Friday, June 24, 2005


Hair today

To borrow a phrase from the inimitable Jen at MUBAR, today we swim in the shallow end of the pool.

I'm going to get my hair cut today. As I mentioned before, I spend a lot of money on haircuts. Well, it seems like a lot of money to me. Enough that I try to remain obtusely vague when the costs of haircuts comes up in conversation with Beloved. Ignorance is bliss.

Haircut day is full of mixed emotions. I am excited, because today maybe I'll turn out like one of those "after" girls in the makeover shows. Maybe today is the day I get the haircut that looks just as good two weeks from Wednesday as it does when I'm flouncing out of the salon, preening at my reflection in the chrome on the escalator. A good haircut can succeed where a month of Weight Watchers has failed.

Haircut day is also full of anxiety. What if he gives me a really bad haircut? What if he cuts it too short? Has my hair really been bothering me enough lately to get it cut? What if it's worse after than before? What if his wife didn't put out last night and he burnt his toast this morning and someone was parked in his spot and he's feeling particularly cranky and takes out his frustrations on my hapless hair?

Okay, so I have hair issues. And probably social issues, too. A blog for another day?

Actually, I really like the guy who cuts my hair. He's been doing it for seven or eight years (did I mention I'm not good with change?) and when I first started seeing him he reminded me a lot of Rob Lowe. We've both aged since then, but we continue to flirt affectionately, and going for a haircut is as much about having my ego stroked as getting my locks trimmed.

He's been my arm's length confidante on just about everything over the better part of the last decade: my wedding to Beloved, trying to conceive and infertility treatments, the arrivals of Tristan and Simon, and my crawl up the corporate ladder, not to mention the endless minutia of my daily life. He probably knows about as much about me as you do, if you drop by often enough. Certainly he knows me as well as if not better than a lot of my friends. Why is it we talk so sincerely and candidly to hair stylists, anyway?

Finding a stylist I trusted took me a long time. For the most part, I am completely intimidated by male stylists. But I find that women stylists tend to have their own ideas about how your hair should/could look and style to their ideal rather than your request.

Granted, I am not an easy customer, and usually walk in and say something to James like, "I think maybe it's time to cut it shorter. I'd like it more, you know, flippy. Kind of 'suburban MILF in the boardroom chic meets nature girl.' But not too short. Shorter, but not shorter. You know, just fix it. " And bless his heart, he does.

Do you agonize over hair? Are you brave, trying new colours and styles on a seasonal basis? Do you buy high-end salon products? (It is a running debate between James and I - he continues to be horrified that I buy drug store shampoo, even though I assure him I buy the 'expensive' stuff at $6 a bottle. Did I mention I'm mostly cheap, too?) Or are you one of those people who cuts your own hair once every six months? (I am actually saying that with admiration. I could save a fortune if I could wean myself off downtown salon prices!)

Or are you muttering to yourself about the 90 seconds of your life you just wasted reading this drivel when you could have been filing your toe nails or taking a leak?