I am standing outside waiting because of course I am the first appointment. And of course I am early!
This is my face and hair while I wait. It won't look the same after of course.
It's wild and unruly and very white and any of the old color has faded and looks just bleh.
I know me and I know my brain and I know I will never let my hair grow out this much without dying it again. But I really like the white parts. I feel like (and this might be 100% in my head) people take me more serious because they see the white hair. So I wanted to leave some of it!
Which is probably good for me professionally, because I am pretty silly in real life.
I'm in! And this place is deceptively fancy and they are playing hip hop at full volume.
When I walked in, the gentleman working told me he showed up early today and promptly fell asleep and the music just started playing while he was asleep.
"the ghost likes it, I guess", he said.
And then I decided that I do indeed like this place. My hairdresser had not arrived yet, so I just looked around at the place. It was much bigger than anticipated and empty aside from the and the ghost lover.
Then Dita arrived. She was my hairdresser. I called the shop to make an appointment and she answered, that is how she became my hairdresser. She further cemented herself by promptly giving me her number and asking me to text photos of me now and things I would like to have done to my hair.
I will leap at any chance not to be on the dang phone, y'all.
Okay, so Dita is here and she is an older lady with an accent I cannot place. Bonus: here hair is pretty cherry coke-ed already.
Some folks on my Facebook asked me what "Cherry Coke" hair is. Welp, it is mostly dark brown hair (the cola) with red all swirled up in it (the cherry). I used to go see one of D's friend's mom in her home salon to get it done and I loved it.
I also loved having that home salon to go to. It was the BEST option for my neurodivergent brain.
Dita goes away to mix the juice for my hair and she is talking the entire time. She went to Benihana for her kid's birthday the night before and they did it UP! Fed a whole mess of folks and even treated herself to a fish bowl drink that she is convinced was nothing but Kool-Aid with a few drops of booze, despite the menu touting "FOUR DIFFERENT KINDS OF ALCOHOL".
So word of warning, do not order fishbowl drinks at Benihana, y'all.
By the time she got done telling that story, I looked like this:
And felt so awkward for taking a selfie at this time. Yoof. Don't worry, I made it more awkward by taking more later.
Like this one, after she sploshed on the darker dye:
Or this one, after she rinsed it out:
You can see by my face I am tired of taking pictures of it.
But it was during the rinse out that I started really thinking about the parts that made me uncomfortable at the hairdressers.
It's the pressure to respond. Because, to me, it feels like hairdressers are more performing than talking.
And it throws them off when I don't respond "properly". Like if I try to interject or ask a question, but it's not the 'right' one. and it always seems to throw off their rhythm.
After Dita rinsed my hair, she told me that she'd "taken 20 years offa me!" and then we talked about making sure my partner didn't get too excited and get me pregnant.
I said don't worry, he's fixed.
And then her face lit up because she had a story for that and she launched into it. And when she had a pausing space where I thought it was my turn to talk I said something about how they don't tell us about what menopause and pre-menopause is like at all. Like, nothing has prepared me a bit for how annoying this is and how long it lasts. (My brain thought it flowed with the conversation, which had up to that point already included periods and hysterectomies.)
But that made her do a full stop and, like, reload or something and she just started another story.
So I stopped trying to converse as I know it and instead did the thing where I make non-committal noises at 'appropriate times' so whoever is talking at me can feel like it is a two-sided conversation.
I think it is the most exhausting thing for some reason. That, I think, and that alone is the main reason I do not like going to the hairdresser.
But the thing is! I don't want them to not talk - I just don't want to have to respond. I'm 100% interested in whatever story you are telling me and I would, in fact, like to focus on it more, please, so just trust that I am interested and let me listen, okay?
Here is a photo of what it looked like mid-dry. Obviously, I am HERE for the color, but let's see how it shakes out.
But first! I wanted to tell you that I took some of your advice to get me through this process I was having so much anxiety about.
1. I asked her about herself! She has been married for 30 years (in less than two weeks! She joked to me not to sell her on New Orleans too much or she'd buy tickets for her anniversary) and immigrated to America from Greece. Many of the other hairdressers in the salon had similar stories. She has 4 kids, all of them successful and frighteningly athletic. (Do you like hockey? She asked. I explained to her that, while I didn't follow the teams so much any more, I found it very comforting to be in a baseball stadium or other athletic venue, watching the drama of sport unfold.) Her daughter just bought a very cute 1930s bungalow with a lot of mold problems. Luckily her husband is very handy and can make sure the problem gets taken care of properly.
2. I told her about the Professor Haus and how it is also an old house, built in 1909. She inquired how many square feet it was and I could not remember so said, "1900-something, I think". She seemed let down, so I made sure to add that we had two floors and a basement and an attic, both equally creepy.
3. I listened to her take a call with (what I assumed was) a former coworker who had moved back into the area and needed to take the cosmetology exam again, which turned into literally every other employee (and Dita!) in the shop assuring the voice on the other end of the phone that they had her and would make sure she passed on the first try.
4. I looked on blindly (my glasses, I can't see without my glasses) as a bride came in with her mom, worried that there wouldn't be enough time to do everyone's hair on her wedding day (in a cute way, not a whiny way). Again, Dita and the other salon workers assured the bride that they would be out at noon on the dot on the day of her wedding.
5. Then, while Dita was curling my hair, the gentleman that greeted me at the door told me his story. He'd had two ex-wives (even though everyone thought he was gay, he was not - he just wasn't from America, he said) and the second one had been a gold digger ("I only learned this term since I moved to America."), spending upwards of $58,000 on his credit cards, putting him into debt. It was over 9 years ago, but he hasn't been able to even think about dating another woman since
, because he's afraid he'll get hurt again.
6. To lighten to mood, Dita asked the gentleman if he remembered the time the 'women who had to cover their hair' came in and they were the only two working, but they were reluctant to reveal their hair because there was a male present and Dita said, "don't worry! he's gay!" and took care of their hair.
7. When she spun me around and handed me my glasses, she said, "You should have your husband (ed note: it's just too much effort to correct people nowadays) take you out to eat tonight!" and I said, yes, we had considered that, where would she recommend. She recommended Moro's , which, funnily enough is what we had originally planned to do when I feel like getting dressed up in my pink dress and my new hair.
Not tonight though, I am peopled out.
I mean, all in all it was a wonderful experience and I might even go back and experience it all over again. Maybe.
Oh also, after she curled my hair, Dita said, "Shake it! Keep shaking it!"
I shook it for a long time. She made a very cute slomo video and sent it to me.
And this photo (which links to my Instagram where I will post the video in a bit).
Oh, one more also! After my hair, I walked to a "Hungarian Strudel Shop" to get some dessert for tonight. When I walked through the door, it smelled like heaven.
But they only took cash and I did not have any. I was very sad.
Do not worry, I will go back. There were 6 things on the menu! 6! All of them strudel! I want to eat it all, plz.
So, I then walked next door to this place:
Where I bought some all natural bug repellent for stoop sitting.
Because I am a, say it with me, Stoop Kid.