I was invited for a girls’ day out. Yes, that’s right a girls’ day. To sweeten the deal, I was also offered a free trip to a hair salon.
I really, really did not want to go. I always grow suspicious of these seemingly kind acts, fearing that perhaps this is a ploy to drive me to a mental health facility, so they can figure out why I’m a bit off, or to ship me far away, so I can no longer play those naughty tricks on the flip-flop tank-top brigade.
So, of course I was reluctant; At the time, I was chatting away happily with some pals of mine and when I mentioned the hairstyle offer to my wise Turkish pal, his response was:”hairdressers? they are dangerous people,friend.” Perhaps I should have listened.
Considering I hadn’t slept for ages, my judgement was a bit flawed, and I tend to believe that things do happen the way they are meant to. So, after trying to hide from the girls, and suggesting that mother just treat me to ice cream instead, I caved and decided to go. What was the worst that could happen, right?
I began searching frantically for a photo-something to ‘show’ the sort of thing I wanted. I picked out a lovely photo of Siouxsie, circa 1984-My mother said I was already strange enough. I picked a photo of Robert Smith in his glory days of awesomely horrible-cool hair-My mother said he looked dated. (This coming from a woman that wears frosty pink lipstick and white sandals-always.) She asked me why I would choose such crazy styles, “Don’t you want to look pretty? Get something that suits you?” I searched for a picture of Death Note’s “L”, (because his hair is ideal), but couldn’t find the perfect picture…
I said I couldn’t go-my *bdd* was acting up-I felt too ugly to be seen by people. I’ve had a hard time with this lately-harder than usual. It’s not something I usually discuss, but it’s been so bad, I’ve begun trying to explain some of the silly things I do to some of my closer pals. My father was Italian, my mother-Cherokee, Navajo and Irish-both brought some good qualities to the table-honestly. But genetics kind of threw up on me-so I’m a strange character. I’ve had a whole lifetime to accept this-but sometimes the ugly truth rears it’s ugly head and I’m pushed into the cellar of my mind, feeling as cursed as John Merrick (actually named Joseph Merrick), thinking I should either wear a bag, smash my face into a window, or live in complete isolation-so no one’s harmed by my shocking appearance. I’m trying to work through this, honestly-and yesterday was an example of my effort. [And NO, I am not a shallow person, and would never judge someone else so harshly]
I explained to Mommie Dearest that I felt too ugly to go out-she said I just needed more eyeliner. [Yeah, I’ve made special reservations in Hell for her, believe me.] So out I went, indeed.
In this tiny bastard town, there’s 3 ‘salons’, and another in a lady’s garage-5 feet away from her husband’s farm machinery with 2 giant dogs that do their damnedest to invade your person while this tiny bird- woman chops your hair and rambles on about the latest adulterers. I would take the invasive dogs and the puddles of diesel fuel over the unforgiving Examining Room lighting of a ‘real salon’, and those orange girls with yellow poodle hair anyday. But my 2 companions on this girls’ day assured me they had been to this particular salon several times and the stylists were ‘very cool’ and would do exactly what you wanted them to. I sat in the back seat-staring at the back of their small-town hairstyles, wondering if that was such a good thing.
Feeling naked to the world, I forced my heavy feet to carry me through the door of the four-chair salon-luckily, there were no other customers, so I felt a bit better-then I saw HER-the magical stylest herself: a short, round lady with poodle-permed, dishwater-colored hair-pulled up on top of her head with one of those atrocious hair-comb clips. I wanted to run, but I was in too deep-I thought about the sign hanging over the mirror of a ‘beauty school’ I attended for 2 weeks when I was eighteen:”take a good look-would you trust this person to make you beautiful?”
Obviously this comb-clip lady hadn’t attended the Vogue School of Cosmetology and Hair Design…. Fancy that.
I pushed my mother to go first, so I could devise an escape plan, but I was too tired to devise anything, so I sat in fear under the predicted brighter-than-Heaven’s lamps and the 4 walls,completely covered with mirrors and windows and tried to think happy, happy thoughts.
