I guess I should have expected it, knowing Susie. We're both 29, and will be married next month. We had been dating for about nine months, but had known each other for a year.
We actually met on the phone, believe it or not. I was dating her roommate, Mary, and in the course of my telephone calls, I had a few opportunities to talk to Susie when her roommate was out. She seemed real sweet- with a friendly, but high pitched voice. We seemed to hit it off on the phone, but every time I came over to pick up Mary for a date, Susie was nowhere to be seen. "She's in her room, messing with her hair. She's always messing with her hair," Mary said. "It's starting to drive ME crazy, but she just keeps at it. I don't know why she just doesn't chop it all off, it's way too long!"
Now I have to say that I have a thing for hair, the longer the better. It is really something that I can’t help- I just turn to jello in the presence of long hair. I’ve always been attracted to women with long hair, and rarely dated anyone with hair above her shoulders. I don’t know, there just seemed to be more ooomph with longer hair.
I tried to grill Mary some more about her roommate, but got little more except that she was glad to be moving out in two weeks. "She's a sweet enough girl, but..."
When Mary moved out, I still called Susie- I was curious to meet her, and finally, she agreed to go out. Our first "date" was an amazing experience for me, and I fell completely in love with her. It took her a little longer to feel that way about me, but in due time, I was able to charm her, I suppose.
Anyway, I met Susie at her parent's house on a Saturday evening. She prepared me for them- sort of. Her mom, Karen, had incredibly long hair. Her stepdad Joe was cool, and a big part of Susie's life, sister Amanda and her husband Ken, and brother David, with his wife Kelly. David was a little wild, but a good guy. Kelly was perfect for him, Susie said. Amanda was a lot like her mom, Susie said, and they somehow got along despite that.
Susie told me to relax and enjoy the experience. She knew they would all like me, but I was still very nervous. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t arrive with me to introduce me. The sights that greeted me at the front door that night quickly cured my nervousness, but replaced it with unbelieving incredulity.
Her stepfather answered the door and welcomed me in. He was slim, young-looking for being in his late 50's, and had long hair. I should have expected that, since Susie herself had more hair than I could ever imagine. He had it in a ponytail that he pulled in front of him and fell to the middle of his thigh. He was just starting to go gray, so his ponytail looked kind of neat.
"Hi Luke, I'm David," was the greeting from the next person I met, probably the hairiest person I've ever seen. He looked like cousin it- completely covered in hair of one sort or another. Susie told me he had been letting his hair and beard grow for quite a while, but David was just this floor-length mop of bushy brown hair.
A striking, tall blonde walked up next to him and said what I'd been thinking. "I'm Kelly, Furball's wife." Kelly was about five-ten, with a nice figure, and straight blonde hair that fell to her ankles. She noticed me following her hair to the floor and said, "In this house, my name is "Shorty."
I looked back up and saw why. Coming towards me were what looked like twins from a distance. Both women were cloaked in a thick cape of hair which fell behind them to the floor, and went back as far as I could see. "I'm Amanda, Susie's big sister," said the taller one, about 5 foot 4, with dirty blonde hair. She looked to her right and said "and this is our mom."
"Hi Luke, call me Karen. Come on in and make yourself comfortable. Susie will be out in a minute." No way could this woman be Susie's mother! Susie said her mom had turned 60 not too long ago, but this woman looked much younger! She was maybe five foot, five one, and appeared slim under her baggy sweats. Her hair was a marvelous shade of brown, with no hint of gray. It looked almost alive as it fell over her shoulder- incredibly thick, shiny, and long- I couldn't see the ends! I could see where Susie got a lot of the things I loved about her in her mom. Her petite, almost tiny figure (Susie was about 4 foot ten, and weighed less than a feather), her wonderful smile, and her warm eyes, as well as incredible hair.
Now I thought that Susie had the most amazing hair on the planet, but in this family she was just one of the girls. Susie's hair was about three times longer than she was tall, and it was very curly. She always wore it bound up tightly, put into a couple of huge braids that circled and looped around her head and behind her. It was just this gigantic mass of hair that was over two feet wide and just as high. It fell most of the way down her back. She always promised me that she'd let me see it unbound sometime. It would be a surprise. After seeing the rest of her family, my heart was in my throat. Susie had told me that in some ways, her hair was better than her mom’s or sisters’ hair.
