Apologies to Dr. Dwight. Please see the corrected brand in his note.
Because I saw the play “The Foreigner,” I know what to say when the waiter asks, “How do you like your eggs?”
There’s no stress, no tension. The reply tumbles out even without my brain working or my emotion raked like a hay field.
But when I go to the Beauty Barber Salon (“Cosmetology. No pets allowed.”) I enter a terror zone. This morning I began in a very bad mood. I had arrived several minutes before 9 to a locked door. Inside there were three bar-, no cosmetologists, who seemed occupied with talking. Four of us were outside, huddled against the cold, talking about the weather that is supposed to warm up next week. Finally, plenty after 9, the lights came on and the door unlocked.
I was first in line, first on the chair. “How do you want it?”
In all of my education, I never received instruction on what to say in this moment. No models were presented, excepting for the huge photos of beautiful people posted on the walls of the cosmetology salons. I’m not beautiful.
Is there in some cosmetology textbook a taxonomy of haircuts, each major style named, with a second level of definition with sub names and possibly a third level with sub- sub names? I’d like to see it, so I’d know the word to say. Something like “full swath.”
I am aware that there is a round back or square back, but I’ve never looked at myself in the back, so I don’t know which is better on me.
This morning I was in a sweat so I just said, “Make it shorter, but I don’t want anyone to notice I got a haircut.” I’m queasy about talking about my haircuts.
She asked me if I wanted a shampoo and I said no, but she wet down my head anyway and went to work. I dutifully gave her a $2.00 tip.
What did I hear when I got home? “Oh, I see that you got a haircut!”
The comment disturbed me, of course, and so I’m thinking that the next time I go to the salon, I’m just going to say “Over easy.”