"You've done something with your hair," she said.
"It's a wig," I said. "I've got a really mild form of cancer and I'm bald."
She was startled, of course. Since the last time I saw her, she had broken her wrist badly so we discussed our medical woes and I admired her zippered cast. Afterwards, I wondered if I wanted to have told her I was wearing the wig. My mother never would have. My mother never told most people that she and my father had split up, despite the fact that she hosted bridge games and had people over and he wasn't there. People would say, "How's Marty?" and she would tell them he was fine, or that he was in the hospital again (he had a heart attack a couple of years after they separated and had heart disease for years after until it finally killed him.) I don't know if she thought that the fact they were still technically married meant she didn't have to say anything. Or shouldn't. But mostly she just believed that private matters were private matters.
Obviously, I'm not like that.
But I don't know that I needed to blurt out to Leeanne that I was wearing a wig. Maybe I just should have said, "Thanks! No gray!" Part of it, I think, is that I'm so aware it's a wig. It's weird and kind of fun and I don't know exactly what to make of the whole wig thing. But the wig thing is growing on me and I do like how convenient it is. It's easier to put make-up on without hair, too, no worry about getting the foundation in my hair or getting all the way up to the hairline. So I often wear a little make-up as well. (I'm getting quite glam.)
I can't figure out if the wig is flying under false pretenses. It's not like I think anyone who is wearing a wig should announce it. If the wig is a fashion accessory, well, it would be like announcing my jacket. (Not that some people don't announce their clothes. Particularly on television. 'This is Prada.' 'This is Stella McCartney.') On the other hand, I don't think someone who has a glass eye should be required to announce it, either.
Why am I uncomfortable then? I feel bad when people find out I have Hodgkins and say, 'I didn't know!' 'I just found out!' I feel as if I neglected to tell them. But I hate to tell people, too, and overcompensate a bit by telling too much perhaps. I would like to come to some sort of comfort level about the whole thing but with luck, I'll be cured before I do.