"Daddy, can you help me?" I heard Susie call. Her stepfather motioned me to follow him and said, "we'll have to tell you about Susie's hair. If you wind up marrying her, you better get used to doing this," he smiled. We walked through a large, high ceilinged living room/dining room area to a set of open double doors. There was Susie, at full flourish, hair unbound, and seemingly filling up the room. She was literally surrounded by foot after foot of deep brown curls. The floor was gone, the walls were half gone, replaced by a sea of curls. Her hair completely dwarfed her, as it did her dad and I. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. Her mom and sister blew me away with their hair that didn't seem to end, but Susie was way beyond that, beyond comprehension.
"Surprise!" she said, smiling and shrugging her shoulders. I couldn’t say a word, and I’m sure I was going to topple from excitement. I never dreamed that one person could have so much hair! It seemed to be a wall behind her that I could just barely see over. I just stood there, my mouth wide open. After what seemed like a minute, I could see her face turning sad, like maybe I didn’t like what I was seeing. I felt the only thing I could do was wade in and hug her, so I did. As we hugged, I felt her hair start to surround us. It was an indescribable feeling.
"Well?" she said with her mischievous grin.
"You amaze me, Susie," I said, somewhat in shock.
"I don't get to do this very often, the whole family helps out," she said. I just looked at her and shook my head. "Let's go eat, Daddy will tell you what to do."
"Get over on that side and watch me, but take off your watch and jewelry first," he said. He went to Susie's right side and started pulling her hair down and pushing it in. I did the same. We were gathering her hair behind her. It was kind of like what a parachutist did to gather his parachute after landing, just pulling down and pushing in. I had never felt her hair like this, and it felt incredibly soft, the softest thing I had ever touched.
When I could see him, her dad then instructed me to grab the wide heavy cloth strap on the floor. It was silk on the outside, and about a foot across, but it was heavier than silk. I threw it over to him, and he did the same from his side. We stepped back and did the same thing twice more. Then we pulled on the straps, and more silk appeared from underneath, forming a cocoon around her compressed hair. We were able to tie off the straps, and form a silk tube about 3 feet in diameter and ten feet long. Susie took hold of some handles, and pulled her way to the dining room table.
"My hair snags on everything, even in this house, so this is how I can get around without losing my 'poof.'"
"Okay, Mop, you're clear!" her dad said, as we moved her cocoon into place behind her. Once set, he said, "okay, Luke, lets undo the straps, and start fluffing," so I did. I poofed and pushed and spread and stepped back as her hair expanded. I was really enjoying this, having my hands in such soft curls. Finally, after a couple of minutes, I heard Amanda say "Perfect!" and I stopped.
I wandered over by Amanda to look at Susie's do. It was probably 12 feet wide, and a bit taller than she was. It all fell over her shoulders and tried to surround her, so that I could barely see her. I shook my head and asked to nobody in particular "How does she do it?"
"We ask that question all the time," Amanda said, "and we haven't figured it out. Come on, have a seat." I wound up sitting across from Susie, which suited me fine. The backdrop that was her hair was entertaining in itself. She was almost enveloped by it, and constantly had to push parts of it out of the way to eat. Her sister and sister in law had to push her hair out of the way to get to their seats, even though there were empty placesettings to either side of her..
Dinner was great, but the real fun part of the evening was the instant biography and family history I got while sitting there. It all started when I commented that I was amazed at all the hair at the table.
"Mom started all of this," Susie said, and everyone nodded.
Susie's father talked about knowing her mom in high school, where her hair was already down to her ankles. He was so struck by her hair and her friendliness that she never completely left his thoughts. He looked her up on a business trip to San Francisco fifteen years later, and less than a year later, they were married.
"Amanda and Susie have never cut their hair, David hasn't since he was eleven, and Karen here has been growing her hair for over fifty years now, and she shows no signs of stopping."
After Susie asked, her mom said that her hair was over twenty-seven feet long, and that Amanda's was approaching twenty feet.
"But Amanda and I have had it easy compared to Susie" her mom said. "Nobody has ever worked so hard for, or defended their hair as passionately as our little Susie."
