Recently I read a new article about Diana, Princess of Wales. I admit I can never read enough about her.
I’ve met a Pope; seven former world No. 1 ranked tennis players; the sister, aunt, and niece of three Presidents of the United States; a Secretary of State; the former presidents of Austria and the Philippines; real-life princes and princesses, but never Diana.
I’ve always had a funny feeling about meeting celebrities and having conversations with them. On the one hand, even though I’ve read a great deal about them, how do I even begin to imagine that I really know them? I have a brother and sister whom I barely know. Granted, we’ve never been close, but have I walked in their shoes or house slippers? Do they have an inkling about milestones or millstones in my life?
As impossible as it seems, though, Diana, was someone with whom I could always identify. I’m sure millions of women and men would assert the same. We would be about the same age had she not died, give or take a few years. As an idealist, it is said she acted more from her heart than her head which I can completely understand. I’ve read that Diana’s clothes and hair were ways to show what was happening inside her.
Well, hair has always helped me project what was happening inside. Growing up gay and terrified, I used to hide behind my bangs. I always wanted to look like Björn Borg! The length of my hair has reflected what is referred to in Quakerspeak as my “condition.” When I found out my father, with whom I had a checkered relationship, had cancer, I shaved all my hair off to be in solidarity with him. In general I was going through a rough patch in life. Leaving my scalp bare helped me feel free and like I could start over.
Since my father’s death I’ve been letting my hair grow which is also a way of letting go. Yesterday, I parodied myself in karaoke by tossing my hair back and forth in front of a smiling and patient audience. I wanted them to know that I do not take myself seriously.
I’ll never be a celebrity nor do I ever hope to be. What I have learned from meeting famous people is that while they live in different universes, some are stunningly down-to-earth. They also have good and bad hair days just like all of us!