The Gift of the Magi
How we cite our quotes:
"Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?" (30)
Della's hair isn't what makes Della Della, nor, she's suggesting, should it be what makes her special to Jim. What is it that makes her special to Jim? Is it her heart, her warmth, what she does for him?
"It's sold, I tell you – sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?" (33)
Della calls her love uncountable – it's limitless, unlike the precious hair she gave away. The value of her love is likewise limitless, again unlike what she gave away.
"Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. (36)
Jim doesn't really care about Della's loss of her most beautiful feature. His love for her extends beyond her looks. Her fears were unfounded. He speaks of Della as "my girl," just as she's thought of him as "her Jim." They both belong uniquely to each other.