My sister got married recently. Some weeks before the big day, she pulled me aside and asked me to dye my bright blue and purple hair a more innocuous color so that I wouldn’t stand out too much. She wouldn’t listen to reason as to how I love my hair, nor as to how the process of bringing it to a more natural color would be difficult, expensive, and damaging. At the suggestion of a friend, I invested in an excellent honey-brown human hair wig, similar to my actual hair texture and length. Her big day went off without a hitch, and she never even seemed to notice my “innocuous” hair. At the end of the reception, after nearly everyone had left and my family and I were helping tidy up, I removed the wig.
Dear Sister Wigging Out: I shouldn’t be laughing at this, but I can’t help myself. The idea of your sister, years from now, surrounded by her loving husband, children, and grandchildren, staring sadly at her wedding photo album, a wizened figure pointing at a picture of you as she whispers, “But underneath ... underneath it was all blue and purple,” just tickles me to death. Imagine how ridiculous your apology would have to sound: “Sorry the brown hair I wore to your wedding wasn’t permanent enough.” Refuse to let your sister’s temper tantrum affect you. You did a very nice thing by changing your appearance to suit her mood in the first place. The fact that she got married does not entitle her to dictate the color of your hair. If she brings it up again, tell her the photos were lovely. And if she commands you not just to wear contacts but to get laser eye surgery for the birth of her first child, stand your ground.
My sister freaked out. She’s still angry, and she says that I violated her trust and that for the rest of her life when she looks at her wedding pictures of the family together or of me in the background, she’ll know that there’s blue-and-purple hair under there, and it will infuriate her. I don’t see any problem with what I did. I didn’t want to change my hair color for ONE day in her life, and I even invested in a hairpiece specifically meant to give her peace of mind. I hadn’t considered telling her about the wig beforehand, simply because she was busy and, as long as I showed up with “normal” hair, it should have been fine. How am I in the wrong here? Did I owe it to my sister to actually color my hair for her wedding? I wasn’t even a bridesmaid.
- Sister Wigging Out