Now for those of you who don’t immediately understand the reference in this post’s title, let’s take a moment to familiarize ourselves with its historical derivation.
A little reality tv show on Bravo called, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, features prominent, well-to-do (supposedly) women who generally just drink and yell at each other. Sounds horrible. It is, but yet millions of us cannot look away.
In one episode back in 2011, 2 cast members got in a fight and the result was one referring to the other derogatorily as ‘Wig’ due to the fact that this woman notoriously and openly wore wigs. Not cause she doesn’t have perfectly fine hair, just cause she considers herself fabulous and wants to wear wigs (I don’t get it either…).
For reasons unknown, this altercation resulting in the first woman screaming, ‘Bye Wig’, has become popculture gold. It’s even in the Urban Dictionary:
I have enjoyed using this new lexicon for years now and when I found out I was going to need chemo it took on a whole new meaning. Now when I say, Bye wig, I am speaking directly to you cancer, and your prediliction towards making people bald.
Wigs for cancer patients are often covered by insurance but you need a prescription for, get this, a cranial prostheses. Really? Must we continue to ruin perfectly good phrases like, ‘gym class’, and turn them into, ‘kinetic wellness’? Can I really not call a wig a wig?!
Due to the fact that I fall slightly (ok, drastically) outside the curve of a normal breast cancer patient, I was excited to go wig shopping. It is suggested you go when you have all your hair so the salespeople can see what they are trying to match.
You guys, this place was 100% stuck in 1986. There wasn’t a piece of electronics dating past an early model fax machine and there were post-it’s everywhere wilting off the sad walls to which they were taped. It was a really frightening first impression.
I brought my mom as she seemed like the appropriate wi(n)gman for this escapade. We chatted with our ‘stylist’ and she said the best way to start would be with a wig that matches your current hair:
Next I asked for something different. She goes to the back and comes back with what looks just like an armful of shoe boxes. She pulls each wig out, aggressively brushes it and plops it on my head.
I am starting to gather that I am not her normal young cancer patient client. Most seem to want to get a wig matching their current hair as closely as possible so as to not draw attention to the fact that they have cancer. That ship sailed a long time about for this over-sharer.
I mean, I’m going to have a blond mohawk that was chosen by a public vote in a few days, I am way past hiding my disease. If I’m going wigs, I’m going balls to the wall.
Kirby is obviously a bottle blond but she owns it. She drives a late 2000s BMW and works as a paralegal in a sad office park near her home which is a small, but hip, loft space. She dreams of marrying rich and having a lake house someday. She has a pet Maltese named, Seashell.
Now meet Roxanne:
Roxanne is a dental hygenist who dreams of becoming a burlesque dancer. She is from a small town in Oklahoma and has always dreamt of the spotlight. Currently, she lives with her low-life boyfriend Roger and their tabby cat, Mandy, in an apartment complex right on the border of gentrification.
Grace is a fun-loving but slovenly mother of 3 small children. She teaches childbirth education, does birth doula work and prefers to spend her free time sleeping or exercising. Grace doesn’t care too much about her appearance and wears a headband and a high ponytail everyday.
The last picture you see above is the only one we bought. It is the everyday, easy one. Throw it on, go to grocery store, get my damn Boars Head turkey and move on with my life.
Once I go bald, I will most likely go back to pick up Kirby and Roxanne. If I’m going to go out to an event wearing a wig, it may as well be ridiculous/fabulous. The less sense something makes, the more logical a choice it is in my mind.
While I am getting chemo I see very little need to be myself. Most days I’ll want to be anything but myself. Perhaps I can even ask my friends and family who are taking me out, to choose the wigged woman they would like to have dinner with. Time to let my inner schizophrenic shine!
So to you cancer, I say a resounding, BYE WIG.