But at least this time it's mine, and not Marianna's, or heaven forbid, Adrienne's. And even though you know I have been prone to take matters into my own hands in the past, rest at ease that I did not attempt a home remedy for the current situation. I know that if I had, this story would no doubt be much, much worse.
Fortunately, it wasn't two days ago that I posted this, so it was difficult to get truly upset with how the cut unfolded. After all, who hasn't at some time had a haircut turn butcher job? So sit back, read on, and let this bring back memories of the day when my story was your story.
As is usually the case with my hair and me, I woke up and came to the abrupt decision that today was the last day I could live without a trim. So I made my appointment and looked forward to the fresh cut feel I would be enjoying come evening. It was an appointment with someone new, but I had very few worries. Today I was going to ask for something conservative, something I have had done before and been very happy with. It was a "safe" haircut day.
My first indication that there was going to be a problem came shortly after meeting Annie. She asked if I wanted my hair washed, and I told her whatever was easiest for her worked for me. She opted for the wash. When I was little the wash used to absolutely terrify me because of the pain that was usually present when someone else shampooed my head, but 20 years has separated me from that last unpleasant encounter.
As Annie began working the shampoo into a lather, my not-so-formally tender head memories came rushing back full force. I tried to focus on the pretty modern lights hanging above me instead of the sharp, follicle pulling, sensations that were zapping my scalp like a machine gun. It didn't work. I hated to be a wuss, but I had to admit that she was really starting to cause some pain. Several minutes passed and things escalated. Tears (not just pretend ones) sprung to my eyes, and I knew I was at the point where I was going to either risk sounding like a jerk or else start wiping the water out of my eyes. And it wasn't until that do or die moment that she finally switched to rinse mode and I was able to put on a smile before I was found out.
Hoping the worst was behind me, I followed Annie back to her station where I described the haircut I was hoping for: inverted bob, front to hit below my chin, minimal stacking in the back. And she was off.
I try and look somewhere besides the mirror when I'm getting a haircut because it always seems that if I look too closely, it will come across like I don't trust the person, and whether that's true or not, I hate to give that impression. So I took in all the details of the shop while I waited for the verdict.
And I waited.
And waited some more.
The haircut was not getting anywhere fast, and again, that made me worry.
Finally, it was time for the moment of truth, better known as the hair dryer. I sneaked a peek, and in that moment, I knew it was one of those haircuts. I tried to keep a calm, panic-strickenless face as I surveyed the result.
But that got harder and harder to do as it became apparent that Annie's hair pulling ways didn't begin and end at the washing station. With each stroke of the round brush, I began to feel the individual "pings" of hairs being torn from the root, follicle and all. Emotion rides high enough with a haircut without pain, so let me tell you, things were not pretty. I began wondering how many hairs had prematurely lost their hold with my scalp during the ill fated 45 minute period of time, and that thought didn't make me any happier. To add insult to injury, my eyes watered again, giving every impression, no doubt, that I was crying over the haircut.
Finally my hair was dry and the torture was over. I steel myself for whatever the end result is going to be, determining ahead of time that I will not let my tongue get away from me! But it didn't end there. Before turning around the chair, she pulled the hair clippers (the ones that buzz) out of her drawer and put those bad boys to work on trimming my neck. That was the final nail in the coffin. If the clippers are a part of the equation, nothing good ever follows. I look in the mirror and confirm what I had expected. My definition of below the chin and Annie's most definitely did not see to eye, or should I say, chin to chin. Oh well.
I was ready to leave it at that when Annie asks, "So, are you happy with it?" It just had to be that, didn't it? Am I HAPPY?! I scramble for something delicate to say and end up blurting out, "Well, I had in mind something a little longer when I said 'below the chin'."
Annie was not going down without an explanation. She grabs her comb and, you might not believe this but it really happens, she pulls my hair, roots straining, as far as it will go, to illustrate that when taut, the tip of my hair almost touches my chin. I said, "I was actually thinking that below the chin meant it would hang below my chin when dry, without pulling it."
Ah ha. That seemed to clear the air for Annie. She informed me, very nicely, that if that's what I wanted, next time I should detail those specifications- that I didn't mean I wanted it below my chin when it was wet and being pulled, but that I actually wanted it below my chin when it was dry and it was hanging loosely on its own.
Believe me, next time I will make it clear.
But, truly, Annie was a very nice person. In fact, she hardly charged me a thing for my cut, which she certainly didn't have to do. I won't go back, but there are no hard feelings.
Just a sore head, and a funny story.