We both have some feelings about it.
In the series “An Interview With My Spouse Who,” we explore my husband’s choices and major life events, which for some reason he gave me permission to do.
Chase Ogden is a documentary filmmaker who teaches film production at the university level. In his spare time, he can be found fishing, wakeboarding, and being super hot. He’s also the father of two kids (the same two as me). As of publishing, we’ve been married nearly 11 years, and together for 16.
[Setting: Ogden kitchen. Chase is generously answering questions while cooking spaghetti.]
Dena Ogden: My first question is, was this a flex? Because we are at an age where a good head of hair is not exactly a given and yet, here you are.
Chase Ogden: Like, am I showing off the fact that I can still grow hair?
CO: Nope. This is 100% because of quarantine.
DO: As your wife, did my reaction affect you at all?
CO: Not that I recall. I don’t think you’ve had a big reaction? You seem to like it?
DO: I do. Do you think me interviewing you about your man bun is actually my own weird version of a flex? Like, ‘ooh, look at my husband, growing his hair’?
CO: [brow furrows] Maybe a little?
CO: I don’t think you would be writing about it if you didn’t like it, because then you would just be embarrassing me, which you wouldn’t do.
DO: That’d be pretty messed up.
DO: Was there any celebrity inspiration?
CO: No [hesitates]. But, I do like John Wick. And, The Crow. Brandon Lee was a huge influence. And I always wanted that long hair, but I could never make the leap.
DO: I didn’t know that about you and The Crow!
CO: Oh, yeah! That movie had a huge impact on me as a teenager. And I forgot about it for a long time, but then I revisited it at the beginning of COVID.
DO: What was it about COVID and quarantine that made you think, ‘okay, now it’s time for long hair’?
CO: That’s kind of saying it backwards. I didn’t choose to grow my hair. I chose not to cut it.
DO: But you could have had me cut it?
CO: I decided to embrace it instead. I always wondered what I’d look like with longer hair, and I never had a proper excuse to try it. And once I decided that I was fully going to let it go, I committed to keeping it through my vaccine.
DO: How did it feel to have the most luxurious hair of your life when no one else really saw it in person?
CO: I don’t think I would have done it if people were watching. I would have gotten self-conscious in the awkward, middle stage.
DO: And now you’re past that stage, does it all feel worth it?
CO: It surprisingly doesn’t feel all that different. When it’s pulled back, it actually just looks short, so it’s not as big of a deal as it could be.
DO: What do you mean, it actually looks short?
CO: When I’m straight on in the mirror, it looks like my hair’s slicked back.
DO: So…you never see the bun itself?
DO: Wait, how many times have you actually seen it?
DO: [nearly falls out of chair in shock] I’ve shown you pictures, though!
CO: I guess that’d be it. How’s it look right now? Is it good? Well-formed?
DO: It is! It’s small.
CO: I knew that.
DO: Small but mighty. The way a man bun should be.
DO: Um, last question. Does it make you feel different at all?
CO: A little bit? I don’t know if my hair is necessarily the big change though. I think some of the new habits I picked up during quarantine are the bigger changes, and my hair’s a physical manifestation of that.
DO: What kind of habits?
CO: Yoga. I feel better doing yoga with a man bun. I also took up baking. And, I’m reading more.
DO: These are all good things. I appreciate your baking especially. Does that mean you’ll stop when you cut your hair? Please say no.
CO: Oh, no. What I mean is, things changed in the last year and some of these changes will be permanent, like my interest in baking, hopefully. And some of them won’t be permanent, like my long hair.
DO: That’s deep. I’m going to end on that. See you on the other side of the kitchen in ten seconds.
Interview has been lightly edited, because no one deserves an unfiltered conversation between people who’ve been married for more than a decade.