So I followed Marcia's lead and got my hair cut at a West County Spa and Salon. Bear in mind, I've been seeing Sue for over a quarter of a century. No more Sue, though. Now for something completely different.
"Steve will be right with you. Would you like some wine?"
"No." (Word count: 1)
Steve arrived and sat me down on a pneumatic chair in front of a full length mirror. Evidently this is his station. He cuts the hair here in front of a floor-to-ceiling mirror. Because, you have to cut the hair so it is in proportion with the whole person? I don't know. I decide to go on a diet because I don't recognize the woman I see in the mirror.
Then, Steve asked me to take off my clothes. Evidently, this is what they do. I imagine the Day-Glo green sweater I was wearing may have distracted Steve, and he must have a blank palette, to style the hairs into a work of art. I look trimmer in the smock than in the sweater, so this is good.
We moved to the shampoo area and Steve washed my hair in front of a wall-sized water sculpture. What does this take, five minutes? After fifteen minutes my head was a raisin. Then he started on the massage. He started rubbing in circles on top of my head. I tried to signal to Steve, "I Do Not Like the Massage" by frowning, but then it become all about the ears. As if he was trying to gently wear two holes in my skull so my ears would conveniently drop right off. Then he would have a nice symmetrical ball over which to sculpt his hair sculpture. After twenty ear rotations I said:
"Steve. Dude. Seriously, you have to stop that." (Word count: 8 + 1 (see above) = 9)
"Oh! Okay, I can stop."
He started toweling off my head and because at this time I was really afraid I was in for a sensual scented towel hair follicle abrasion treatment, I grabbed the towel and rubbed it on my head. As if to say, "See? This is how we do it. This is how you dry a head."
I was seated again at the wall-sized Mirror. I just closed my eyes. And I listened to Steve as he snipped every single hair individually. It usually takes fifteen minutes to wash and cut my hair. I could not look at the clock mounted to the top of the Mirror Wall O' Sadism because I would have to open my eyes, but I estimate he was cutting for half an hour.
We had a brief chat.
"How long have you known Marcia?"
"Oh. Eleven years?" (Word count: 9 +3 = 11) I would tell you his expression but my eyes were squeezed shut.
After the half-hour hair cut, Steve dried my hair. He straightened it, which was refreshing, because Sue always had fun piling it up in little curls that I knew would not fit in with my morning beauty regimen. My hair, being fine, dries in (don't hate me) five minutes.
So Steve got out a round brush and a blow dryer and dried my hair. And after that, Steve dried my hair. He followed that up with drying my hair. Then , because he had spun me away from the Mirror, I had opened my eyes and was staring at him blankly. With the face. The face that silenty says: "Dude, what the Hell?" He shut off the blow dryer and explained to me that he was just going to finish drying my hair and put on some hair product. Then before I could answer he turned on the blow dryer and, I swear to you, dried my hair. I shut my eyes and worried how awful my hair must look that he would keep stalling this way. Finally I thought, Steve, no matter how much you dry it it won't magically fall into place. I looked at him again.
"Steve. It's dry. It doesn't get any drier than this." (Word count: 11+10 (10! I was warming up to Steve) = 21)
"Almost done!" Steve said.
He'd been doing all kinds of ornate brush curling and organizing and then he finished up with a big scribbly blast all over my head. Because, he said, he didn't want it to look too "styled."
Then, he put some product on his fingertips and futzed over every single hair. I think he twisted wax on to the end of every strand individually. This took fifteen minutes.
"Okay!" he cried, and spun me around to face to the Mirror. Now, instead of seeing a fat middle-aged, fuzzy-haired woman I didn't recognize, I saw a fat, middle-aged, shiny-haired woman I really didn't recognize. My hair, I tell you, had changed colors. One strand was red, one strand was, brown, one was reddish-brown, one was almost black ... it was cool! It was sleek! It was freaking reflective.
"Whoa!" (Word count: 21+1=22)
So, sure it cost three times what Sue charged, and it took four times as long, but after it was over I made another appointment. For a cut and color. I'll probably have to pack a toothbrush.