That and the fact that I always seem to get the one hairdresser in the place that is having a bad day and I’m just one more bad thing in it. Me and my baby fine, dark brown, not curly, not straight hair. Problem hair.
The last time I cut my hair short, I called the salon ahead of time for an appointment.
“When do you want to come?” she asked dully.
“My time is pretty much my own,” I assured her. “When is the best time?”
“I could come now,” I offered.
“Or whenever,” I added quickly. “Tomorrow? Next week?”
“I guess you can come now.”
I guess you’re wondering why I agreed to go, what with her enthusiasm and all. It’s because:
1. I was on the phone and when I’m on the phone my only goal is to get off the phone. I hate talking on the phone, especially when I have to initiate the call. Know, if I call you, no matter who you are or how much I like you, all I can think about is getting off the phone. I will agree to anything. Just let me hang up.
2. I would have had to be assertive to A Person In Business. Worse, I would have to tell her why I decided not to come and she might get mad at me. Never mind I’m never going to meet or talk to this person again. I can feel the hate through the phone line.
3. I had already said my time was my own. If I now said I couldn’t make it she would think I was lying. Again, I am fully aware I will never come in contact with her again. It doesn’t matter.
So I arrive at the salon and inside are two women sitting in the hydraulic chairs talking. One is smoking a cigarette. There are no customers.
The Smoking Lady sees me and hurries into the back. The other lady gets out of the chair and starts fussing with scissor and brushes. I wait
Three or four minutes later, Smoking Lady slouches from the back room. Finally she makes eye contact with me. I state my name.
“You can come on back,” she drones.
I sit down in her chair (the other lady sits down in her chair again and proceeds to read a magazine) and she starts fingering my hair.
“This permed?” she asks.
“No. It’s just kind of wavy like that.”
She sneers. Obviously this is not good. Bad hair. Bad, bad. “You know what you want to do with this?”
I explain that I thought layers would look good, a little bit onto my forehead, not so short you have to shave the back of my neck. Sort of feathery, I say.
She continues to stare at me and sneer. “You don’t want me to wash this, do you.”
This. My hair is “this”
“Oh no,” I say cheerfully, like what sort of moron would think they would wet your hair before cutting it.
So she cuts it and it ends up as it always does when it’s short, a brown helmet with a cowlick. Which is why I stopped cutting it short. I tell her it’s beautiful and over-tip. I just want to get out of there before she pulls the Uzi from her cabinet and guns me down.
So I hadn’t been to a stylist in a very long time.
Then Dirtman started dropping hints that my hair was looking particularly unruly, bad hair that it is. I figure, well, he’s the one who has to look at it more than I do. It was long enough for me to just wash it in the morning, run a comb through it and let it dry on its own. If I went anywhere I just tied it up. I didn’t even have to use a mirror. So I didn’t know how bad the bad hair had gotten. Naughty, naughty hair.
This time I tried a surprise attack, straight off the street. Different salon, different stylist. Way different.
I told her about the layers and my forehead and the not shaving and the feathering. I told her I was okay with short.
She asked if I like football and I told her, no, actually. So she proceeded to tell me about that week’s game, which was apparently a grudge game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, which is a big thing around here and so she couldn’t conceive of me not being interested. She washed my hair and then observed me and my bad, bad hair in the mirror.
She started flipping through my hair talking about layers and talking about washing and going and “just scruch”ing. She said something about Fleetwood Mac, but I was sure I heard her wrong. She took my glasses and told me, “This will be perfect for your hair.”
There was something perfect for my hair? My naughty, bad hair?
So she snipped and combed and scrunched. She told me about the bet she’d made about the football game and how she and her friend trash talked at half time. She fluffed and feathered and sprayed the whole thing down with a can of noxious fumes.
“There you go!” she exclaimed and handed me my glasses.
The top half of my head was layered and feathered and scrunched and almost curly. The bottom half was just as long as it has been.
“Just like Stevie Nicks!” she effused.
I looked at myself in the mirror with a big, wide
grimace smile. Stevie Nicks.
I resemble Stevie Nicks about as much as Gaspode resembles a turnip. In fact ‘Pode looks more like Stevie Nicks than
And why, in God’s name, would I even want to resemble a drugged out, aging rock star? No one has wanted to look like Stevie Nicks in 20 years.
But I tell her it’s beautiful and over-tip.
So here I am. With my dark brown Stevie Nicks head. It's been over a month now and God knows, I’ve tried to work with it, really I have. I’ve tried dressing in shawls and handkerchiefs and dancing around in circles while singing through my nose, but it just frightens people.
So what am I to do with my bad, naughty Stevie Nicks head? Go to another humiliating hairdressing session?
Hoods. Kerchiefs. Hats.