I looked at her and she flashed me a sheepish grin.
Susie's mom had decided when both girls were born to let their hair grow until they could decide what they wanted to do with it. Amanda was easy, her hair was just like her mother's, only honey blonde, and a little thicker. For as long as she could remember, she always wanted to have hair like her mother, and she quickly did.
But Susie was a different story. Her hair was curly from the start, and very thick. By the time she was four, she had a ball of curls that stuck out from her head a foot in every direction. Unlike many kids her age, she was always very aware of her hair, and very protective of it.
By age 11, Susie's curls were becoming too much for her to handle. They fell below her rear end, and made her over three feet wide. She was already spending more time on it than her mother was spending on her hair. The word "haircut" was uttered inside the house for the first time in a long time, and Susie reacted emotionally.
"You should have seen her," her mother said. "She pitched a huge fit, hair flying all over the place."
Susie flushed at the recollection. "I didn't want to be the only one cutting their hair. I loved it!"
"We had two choices," her father said. "Either it was a haircut, which we were loath to do unless Susie really wanted to, or we all had to pitch in to help her out, and figure out the best ways to handle it."
"My hair was already on the floor," Amanda said, "but I had all of Mom's experiences to help me out. She made it so easy for me. But Susie, yeeesh! Nothing that worked on Mom's or my hair worked with hers."
"Everything was harder," her mother said. "Everything! But Joey here put himself into the problem heart and soul."
It didn't take long for me to realize after I met Susie that she and her father (he wasn't a stepfather anymore) had a very special and deep relationship. I could see why after hearing their story.
Where Sundays were her parent's time together- they washed, dried, photographed, and just enjoyed her mother's hair- her father made Saturday Susie's day. They tinkered with all kinds of ideas, and would tour home centers and salons looking for something that would help them care for "high volume hair" as they called it. They developed a washing and drying routine that cut several hours off of anything Susie was able to do on her own. They developed a "drying chair" for her, like the one her mom and sister used, but specifically for Susie's hair.
"Her hair was a lot heavier for it's length when wet, so we couldn't just let it hang like her mother's or sister's hair," her father said, pointing up to the very top of the high ceilinged room to a chair that barely hung over the edge. "We've had to modify the system a few times as her hair has grown over the years."
He got up and showed me the incredible arrangement, which took up the space where Susie's bedroom used to be. He pressed a button, and two huge hoods came out of the wall. Another button, and what looked like a giant strainer slid out above the hoods. Finally, a chair on a narrow platform slid out, about six feet from the edge of the balcony. After showering for about an hour she would take about ten minutes to let as much water drain out of her hair as possible. She would hang it from hooks that hung from the ceiling and were mounted on a track. This gave her mobility during a very vulnerable state. It still weighed sixty or seventy pounds at this point, so without this system, she needed help moving about. She was able to move around and take care of her other needs, dry herself off, and put her robe on. She was then able to push everything out to the balcony and set up with the "machine" as she called it.
"This part took about five years
to perfect. Lots of trial and error between the shampoo and conditioners
she used, the volume, speed and temperature of the air, and the final results,
of course balanced by her time on the machine." She had every convenience
within arms reach of the chair a small fridge, a television, a telephone,
computer, and mirrors so she could monitor her hair's progress. In somewhere
between four and six hours, her hair was dry, and "poofed" as she liked
to say. A huge shapeless ball that was about to overflow the screen.
The most difficult part of the whole operation was extracting herself from the machine and gaining control of her hair. "We were working on a few ideas to help gather her hair, but she still pretty much needs one of us to help her get back to her room," her father said. "At that point, well, it's up to her" He said it takes about three hours to comb out the rough spots in her hair so it doesn’t try to become dreadlocked. The machine, as well as special care during washing seemed to do a pretty good job of keeping the tangles out. ”It’s a miracle she doesn’t get more tangles” her father mentioned. “We have had to mobilize once in a while for a mass detangling. An all day affair for Karen, Amanda and I.” Finally, she had to bind and braid her hair so she can go home. Today, we went into the den and set up for your visit."
