Nancy Roman

When Training Backfires

When it comes to understanding women, my husband is a slow learner.

For instance:

He doesn’t ‘get’ hair.

When we first met, more than twenty years ago, he actually thought that women liked their hair.

He believed all that ‘crowning glory’ crap.

He thought waist-length hair was pretty on every woman. He thought women didn’t wake up with cowlicks.

He thought Suzanne Somers was a natural blonde.

He didn’t understand:

that straight hair makes women cry.

that curly hair makes women cry.

that fine hair makes women cry.

that thick hair makes women cry.

That my hair appointment is the most important day of the month,

and that I cry when I come home.

At the beginning of our relationship, he would say forbidden things.


“What did you do to your hair?”

“Isn’t that awfully short?”

It was difficult to remain married.

But gradually over the years (decades really), he learned a little.

It took him ten years to say,

“How do YOU feel about your hair?”  – which was quite an improvement.

And after fifteen years, he finally found the correct response.

“How was your day?”


Okay. Five years later.

Back to Suzanne Somers.

My husband loves blondes. LOVES.

And since I’m pretty gray now (underneath), I figured that going blonde might actually be easy. I won’t have dark roots.

So last week I went to the hairdresser, and spent an extra hour (and an extra hundred) getting me some wicked blonde highlights.

I kept it a secret.

I wanted to wow him.

And I came home.

And he said,

“How was your day?”


  1. Men. Can’t live with ’em; can’t kill ’em. 😉


  2. I was talking about this very subject with my daughter yesterday. I told her “You know how I’m trying to teach you guys to be content with what you have? I’m talking especially about YOUR HAIR!”


  3. Oh, dear. He’s trying, God love him..(Does anybody else use that expression? It looks weird in print….)

    I’m sure the highlights look great. Maybe he just needs a little time to adjust to the new you. Very funny post. Do you draw your own pictures? They are great.


  4. Barneysday

    From a guy’s standpoint? On hairdresser day, the moment she walks through the door, study her carefully, smile, and in my most sincerest of tones, “your hair looks great.”

    Even if I’m lying through my teeth, it’s my lie, she’ll swear to it, and life goes peacefully on.


    • I need you to speak to my husband.


      • Barneysday

        After 25 years, I finally am learning!! Love your posts


  5. carolcovin

    Love your title, When Training Backfires. Sounds like he needs an update in training. Like Barneysday, my husband learned early to say, Your hair looks great. He counts it as a win that he notices if it’s different. And, I do too.


  6. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!


  7. LIke your husband, my husband completely ignores hair. I married him when he was 60 so someone else must have broken him in. They did a great job. He also answers the, “does this make me look fat” questions perfectly! We want to see a picture of those awesome highlights!


  8. The day I shaved my head was a day I remember feeling FREE !!! How glorious to not care! How glorious to not spend 30 minutes of my day, which I would never get back, fooling with my locks! It’s MY head, after all. I never ask my husband what he thinks of my hair. He knows it belongs to me. So go shave it ~ it’s an amazingly freeing experience!!!


    • oh no…as much as I am frustrated by my hair, bald is my worst nightmare.


  9. Good one!


  10. LOL! That is fantastic. And welcome to the bright side! 🙂


  11. I don’t mean to be rude, but judging solely by your drawing ~ perhaps the reason he doesn’t “get hair” is because he’s preoccupied looking for where he “lost” his! Blonde is something every woman needs to do at least once in her life… as is Red. Enjoy the new you and all the benefits that go with it!!


    • You’ve got a point. He is preoccupied with hair – HIS lost hair.


  12. So funny! I love that you wear little cardigans in your illustrations 🙂


  13. spot on, as usual. my hubby (after experimenting – i guess – with various responses) after 21 years says, “your hair looks great” every single blessed time (even if i am cursing or crying) with exactly the same expression. and i HATE to say – i am not sure that’s what i want him to say. blech. i *might* need a shrink.


  14. My husband who HATES dyed women’s hair, has never noticed that I’ve been doing mine for 5 years. He was shocked recently when he overheard me making my appointment …


    • Years ago, when I was celebrating my fiftieth birthday, a young man at the office said, “Gee, you don’t look fifty. You don’t even have any gray hair.”
      Males are so naive.


      • And you are nicer than they deserve. I would use the term “clueless.”


  15. Aw, I bet it looks beautiful! Share it with us. We’ll validate you. Who needs a man’s opinion.

    You totally nailed it on the women and their hair thing. Yes to all those scenarios. Nailed it!


  16. I think many women share your sentiments on this one!


  17. There was a brief stretch, four weeks actually, when I liked my hairstyle. It was odd looking in the mirror and thinking “My hair doesn’t look like total crap today.” I have yet to recapture it.


  18. Michelle Gillies

    My husband actually phones me before I get home from an appointment and says, “You look Beautiful!”. After that it doesn’t matter what happens when I get home. I don’t know who taught him that. It wasn’t me and there is no way he figured that out on his own 😉


    • Oh man, that is fabulous. Everyone wants your husband – or at least wants him to give lessons.


      • If I shaved my head again, my husband would say, “You’re beautiful!” And he’d mean it! So I guess that’s two guys in the world that everyone wants, and I’m positive there are lots more out there. I’ve always wondered, what’s the big deal with hair, anyway? 🙂


    • Now That’s funny!


  19. Your hubby is quaint. You are a lucky woman. I believe I’ve mentioned this before but I stand by my original thought.


  20. Hair… wonder there is a play and a song all about it, and stories of it being the strength of a person. I think many men are nearly as preoccupied with their hair as women. My husband-who looks remarkably similar to yours-still gets worried about combing his hair on a windy day. I have to stifle my first response….”Who’d notice?” He apparently does, even if he doesn’t notice mine.


  21. AirportsMadeSimple

    I laughed out loud at this. Hilarious and so true. I’ve had every haircolor in the rainbow. Classic response after going from dark brown to blonde: “Do you have on different makeup or something?”


  22. Oh, I hear you! My husband still wants me to have hair like Cher. Which I’ve NEVER had. And I’ve had the “alien” look too when I’ve had a trim. But next week I’m going to have it cut MY way. Thanks for the encouragement!


  23. Too funny! But it could’ve been worse – he could’ve said, “What did you do to your hair?”

    I’ve gotten around the hair issue by never changing mine. (Sometimes it’s good to be a fashion-oblivious geek). I’m getting a bit of grey now, but what the heck, I’m pushing 50. It still looks all red unless I’m out in bright sun. And Hubby never has to comment at all because it always looks the same no matter what. I think we’re both happier that way.

    P.S. I bet it’s a fabulous colour on you. I can tell how beautiful it is just from your illustration. 🙂


  24. I think my husband knows that I have hair, and if I didn’t have any he would notice. Possibly. Anything in between – nope.

    Did you really go blond? Lets see it!


  25. Oh my goodness! isn’t that the truth! Men! haha!


  26. Nancy. I literally laughed out loud when I read the last line of your story. This is priceless. What you gonna’ do. Ha! This was well done, my friend.


  27. Dor

    This was soooo funny! Reminds me of my husband who can look right at something and not see it. ” Hair? Got your hair done? Uh – looks good.” I love your illustrations by the way and wish I could do that too.


  28. pharphelonus

    Well, you said he’s a slow learner …
    Seriously, once a man finds out what his wife is paying to have her hair colored and cut and all that. he’s afraid to say boo.


  29. Al

    This is hilarious. Perhaps you would consider doing the prologue for my next blog on successful marriages.


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