Monday, July 9, 2012

...i have to get a hair cut

If truth is beauty, then how come no one has their hair done in the library?
Lily Tomlin

It’s official. I’ve had more hairstyles than Hillary Clinton. Like the Secretary of State, I feel that I am a woman of substance. Some of my haircuts over the years, however, qualify as substance abuse. When we visited Bill’s mom last month, Miss Jean said nothing the night we arrived, not a peep to anyone. Until I leaned over to kiss her. She stared up from her pillow, looked directly into my eyes and said, “What have you done with your hair?” Perhaps Alzheimer’s has transported her to her hairdressing years. More likely, she can still recognize an over-grown mess. I told her that I needed her help to which she promptly replied, “Yes, you do.” Work done, she closed her eyes, whether to sleep or avoid the sight, I’m not sure. 
Before I continue, let me say that I have known many fabulous, talented stylists. Socially. True stylists prefer clients who make regular appointments and understand words like “lowlights” and “undercutting”. I’ve tried to improve my hair style communication. Really, I have. I take pictures with me.  Alas, whatever technique I try, I have, more frequently than not, ended up with some variation of a mullet. Odds are, my last words will be “What am I going to do with my hair?”
I’ve now hit my bottom, tonsorially speaking. “My name is Celeste and I am a drop-in.” Lest you snort, riddle me this: have any of you ever gone to the same hairdresser for years who suddenly announces, “We’re renovating the salon. You won’t recognize the place when you come back.”?  Well, have you? I thought so. You know as well as I do what you find when you return. The spa-like decor is mind-boggling. An anorexic receptionist named Christelle who has an attitude and a perpetually bored expression now sits at a sleek desk in the new reception area. But what you REALLY won’t recognize is your bill. Decimal places have shifted. Don't get me wrong. I'd love a spa experience. As a matter of fact, I think I'll save for one. Today, though, I need a trim. Just a scooch off the sides and ends, please. 

Trust me, you can’t be too careful. I know a lady back home who went to one of those up-graded salons that serves an assortment of wine and cheese. They liberally and frequently refilled her glass of chardonnay and offered her additional “hair and skin refinements”. After considerable libation, she consented. To the whole kit and kaboodle. Ms. Bored-to-her-Pedi’d Toenails at the front desk handed the blonde, bouffant and waxed woman a bill for $700 plus. Last I heard, she was crying in a neighbor’s kitchen. 
In my dreams, I’m the prosecutor.  “Did my client ask you, Mr. Jean [pronounced "zhaun"], for chic new wallpaper? Say that again. The first row couldn’t hear you." I stare into his defiant eyes. "And did she fuss about her old smock with the pink and green kitten print and three broken snaps? Answer the question, please." He shifts in the chair.  "Did she complain about pour-it-yourself coffee in Dixie cups? What was that? You say you can’t remember? Well, she does. In fact, Mr. Zhaun,” I turn to the the jurors, “she remembers when you were Johnny." Gasps fill the courtroom. The judge raises an eyebrow when I add, "In polo shirts and khakis, not those designer jeans with the white tee tucked in the center front.”  The jury - five of whom cancel standing appointments on the spot - awards the plaintiff a handsome sum. Then I wake up.
I moved across the country after I had found a miracle worker to replace the ones who quit to open restaurants or have babies. She worked within driving distance. Didn't have an attitude but provided plenty of Diet Coke, coffee and Hershey Kisses. I looked at pictures of her children and showed her photos of my granddaughter while we talked about recipes. A visit was one part great cut, one part reunion. I’m not deterred. I’ve met a fabulous stylist since I relocated to the west coast. Master cutter. Lovely person.  Sadly, she lives quite a distance from the bay but the three hour drive looks better by the day. To mangle the words of Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 cutters that didn’t work out.” In the meantime, I take comfort in my hat fetish. And Jackie O shades.

Ciara, sweetheart, listen to Cece, the hair/hat thing

I'll send sunglasses.


BrightSoul said...

Celeste: this is sooooo right on! I have recently moved and found a stylist that cut well and understood the language basics..but the BILL!! I was shocked. What I had paid $30.00 for was now $67.00 with the assurance that I had gotten "the best"...ummmm my only resort was to try and find another and grow out bangs so I wouldn't have to have a cut so often...don't look good, grandma! So, I have less to spend on HATS...:(

Jeannette said...

It is so personal, getting a haircut, and it can be so weirdddddd