And then someone in the far corner-eating chicken nuggets from a Mcdonald’s bag caught my attention: An older, somewhat out-of-place woman. She had short,spikey,burgundy hair, and looked as if she could have easily been Robert Smith’s aunt-or Elizabeth Taylor’s niece. I prayed she wasn’t just there to eat nuggets and sniff perm solution, and that she would give my poor crazy hair half a chance. As if God was on my side for once, she stood, stopping half-nugget and went to the back room. A minute later, she returned with her hairdresser smock on. Praise jesus! I was saaaaaved! [I hoped.] when she motioned for me to come over to her chair, she asked what I wanted. All I could say was something a bit wild-and to ‘keep the length’. She nodded knowingly. “aah you mean wispy?” I sleepily mumbled “yeah….wispy” and the hair styling began-I love having my hair played with, so the shampooing was brilliant-and during the conditioning, I began to doze like a content kitten-only to hear her begin that motherly advice I’ve heard since I was 13-“Just be careful with haircolor and bleach-your hair’s a bit dry on the ends.” I had been officially scolded by ‘Lizzie Smith’, And I already knew this : I change my hair more than Britney Spears could ever dream-even during her little rough patches-so I knew it was a little dry. After the shampoo/conditioner, she led me back to her chair and left me there-completely exposed in front of the countless mirrors and the front windows, while she went to the counter and sold overpriced shampoo to some little raisin-lady.
Surprisingly, I talked myself through this interruption and the butchering began. She snipped and pulled and began the stylest talk about her ex-husband and her teenager causing her grief, I did my ‘That’s terrible” and my “what a selfish pig” bit until she grew quiet again. Then I nodded off- or began to-until she nudged my head a bit and I opened my eyes to see my four year-old niece, Sophie staring lovingly at me and saying “La La, you are beee-U-t-e-ful!” I smiled and cringed, I usually cringe when someone says that sort of thing. I know they’re being kind, but It’s like telling a cyclops he has beautiful peepers. So I listened to little Sophia tell ghosts stories while Lizzie Smith ‘razored’ my hair-the sound was atrocious and my head felt lighter and lighter. But I was too tired and too wrapped up in the ghost stories to really panic. After a quick blow dry and a lot of fluffing, she spun me around to the mirror and said “are you sure I can’t do something with the bangs ” (I’d told her I needed them-they helped me hide-she gave me a motherly look, but didn’t scold me that time.) “What do ya think?” Of course I was mortified-not the hair, really but at me-under the cursed light! I swallowed hard and said “oh I love it-thanks.” She had recommended a shampoo and conditioner that was much cheaper than the salon stuff-but just as effective, so I told my mother, who was basking in her grey/frosted ringlets,(think Baby Jane, HONESTLY) that I was going next door to get the shampoo. As I was leaving the other stylist-miss comb clip– said “oh, don’t U look cute?” My sister-the other girl day planner said “It’s just like Katie Holmes’ hair-only cooler” This wasn’t music to my ears, believe me. My stylist asked again if I was sure I didn’t want her to take a little off the front because she couldn’t stand to see it ‘down in my eyes’. I ran my hands, or attempted to through my oddly-coiffed heavily-sprayed hair and gave a quick “No,No thanks.” Then I grabbed Sophia’s hand and bolted out the door.
The rest of the outing was ok, I got the miracle shampoo/conditioner-another of my mother’s treats, [which was nice, I know]-and listened to her “that’s so nice-it suits you” comments until it was time for me to escape-back into my little, dark,happy place. By midnight, my hair was a bit ‘undone’, no hairspray, and a tiny bit wilder. Here it is, a little over 24 hours later and I am back! Yes, it’s shorter and yes, it’s trying to be a style-but as you will see in the picture below-it is once again MINE. This picture is a perfect example of why I loathe pictures, but at least those who have asked about it can clearly see that the girls’day out didn’t change me-too drastically. I’ve been typing away happily, all by myself, running my hands through my crazy hair and that, my Darlings, ‘suits me’ just fine. And I never did get the ice cream….~13
P.S. Happy 13th!!