So I finally made an appointment to go get my hair cut, and the universe didn’t collapse in on itself, so I figured I was doing pretty well (you’d think I would know better by now). But then Saturday – the Day of Snipping – arrived, and I woke up just in time to miss a call from the salon. Shit, I thought as I called them back, I’ve been needing this haircut for weeks, please don’t tell me my stylist has to cancel, please don’t tell me my stylist has to cancel…
But of course she did. Realizing mid-morning that she was coming down with something unpleasant, she had called to explain the situation and make alternate arrangements before going home into self-imposed quarantine. My options were: get haircut at the appointed time with her coworker, who had her full endorsement, or reschedule for the next weekend.
As much as the Logical Nut part of my brain reasoned with me to wait it out and stay loyal to my stylist, its Willful Impatient Nut counterpart overruled reason and decided I really needed that goddamn haircut, and that waiting another week was just not going to be acceptable. As things were, Willful Impatient Nut was already about *this* close to just finding a pair of electric clippers and doing something we’d all regret. Partially because summer had finally decided to pay us a visit and any time I spent outdoors involved my head sweating like a Wookiee in a sauna, but also because I’ve recently become a decent excuse for a lap swimmer, and swimming is difficult with eye-level hair flapping in your face, goggles or no goggles.
Before you ask, yes, I have tried wearing a swim cap, but after several sessions of having it squeeze my skull until my brain threatened to ooze out of all my facial orifices like toothpaste, I decided swim caps are the devil’s work and only to be worn when I feel I deserve to be punished for something.
So I said I’d keep the appointment and give Replacement Stylist a shot, hoping I was making the right choice.
Jury’s still out on that.
I arrived at the salon. Replacement Stylist was perfectly friendly and nice. We had the usual “So what are we doing with your hair today?” chat, and when we were both satisfied we knew what was what, we headed over to the sink for the customary pre-cut shampoo.
I don’t know about you, but for me, my time in that shampoo chair is without a doubt the part I look forward to most every time I go to the salon. Ohhhhhhh, the rapture of sinking into that chair and losing myself in the warm cascade of water and the bliss of silky conditioners being massaged into my scalp. And Replacement Stylist took her time, too, gently working all the swim cap induced tension out of my beleaguered pate until I thought I might just float on up to the ceiling and have a quick tea with Mary Poppins.
Unfortunately, my bliss was short-lived, because it turned out that that was all the gentle I was slated for. As soon as I was back in front of the mirror with a cape around my neck, Replacement Stylist went Terminator on me without warning. She got down to business like she was angrily shearing a sheep who had gotten into her garden and eaten all the perennials.
Beginning by stabbing me in the side of the head with one of these…
…which she was quick to apologize for.
Which was a nice gesture that didn’t actually end up meaning much considering she then immediately embarked on a FULL-FLEDGED ASSAULT ON MY EARS that I don’t think I will ever forget (they’re cringing right now just thinking about it). I don’t know whether ears had wronged her somehow in the past or if she just had an inherent hatred of them, but whatever it was, she was damn well going to make mine suffer. When she wasn’t hooking them violently with her torture implement of a comb, she was bending, twisting and generally manhandling them out of her way without respite until I was certain she had pulverized all their cartilage into a fine paste.
And dear sweet unholy Jeebus, that sadistic comb! It scratched, it sawed, it snagged my poor ears with nearly every pass until I was ready to pull a Theon Greyjoy and just beg her to cut them off already. Between silent pleas for mercy, I thanked my lucky stars I had had the foresight to remove my earrings before sitting down in that chair of torment. I’m fairly certain that, had I left them in, there would have been blood.
I couldn’t really focus on what was happening with my hair given my worry that I might walk out of the salon doing a double Van Gogh impression, but eventually it registered that my head had gotten a lot lighter. And then the scissors stopped snipping, the Comb of Reckoning was put safely aside to plot the downfall of its next victim, and I realized the ordeal was over. And to the credit of
the Marquis de Sade Replacement Stylist, when I was finished, my hair looked pretty damn awesome, ear PTSD regardless.
So I paid and I left and I went home and Nutty Hubby lavished compliments on me and all was right with the world, with the obvious exception of my ears, which had been so terribly wronged.
Until the weekend was drawing to a close, and the rumblings came.
You have probably encountered the rumblings at least once in your life.
Accompanied by a mild preview of nausea to come, the rumblings are the digestive system’s version of a preliminary eviction notice, letting its contents know that their lease is coming to a premature end, and one way or another, they’re getting kicked out so that the new tenants can move in.
The new stomach virus tenants.
By Sunday night, I was a walking…well, more like crawling…Pepto-Bismol commercial. And while I know there are any number of things at any time that could have planted that seed of gastrointestinal evil into my system, I couldn’t help but wonder just how long my usual stylist was walking around the salon unwittingly germing up the place before she realized she needed to go home. Was this my karmic payback for being an impatient jerk and giving my business to the competition? Were my stylist’s cooties exacting revenge on her behalf?
I’ll spare you the gory details of the following couple of days, but suffice to say, I spent a lot of time curled up in a ball reflecting on my life choices.
So let me just say: lesson learned. If you value your ears – and your lunch – be patient and stick with the stylist you know and love, because life occasionally likes to teach you a thing or two when you go against your better judgement.
Y’know, maybe swim caps aren’t so bad after all.