigans, pants and sensible shoes to work. No hint of cleavage or thigh like the younger gals in her office. Jane shunned the bare legs and four inch heels, choosing tights or stockings and low wedge heels.
Jane wore small post earrings, and a simple chain around her neck. Conservative, professional, plain Jane.
But, staring at this woman with the modern haircut, Jane wondered what message she was receiving. Her hairdresser told her over and over that it was time to mix things up. Jane had been divorced three years. She had not updated her look in over twenty years.
Jane was a once a carefree young woman, filled with spunk and courage. She moved far from home at seventeen to attend college in the South. She fell in love with the area and stayed on after graduation, much to her parent’s chagrin.
Jane found an apartment in a large Victorian house of a friend, and lived there while she biked and walked around town. She loved her little place, decorated in her own unique style. Then she met Don, and soon she was married, living in the suburbs of a larger city. The mortgage, the kids, the minivan, the suburban, soccer mom life was suddenly thrust upon her. She didn’t mind. Jane loved creating a lovely home, entertaining Don’s clients, hosting parties and cookouts for the neighbors and the kid’s numerous friends.
Jane the bold, slowly disappeared as she deferred to Don, his wishes and the kid’s demands.
She was good old Jane, the perfect housekeeper. Good old Mom, the chief cook and chauffeur.
Then Don came home late one night, and told Jane he was leaving. He was 40 and needed someone different- eighteen years younger kind of different.
Jane was suckered punch. All those years doing things the way Don wanted, and now he decided he wanted a whole different lifestyle?
The kids were grown. The youngest a sophomore in college. Jane wasn’t that old. Forty was the new thirty, right?
So Jane trudged along. She found a job and commuted into the city, but she was feeling restless. It was time to move forward.
So she put the house up for sale. Jane found a lovely bungalow close to work. She was able to walk and bike again. She grew fit and felt ten years younger.
But, she still looked like a middle-aged suburban matron.
Time for a change. Jane put herself in the hands of her trusted hairdresser.
“I’m ready for something different,” she told her.
“It’s about time!” her hairdresser raised her scissors and began snipping.
Jane closed her eyes and sent a silent prayer skyward.
Forty minutes later, the blowdryer switched off and Jane’s hairdresser spun her around to face the mirror.
Jane opened her eyes. Then they widened as her hairdresser grinned behind her.
Who was this woman staring back at her from the mirror?
Plain Jane, where did you go?
Jane smiled cautiously at her reflection, and decided to live up to her hair.
She headed out the door to do a little shopping. She swung her purse on her shoulder and smiled at her reflection in the shop window. A man walking the opposite direction smiled warmly at Jane.
Goodbye, Plain Jane.