I’ve wanted to chop all my hair off for the past 5 years, ever since I went through my unhealthy Edie Sedgwick obsession and my drink-wine-and-watch-obnoxious-Godard-films phase. I’ve been CONVINCED I would look absolutely adorable in a cute little pixie cut, despite all my friends’ strong remonstrations. I even once made my friend Photoshop my face over a picture of Sienna Miller in Factory Girl to prove it. But I’ve never quite had the chutzpah to go through with it.
Now that I’m kind of homeless and haven’t quite made any friends for whom I must look normal, however, I decided there’s no time like the present to live out my dreams and hack it all off. Before I go any further, let me just say, WHAT a colossal mistake. I’ve spent quite a few hours over the past day staring at myself in the mirror, moving a wisp of hair this direction and that. I tried raising my shoulders to shorten my neck, and put in about 500 different hairclips and bows and headbands. I tried making charming faces and putting lots of makeup on. But no matter what I do, my hair doesn’t really look all that different… probably because there’s only 3 inches of it. Let’s face facts here: at the end of the day, it’s just not flattering.
Sure, I had my suspicions that perhaps I would look like an androgynous cyborg. And in all fairness, I was warned. When I told people about my resolve to do it, I got a text immediately afterwards: “Call soon. Before you make a mistake. I love you and you’re beautiful. For now.”
But as I am wont to do, I fully deflect responsibility and blame it all on somebody else. Every time I searched for hair inspiration, I invariably saw a picture of Carey Mulligan looking darling with her cute little pixie cut. The thing I didn’t quite realize though, was that as much as I loved her haircut, it was really her whole head I wanted. I guess I was bound to be disappointed when my hair was finally cut and my face wasn’t transformed into hers. I guess even the best haircutter has their limits.
To top off my disappointment in my less-than-thrilling haircut, it also happened to be a truly traumatic event. I don’t really care much for hair styling, and while I’ll happily spend too much money on clothes or fun tech gadgets or fancy baking supplies, I really don’t see much of a point of getting an expensive haircut. In the past I’ve always had great experiences at the Aveda Institute, where you get a delightfully cheap haircut done by supervised students. I love how they give you fancy licorice root tea and lather your hair with incredible-smelling products that not only make you feel like a superstar, but also make you feel like a do-good-er who just saved the rainforest. It’s usually a pretty good deal. Except yesterday was a true disaster, from start to finish.
I showed up for my appointment late, completely out-of-breath, and sweaty from the 90-degree weather I found myself speed-walking in. I checked in and sat down. Forty minutes later, after several other people came and went, I decided it was no more miss nice guy. When I complained about the excessively long wait, I was informed that my appointment was in fact an hour later than I had thought and that even after waiting what felt like forever, I had another 15 minutes to go. When I finally met my person, she was perfectly sweet, but it quickly became apparent that she hadn’t the foggiest idea what she was doing. After every few snips, she’d ask her instructor for guidance on the next step and we’d wait 15 minutes until her instructor would cut an eighth of an inch and tell her to call her over at the next point. Repeat 6 times. Finally, after three and a half hours of sitting perfectly still and cursing myself for not going to a normal salon, the instructor decided to just take over and finish the cut. Which would have been great if she had any real interest in my haircut (or my well-being, for that matter). At one point, she tugged at my hoop earring with the comb and made a joke about how the students are much more gentle than the instructors. Yeah, good one, lady. Because about 5 minutes later she RIPPED THE EARRING OUT OF MY EAR and I saw it fling across the floor, without so much as a pause. I emerged from the salon feeling like I just been very slowly, very carefully, and very deliberately robbed of my hair, my time, and my dignity.
I tried to think about the silver lining. Hey, I’ve wanted to do this for a while, and now, at the very least, I know that it’s perhaps not the best look and I won’t make that mistake again. Except I’m still not fully convinced I wouldn’t look amazing if only the cut were a little longer, a little edgier, a little more Carey Mulligan. I figure that in about 2 months, it might be glorious, but until then I’ve got to just suck it up (and wear lots of girly dresses and earrings and makeup, to compensate for my lost femininity).
And in the meantime, I decided to buck up with some cheer-me-up chewy carrot cake whoopie pies.
Cheer-me-up Chewy Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies
Makes about 20 cheerful whoopie pies
Recipe adapted from
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more if you’re crazy like me)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (again, or more)
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (again, or more)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups grated carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted (if you like it very sweet, add more)
- ¼ plus 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix the vanilla. Then add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Finally, add the grated carrots, beating to distribute evenly.
- Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Using a small cookie scoop, portion the batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies spring back when gently pressed. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes then remove the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough, alternating baking sheets.
- To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy (about 3 minutes) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the confectioner’s sugar a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl in between additions. Beat in the vanilla extract. With mixer on medium, beat for another minute or so, until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.
- Match the cookies in pairs by size. Transfer the filling to a piping bag and pipe a small amount onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair. Sandwich the cookies together, and press the filling to the edges. These can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator or, when you need a little cheer-me-up, eaten immediately.