Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Haircutting: The Grudge

The saga of brunch can wait (I'm still seething at Brunchgate, so I can't even talk about it yet and besides, this thing will be going on for some time as I still haven't replied to the offending parental email - which I know I haven't described here yet...but I will...oh yes, I will...). And by the way, I totally should not blog at night, because just the very word "brunch" got my stomach rumbling for some delicious sunny side up eggs over American cheese on top of a buttery English muffin. I feel like my own stomach is a traitor; it should not be perked up by brunch, the enemy. (Yes, I know there is a great Benedict joke here...no, I won't make it even though I really want to...and did you notice? It's also American cheese and an English muffin!! - it's almost too much.) Anyway, treacherous jokes aside, have I mentioned that this wedding planning thing has also been bad for my diet? (I'm a stress eater.) OK. Sorry. Eyes on the Prize. HAIRCUT.

So this past weekend, amidst the chaos of palette picking, bridesmaid browsing, and the horror of that goddamn brunch, I had to get a haircut. I was also acutely aware that I just moved to a completely new city and that I needed to find a stylist whom I could love and trust with my locks on my wedding day pronto. [Damn, now I want lox on a bagel.]

I turned to the Internet, being that my colleagues' age hovers somewhere around the median of 50 and Mr. F (*cough* folicularly challenged *cough*) is not exactly a repository of information on the subject. I did a bit of research, read some chat boards, found a shop, placed a call and had an appointment for the next day. On Sunday I dutifully wrote down the name and address of the shop and walked to the neighborhood where I would find my hair's new soulmate. Or at the very least, a capable stylist. You know, one or the other. When I got to the address, I looked up at the sign. And then down at my scrap of paper. Same address. Different name. Hmm.

I peered inside and saw a salon. Interesting. I stepped inside and asked if it was the place I was expecting. "Oh no, hon, the old owners sold this salon to me. It's a different place now. All new. Different stylists, everything." Hmmm.

This is the point in the movie where you're shouting "DONT GO IN THE BASEMENT. THE KILLER'S IN THE BASEMENT!!"

I went in the basement.

I sat in the chair and the receptionist / owner / lead stylist and I started chatting about what I was looking for. After a minute or so I said: "Really, I'm fine if you want to cut bangs, or don't cut the bangs, but what is really important is that we keep the length. I'm getting married in about six months and I want to wear my hair mostly down for my wedding day and that's how my fiance likes it." Response: "Oh hon, of course. Yeah, yeah. That's real nice, you know, you're gettin married. We'll keep the length, doncha worry, hon."

Well we've all seen the horror movies, right? I was chopped up. It was a slaughter - pieces flying everywhere. I kept crying for help, asking "you're keeping the length, right?" (that "right" was said in the most piercing high pitch imaginable...a crescendo marching upwards only to find the end of my imagined wedding day bouffant).

And when she was done, she had given me layers. Lay-ers. Noun. Def. The cutting of one's hair away from the face and in the front so that only a small area in the back has any length and does not in any way, shape or form give the appearance of LONG hair. I looked at her, with a sad resigned look and said, "It doesn't look very long to me." And she went around behind me, and took the hair off my back and brought it in front of my shoulders and said: "See! It can look long! And wait till you straighten it - it'll look even longer!! Blade, can you straighten this one?"

And therein lies the twist. The worst was yet to come.

A tall, lanky punk rocker with long dark hair with shaved sides dyed pink comes over to me. Generally, I think punk rocker bodes well in a salon. To me, that means they are cooler than me and thus, they will cut and/or style hair better and/or supremely cooler than I could. But owner / receptionist / hair killer / stylist says to Blade, "are you sure you're ok with this?" Are you sure you're ok with THIS? What the FUCK does THAT mean? I straighten my hair every frickin morning half asleep in two minutes flat. What the hell is wrong with this fella if he needs a checking on before he straightens my hair.

And so he starts flat ironing my hair. And I am hideously frozen. Like watching the victim who's discovered the killer in the basement; you're in the comfort of the theater, screaming at her "RUN! RUN! Do something! Yell for help! SCREAM!" But she does nothing, as she is absolutely frozen by her fear. I too, was completely unable to move. Because I just looked at Blade's hands and realized that they were shaking in a way that I had never seen a person who was NOT in a movie have their hands shake. And this person was in real life. Next to me. Holding a 450 degree iron next to my forehead. And cheeks. And (*gasp*) eyes. And then, half way though, he puts down his weapon and runs to the bathroom. I look around but no one seems to notice. Or is disturbed. Five minutes later, still no Blade. But owner / psycho hair killer / receptionist notices that he's gone and asks me if I want to pay in cash or credit. And no, they don't take Amex.

Goddammit. Less 5 inches hair and eighty bucks and not even an airline mile to show for it.


Kristin said...

That totally sucks, man. I hate bad haircuts.

Peonies and Polaroids said...

Oh god, this has got me shaking with The Fear. I hate hairdressers, they terrify me. So much so that I started cutting my own hair about a month before the wedding and didn't stop chopping bits off until about half an hour before the ceremony. Now, that the haze that descends when you get engaged is starting to lift I keep finding weird chunks of hair that are 8 inches shorter than the rest of it and every day the realisation that I will probably have to get a crew cut to rectify the situation gets stronger.

The sad thing is that I don't regret not going to a hairdresser. I would still rather look like one of those girls in movies about mental hospitals who takes scissors to her hair in a fir of madness than go through the hell of trying to find a stylist in a new city (we've been here 20 months now.) And my advise to you would be buy a pair of scissors and start training Mr F to hold a mirror steady.

redframe said...

i totally stopped going to the hairdressers about 8 months before d-day. they DO NOT understand "keep the length"! will find out how detrimental (or terribly clever) this course of action has been when i have my hair trial next month!

Powell said...

wow, I just found your blog and I'm totally relating to the horrors of wedding planning and hairdressers! I'm getting married in MD in December, and went to get my hair trial done for the wedding and the hairstylist BURNED MY FACE. I have a one inch long and 3/4 inch wide mark on the apple of my cheek!

They should invent hair insurance....Good Luck with the rest of the wedding planning, and thanks for sharing your stories!