Why Do We Daydream?

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Sarah had a 9 to 5 office job with a good company that paid her well but the job itself was nothing to be excited about. It paid her bills and left her with enough money to have a decent life – nothing extravagant but a good life for a hard working citizen.

At work she was reliable and dependable. As for her appearance, Sarah was happy enough. She believed herself to be pretty with curves in mostly the right places and a new love of jogging which would hopefully get rid of certain curves she didn’t want. Her dark brunette hair reached her mid-back and it was long and shiny and healthy. She went for the occasional drink with her colleagues after work but wasn’t a ‘party animal’ and Sarah had always been careful to never let drink make a fool of her outside of work.

She was nice to everyone at the company and people spoke kindly to her in return. Sarah knew that everyone thought of her as a perfectly ordinary nice woman and she was happy that her colleagues thought of her in that way.

Heavens knows what they would think if they learnt about her hair fetish.

If they knew that some nights she would go home and watched videos of people getting their heads shaved. Or read stories online about fictionalised haircuts. Or that she’d even written a couple of stories herself but was too scared to upload them even under a pseudonym. Or that she’d fantasised and daydreamed many a time about something wild and terrible and thrilling happening to her long dark locks.

Sarah’s most common hair-themed daydreams involved a surprise haircut.

A favourite involved booking an appointment at a salon she’d never been too, where no one knew her. She’d ask for a trim and the stylist would look at her in the mirror and say: ‘no honey not today. Trust me, I’ve got the perfect style in mind for you’. And then in a whirl of scissors Sarah would be left with a sharp pixie cut.

In a similar fantasy the stylist wouldn’t even say anything. He or she would just silently judge Sarah and secretly cut off a foot of hair from the back of her head without her noticing. Dramatic new style here we come!

Yet another daydream involved the stylist misunderstanding the instructions. They would mishear ‘trim please’ for ‘please cut all my hair as short as possible’. Her locks would be raining down on the cape before she could blink.

Her fantasies always excited Sarah, but what would happen if she was faced with those scenarios in real life?

Would she allow a stylist an input on her hair? Probably, if she was unsure about a particular element. But would a stylist really suggest such an extreme change? Would she say ‘yes’? What would happen if she did say ‘yes’? Would she be excited or terrified?

Salons and barbershops were plentiful in town. Barbershops were particularly exciting because you could just walk in on the spur of the moment – no appointment needed. A few times she had dared herself to walk into a barbershop instead of just passing by. She’d sit in an oversized chair and ask for a buzzcut. But then how would she face her colleagues the next day? How would they react when she walked in? Would everyone think she was crazy?

Sarah so desperately wanted to take that insane dramatic plunge and she hated that fear and uncertainty always held her back. And not even her own fear! Fear of other people and their judgment.

So what would happen if a stylist cut all her hair off without her knowledge? In her daydreams she was surprised but then excited. Somehow Sarah doubted she would be that calm in real life. There would be extreme shock rather than mild surprise. She might even shriek and demand to see the manager even though her deepest fantasies were coming true.

Would the same reaction be true if a stylist misinterpreted her request? Surely no competent stylist would mishear ‘trim’ for ‘head shave’. Surely she would not sit calmly if the situation was real. There would be a lot of: ‘oh my god what have you done!’ moments.

So why, if she was sure she’d react badly, did she fantasise about these hair cutting jaw-dropping scenarios?

More than once Sarah had stood in front of her bathroom mirror, thick kitchen scissors in her hand with a lock of hair held perilously between the open blades. It would be so, so easy the voice in her head said. Just do it! But she never did. A couple of times she had cut the tiniest fraction from the ends of her hair. Even that sent a warm thrill though her body but still she could never close the scissors higher into her precious locks.

Did she want to be in control of her hair or not, she puzzled. Were her daydreams so exciting specifically because they were a fantasy?

Sarah poured herself a glass of wine and opened a video featuring a man cutting off his girlfriend’s ponytail while she was asleep. With her free hand she ran her fingers through her hair.

Why did she have a hair fetish? Sarah didn’t know. Maybe the answer was that there wasn’t an answer. Or, if there were answers out there, she hadn’t found them yet. And that was ok. A video about sisters given each other terrible haircuts automatically loaded. Her own hair wasn’t going anywhere. There was still plenty of time to figure out what she wanted to do with it when she was ready.

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