Top Secret

I never thought about buying a wig.  I honestly didn’t think I could buy a wig.  Where does one buy one?  Will my insurance company pay for it?  These were questions that never entered my mind.  No.  My head was too filled with questions like, “How could this happen to me?”  “Why me?”  “What am I going to do?”  “How can I fix this?”  See.  No room for logical questions.

A friend had had breast cancer and bought a wig for fun, not because she lost her hair.  She needed a change and wanted to feel pretty.  She offered to take me and buy one.  I slowly began to consider.  Then a co-worker, who had cancer and did lose her hair told me our insurance company would pay for one.  She told me that she had a wig, and that’s when I understood that wigs weren’t the beastly creatures my brother and I played with from my mom’s dresser drawer, saved from her youth–1960’s frosted mountains of hair.  My co-workers looked exactly like her hair always had.

I declined escort offers by my friends, my husband, and even my own mother.  I called the wig shop and told them I wanted to come in when no one else would be there.  This was a top secret mission.  And even if everyone figured out the ugly truth, I could live my fantasy for a moment.  No one would know.  I still had a little hair that stuck out under a variety of caps and hats I wore all the time.  I would just find one that matched my hair.

I arrived at the shop after work and darted into the shop.  Empty.  I introduced myself and watched as the attendant put the closed sign up and locked the door.  She then led me to the fitting room.  After about thirty minutes, I was satisfied with the first wig she had showed me and completed the sale.  I had walked in feeling like a Russian spy from an old movie and left feeling like a celebrity.  My attendant was sensitive and unquestioning.  I only wished the rest of the world were.

I felt silly wearing my wig to school the next day, but everyone kept asking me if I had gotten my hair done.  I tried not to giggle as I simply nodded.  The wig was comfortable, surprisingly.  I wore it everywhere.  Until I cooked it.  But that’s another post.

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