January 20, 2006

Bad Hair Month

I hate my hair.

I got my hair cut a few days ago, as my grown-out bangs were driving me crazy. I wasn’t going to cut it all off, though, because my brother’s girlfriend (she of the bra shopping) said growing it out would look cute. I decided I would grow it for as long as I could stand it, and then cut it short this summer, which is when I usually buzz as much of it as I can. I cannot stand being hot and cranky, so I wear as little hair (and clothing, actually) as possible in the sunny months. All I really wanted was my bangs back

So I go home on Saturday and decide to hit the hair salon while my laundry’s in the dryer. My hometown has one hair salon, and it’s not so much a ‘salon’ as a ‘beauty shop’, and it’s not so much a ‘beauty shop’ as a ‘place with sinks and scissors’. Haircuts are $14, so whatever you may call that place. Anyway, I try for my usual stylist (‘barber’?), but she has cut down to one day a week. I end up getting my haircut by a girl who used to go my school, graduated in my year, and was one of those best-friends-for-a-month you get sometime in middle school. We exchanged pleasantries, and tried hard not to make it awkward.

I hate when people ask me about my life while they’re cutting my hair. Hate it. Makes me feel like I have to justify my existence. I know they’re just making conversation, but really, they’re trying to make you realize you’re a failure so you can fix your life before your roots start showing again (not unlike the hygienist). So we chat, and she trims. She has kids, I don’t. She’s married, I’m not. I finished school—ha! She didn’t. [I don’t have any animosity toward her, but I can’t help feeling there was a little good-natured one-upmanship happening—the kind that occurs when women start chatting.] It was actually a nice talk when we moved on to discussing things like living in the area, apartments and renting, buying a house. We agreed it was weird that when we ran into anyone else from high school, we pretend like we don’t know each other. This has happened many times, usually when I’m home in summer and hit the local ice cream shop. I’m always in line right ahead of somebody who used to cheat off me. It’s awkward, and makes us both feel small-town, and we make a big thing out of ignoring each other. She felt the same way.

So my hair is done, and it looks fine (I have bangs again, that’s all I really care… for now), and I get up to go. I never know what to tip (is it the same as food?), so I gave her $4. We’re all with the ‘thank you’s and I tell her she’ll have to be my new hair hookup since Kelly took off, and the whole thing is turning out OK.

Between the hair salon and the video store, my hair completely changed. It was like it somehow got shorter on top, and gave off a mullet-y effect I hadn’t noticed before. Was I so wrapped up in making a good impression that when she handed me the mirror I just nodded, all, “yeah, whatever”? I never do that! I am fanatical about haircuts, which is why it takes me so damn long to get one. Is it all her fault, though, or is it mine? Was it her crap haircutting skills or my Chatty Cathy act that’s made me look like Florence Henderson? I had the bangs (so I could see without a barrette now, which had become a problem), but they were a little too short—so with my straw-straight hair, now they stick out. Horizontally.

The layers are too short, too—why had she taken so damn much off when I specifically said I was trying to grow it out? Does she secretly hate me? Is she mad I never returned her unicorn earrings? It wasn’t on purpose—I forgot I had them. And it’s not like she didn’t have ten more pair, so why the malicious revenge? On my head, for Chrissakes. Jeez, I look like I’m five. Exactly the look I was trying to avoid. Also, a little lesbionic; also a look I would rather avoid.

So there’s nothing else for it now. I have to wait for it to grow out, because cutting it any shorter will only make it worse. Dammit. I can’t ever get my hair cut in my hometown again, since promising her she was my ‘new guy’ (am I retarded? Why would I even say that?) means I can never go to any of the people there while she’s working, which is daily. Which means going to the mall and paying $30 for a haircut every couple of months. Grr.

I wish I had the balls to keep going there without feeling like I’m being unfaithful. But I don’t. I’m not that kind of person. Although, if I had balls, haircuts are only $22 at the mall. Can I blame my bad haircut on sexism?

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