Friday, November 4, 2011
It was time to get my hair cut; it needed it, desperately. Sun damage from the summer had to go. I don’t get my hair cut very often. Finding time, and the nerve, often hampers my coiffure pursuits. Keeping it long and straight (and boring), works for my busy life. A ponytail works wonders, so length is needed for the fast and furious up-do.
But I had to do it. Scraggly hair does not a Vogue cover model, make.
I summoned the courage, and before I could change my mind, off I went. Therefore, I have no ‘before’ pictures to compare, and the ‘after’ pictures I just can’t do – yet.
With a toothpick in his mouth, the hairdresser guy much younger than me chattered about Halloween two days away. The parties he was going to – snip. The costume he was going to wear – snip, snip. (Switch toothpick to the other side). And the grumpy old people who complain about Halloween antics? May the goblins get them, he cackled - triple snip.
I was determined to show him I was cool, composed, and unaffected by the amount of hair floating by.
I guffawed, cussed, and agreed at all the right times, my seemingly outward composure, secure. Sure, he had been doing this for 10 years, as he said. But with each snip, my composure fell to the ground, inch by inch. Hair grows, I kept telling myself. I needed to get this done, I kept telling myself. But my positive self-talk failed miserably.
Underneath the hairdresser’s cape, I was shaking. I couldn’t breathe the neck was buttoned so tight. Strangulation in the hairdresser’s chair was sure to be my demise. There was no ventilation under that thing, either. As sweat dribbled down my back, I was thankful for the cape - never let them see ya sweat, and all that.
Let me make one thing clear, however, should the stud himself ever read this – he did an excellent job. Truly. He did exactly as I asked; no more, no less. No weird ends. No missed pieces. Maybe a tad too short for my liking, however, but hair grows, as I kept telling myself.
What had I done?
The transformation complete, I made the mistake of looking at the pile on the floor as I got up. The shaking escalated, making my teeth rattle like the skeletons readying to roam the streets in two nights’ time. I tried not to gasp, failed, and with a lame giggle to cover my audible show of weakness, I jelly-legged to the cash register. My hands shook like a caffeine junkie as I tried to peel the bills from the wad of millions in my wallet. I chattered a bit too much. I flicked my hair in wonder at the weightlessness a bit too much. People were staring.
What had I done?
As I put on my coat, I realized I barely had to pull my hair out from underneath like I used to have to do only 45 minutes before. My family was set to visit the pumpkin patch heralding haunted houses and replica graveyards sporting dead bodies in a few hours. I would fit right in. I would be able to scare the young and old, free of charge.
How I drove home without creating a 1-car pileup (with me, anything’s possible), I’ll never know. I banned anyone from looking at me as I scurried in the house. I washed my hair, and attempted to do something with it. Luckily (for his sake), the man of the house noticed and said all the right things – not really.
“Wow, you haven’t had it that short for a long time.”
WRONG THING TO SAY.
The kids didn’t notice how bald I was. My hands were still shaking. I longed for a Valium. Off to the pumpkin patch we went.
It’s done, it needed to be done, hair grows I kept chanting to myself as we slogged through the fertilizer and pumpkin vines. A kid in a witch costume complete with a scraggly wig ran by – SHE HAS BETTER HAIR THAN ME, I moaned. The carved pumpkin I happened to be standing beside had no response.
Determined not to let trivial things like hair ruin our family time, I focused on the pumpkins, the hay ride, and the replica graveyard. For a split second as a few short strands blew in my eyes, I longed to lie down in one of the graves and get it over with.
On the way home, I realized no one turned to stone at the sight of me, and my family was happy with our Halloween adventure. And that was all that really mattered.
Halloween day was business as usual; get up, do something with my hair, and go to work. The hair worked out relatively fine, what was left of it, and whaddya know? I could still put it in a ponytail. And even though I felt like I was practically bald – not that there is anything wrong with that – no one noticed. I guess those missing 3 inches of my precious locks didn’t make much difference.
This was me on Halloween, the hair-panic forgotten. I didn’t need fancy hair for my costume, anyways.