"Amazing" was all I could say. I was astounded at the lengths her family went to for long hair. The contraption in front of me cost tens of thousands of dollars and it seemed like the whole floor, if not the whole house had been modified to suit the growing of hair. Her father then showed me the rest of the house- the fourth floor loft with drying chair for Susie's mother and sister, their special shower suite and dressing room and the wall lift system that could either hold a person or a second computerized fan system. He showed me detaiIs, like the rounded edges everywhere that just about eliminated hair snagging on anything, and the special anti-static carpet.
"Imagine what kind of a charge could
build up with twenty feet of hair dragging on the floor!" her father said.
We finally adjourned to the living room, ever watchful of hair on the floor. I helped Susie to a seat on the couch. I could tell she obviously enjoyed her gigantic mass of hair at full flourish, but even simple tasks such as moving from one room to another and sitting down were daunting. It was a real challenge to move about, pushing and lifting her hair this way or that, and constantly having to step off of her curls as I moved. The others chuckled at my efforts as I tried to push her hair onto the couch so it was out of the way of everyone else.
At this point, Amanda decided to leave, and I watched her gather her almost twenty feet of hair in what seemed like no time. She kissed her parents and walked out the door, her silky tresses looped over one arm. David and Kelly soon followed, after first using something resembling scrunchies to bind his beard and hair.
Her mother and father also got ready
to leave, her father inviting me to help him braid her mother's hair.
"Two people make it go faster, and then we can be out of your hair.
We're going to hit the town for a while." It took us about fifteen
minutes to work our way down her hair. I loved the feeling of it running
through my hands It felt softer than silk, and was so long, I mean twenty-seven
feet is a lot of hair. I'd never seen anything close. They
regaled me with tales of life with long hair as we braided away.
Finally, they went out the front door- her mother holding her braid looped
up several times in both hands.
It was just Susie and me now, and a chance for me to decompress just a little. She had me turn off the lights so we could enjoy the view out the huge picture window. It took me a moment to tunnel through and find her, but I sat next to her on the couch. I had to carefully push her hair to one side and make sure I didn't sit on any.
Of course we quickly realized that we couldn't see much of the view, as her hair obscured most of it, but I didn't mind. In fact I pulled some more of her hair around so that we were completely cocooned inside of it. We cuddled and talked for a long time. It took quite a while for the whole hair thing to sink in. I mean, you couldn't even dream of this much hair being in one house. And though I had seen Susie's hair bound up, and had a good idea of how long it was; the magnitude of what she had was just mind-boggling.
We had talked a little about her hair before, but after this day, I was just bursting with questions, most of them beginning with "Why?”
“Do you like it?” she asked, with that pleading look in her eyes that said she hoped it all wasn’t too much for me.
Of course, Susie knew pretty early that she was different. Her earliest memories of her mother are of hair that seemed to go on forever- long, straight, and soft. Her mother’s hair was actually twelve feet long when Susie was born, with a full head of curls. Although her mother never mentioned it, she knew that her hair was different early on, in that it grew out, not down.
The divorce didn’t affect her too much, as she was only five when it happened. Her father was never around that much anyway, so when he was gone for good, it wasn’t a huge change. Then Joey came into the picture, and Susie responded to the love he gave her mom by loving him in return, and was the first of the three children to accept him as a stepfather.
Like her sister, Susie refused to cut her hair as long as their mother continued to grow hers. And her mother’s hair grew and grew. Susie grew wider and bigger, and started high school with a mop that was almost four feet wide, and fell to her knees. She had a difficult time with her hair at this stage,as it was very hard to control.
Her parents went through a time of persuading her to cut it back to some degree, but Susie resisted. She understood that her hair was different from her mom’s and her sisters, but she loved it all the same. In fact, Susie told me, this was when she knew she loved her hair, and convincing her daddy of that is what finally got her parents off the haircut thing.
With the care regimen worked out, and her daddy’s helping hands, she could grow on without any reservations. She ususlly kept it bound up with scrunchies during the week, but occasionally cut it loose at home or in school. For the last eight years, though, she has had to bind her hair at least to some degree, as it began settling on the floor when loose. Now, the volume is just growing by leaps and bounds.
“I went out with guys here and there, but they always wound up being afraid of my hair, and were jealous of the time I spent on it. I hope that doesn’t happen to you, Luke.”
