Going to get my hair cut after work. I’m rather abashed at how excited I am about this. What is it about getting a haircut that means so much to women? After every major trauma, disappointment, breakup, failed diet, rejection letter: haircut. And it’s all better.

There’s always the fantasy, isn’t there? One day we’ll find that lipstick, get that certain haircut, and everything’ll change for us. Men will meet our eyes and smile admiringly more often, and we’ll accept the homage graciously as our due. For men, it’s easier: I heard a comedian say once, “Every guy believes he’s two, maybe three sit-ups away from being in a hot tub with Elle MacPherson“. For women, it’s complicated. The never-ending drill of lather-rinse-repeat, shave, moisturize, buff, pluck, blow dry, gel, curl, even that skin tone, powder, blush, bring out the eyes, lipstick, check the look, and we haven’t even talked about clothes yet, is he watching me as I walk by, glance casually in the reflective glass, slight adjustment to the hair, keep going. Every single day.

The blessing of a good haircut: you do the rest in a better humor. The blessing of being single: you don’t have to shave as often. The blessing of going to a good beauty salon: you find yourself in a female enclave where all this is understood intuitively.

It’s not about being shallow. We all know that it’s what’s inside that counts. We all know that we really dress up for other women, because the men don’t notice if the shoes go with the outfit or not. But for some reason, we just feel better when we look good. I think it’s because we stand more of a chance of being noticed when we pay attention to our appearance, and there’s nothing worse than being invisible when you’re a 20-something struggling to justify your existence anyway. So off to the hair appointment I go, with the promise of a more visible tomorrow.