I kissed her, and went on to confess my love of long hair. I had hinted at it before, but decided to give her the whole thing. I told her about how a long-haired woman used to stop me in my tracks. How long hair was just the ultimate expression of beauty and femininity to me, and how I learned as I dated long-haired women that they were almost all incredibly special women under the hair, too.
Susie asked me about who had the longest hair. “You mean before you, right?” I answered.
I told here about three dates with Ann, who had silky, jet black hair that just touched the floor. “The funniest thing was,” I said, “ just about every woman I saw with long hair, no matter how long it was, I always thought about them with longer hair. Even Ann- I kept looking at her and imagining her with a foot or two of hair on the floor.”
“What about me?” Susie asked.
“My personal slogan has been that a girl can never have too much hair- the longer the better,” I said. “And you, my dear, are living proof.”
“Have you imagined me with longer hair?” she asked.
“You? No.” I said. “Your hair is beyond imagination, almost a world in itself. I have never seen anything so, so unbelievably beautiful in my life. So soft, so huge, so wonderful. No, your hair is perfect, Susie. The best part, though, is that it is all attached to you.”
I guess that was the right thing to say. We cuddled closer, kissed, and ended up falling asleep on the couch.
We were awakened by sunlight coming in the huge picture window, and the smell of bacon coming from the kitchen. Susie’s father was whipping up breakfast. After taking care of a little personal business, I returned to the kitchen in time to see Susie rise from the couch and attempt to move with her hair still at full flourish. I was going to try to help her, but her father told me to wait.
We were treated to a very slowly moving mass of brown, undulating as if it had a life of it’s own, as Susie struggled towards the bathroom.
“You can see why she doesn’t do this too often,” her father said. he raised his voice and looked in her direction. “You OK, Mop?”
“Just fine, Daddy. Good morning!” she replied.
Her father scooped some eggs and a few pieces of bacon on to two plates, and invited me to the far side of the kitchen as Susie got herself, but not her hair into the bathroom.
“We’ll take them theirs when we are done,” he said. “They will be working on their hair for a while- gives us a chance to talk.”
We ate a few bites before he said, “Well what do you think? Do you know what you are getting into?”
I told him that I was amazed at all the hair I had seen, especially Susie’s. So much volume!
He tried to give me a preview of life with a longhair, saying that Susie and her mother are very much alike.. “You will have to understand and accept the role that hair plays in her life. I can tell that Susie loves you, but she loves her hair just as much, and there are many times, more so with Susie than it was with Karen, where her hair will come first, second, and third. She has been through a lot with her hair, and has had plenty of chances to get rid of some of it, but she refuses.”
“When I met Karen the second time, she was ready to cut her hair, but she didn’t. I told her that she seemed to draw life and vitality from her hair. Without it, she would still be beautiful, but she would seem frail and weak. Karen finally agreed with me back then, and we have talked about Susie the same way. The more hair she has gotten, the more she seems to have blossomed as a person, though she was always confident and outgoing as a kid.”
“There is something about Karen and the kids,” he told me, “They were meant to have long hair, and they know it.”
He talked about the time and effort and money put towards long hair in the family. “To an outsider, it probably appears strange and excessive, but first and foremost, we consider all our hair to be a gift, and something of a work of art. Long hair is an obsession and a hobby, but it is definitely not the only thing the family is about.
“I was attracted to Karen because of her hair,” he said, “and I have always been a long hair freak. I love that she shares it with me as much as she does, but without the wonderful, loving woman under the hair, I wouldn’t be here.
“I’m obviously biased about Susie, but I trust you already see how wonderful she is under her hair.”
He also talked about their relationship, and how she would still depend on the family and the house to a point, until she got facilities of her own.
We both looked and saw Susie emerge from the bathroom, making her way towards the kitchen, wrestling her hair along the floor. She had a smile a yard wide that was just asking for a kiss.
“And now if you will excuse me,” her father said with a smile as he scooped some eggs onto a plate, “Karen and I have a date with her hair. It’s Sunday, you know...”
I have spent many Saturdays at the house between then and now, and have almost gotten used to the insane amount of hair there, but I think I will always look at Susie with wonder. She is trusting me more and more with her hair, and the more I get into it, the more I love it. I think we are both comitted to “The longer, the better,” and looking forward to more of everything.