When I was young, my mother had a standing appointment every Saturday with Linda the Hairdresser.
I’d sit in one of the chairs, waiting, listening to the women chatter and complain about men. You know. The usual stuff.
Occasionally Linda the Manicurist (everyone was named Linda back then) would do my nails. I think she did it to be nice, but between you and me, I hated it.
She’d slide that little instrument of torture under my nails, trying to make my dirty fingers look slightly more presentable, and all the while she’d ask me about school (it was fine), did I have a boyfriend (*blush* no), and what sort of food I liked (God, this woman was boring).
But no matter how nice all the Lindas were, it never took away from my feeling that I didn’t belong there. Nine year old girls who dig for bugs do not belong in beauty salons. I knew it. Linda the Manicurist knew it. Everyone knew it.
Fast forward to today and I still feel uneasy walking into beauty salons. To be honest, it feels like I haven’t quite gotten the hang of this whole female thing.
Some women are just born to it, you know? They come out of the womb with a pinkish glow, smelling faintly of rose petals and gardenias. As young girls, they play with dolls and read Little Women. As teenagers, they wear makeup and push-up bras and read Seventeen magazine.
I honestly have no idea what I smelled like when I came out of the womb, but as a young girl I blew up my dolls and read Catch 22. (My mother wanted to read more so she joined a book-of-the-month club. She never read the books. I did. I’m fairly certain she didn’t know or she might have ordered Little Women.)
As a teenager I wore no makeup and rarely a bra because, you know, I didn’t much need one. And I read my dad’s copies of National Geographic.
And I really, really hated going to beauty salons.
“But Christi,” you say. “You’re a grown woman. Surely you have no issues going to beauty salons now?”
Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong, my friend. Dead wrong.
If anything, beauty salons are more confusing than ever. For now when I walk in, the first thing I see is product. All kinds of product. So, so much product.
I have no idea what any of the product is for, but sometimes I feel the need to buy one. Just so it can sit on my bathroom shelf for several years, untouched.
And then a woman will walk up to help me and her makeup, hair and clothes will be much, much prettier than mine. If it’s a man who’s come to help me, his makeup, hair and clothes will also be much prettier than mine.
“What can we do for you today?” they will ask me.
“Just a trim,” I will say. This always seems to disappoint them. It disappoints me. I am a disappointment to hairstylists everywhere.
It reminds me of when I first started out as receptionist, at the high school where I still work (no longer as receptionist, thank God). One of the clubs had invited three models from a local agency to speak at their meeting.
I saw them getting out of their little VW Jetta. There was about nine feet of legs, followed by curves, followed by a whole lotta perfectly styled hair. They must have been wearing 5-inch stilettos, but I swear these women glided up to my counter, where I asked them to sign in.
They smelled of rose petals and gardenias.
I’m telling you, there’s nothing like standing among three beautiful, 6-foot tall models, to make you question your right to a pair of x-chromosomes.
You see, most of the time I just drift through my days perfectly content with who I am. Not worried in the slightest that I’ve never once taken a Cosmo quiz, never learned how to use liquid eyeliner (honestly, a Sharpie would be so much easier), or that my manicure looks amateurish (because it is).
Then someone says to me, “I see you’re growing your hair out,” and I think to myself, Oh, right! Hair!… Damn, I should get that cut soon.
I’m at that point now. Been trying to work up the nerve. Maybe I’ll manage it this weekend.
I will say that the last two times I’ve gotten my haircut, I’ve been extremely lucky. I may have found my dream hairstylist.
She was a little frumpy. I didn’t even know hairstylists came that way, but she was just that little bit frumpy. Just frumpy enough to make you feel comfortable. And when she led me back to the chair, she said, “Do you want me to just tidy it up a bit?” I said yes, and that’s what she did! She tidied it up! It was awesome!
But the best thing? The absolute bestest thing? Once she started cutting my hair, she didn’t talk!
There was no chit-chat. No asking me what my weekend plans were. Did I catch the last episode of House of Cards? Have I been to the new Tapas restaurant?
I’m telling you people, it was so lovely. It was just so… oh goodness. I think I have a tear in my eye.
Only problem, I don’t know her name. (Fairly certain I can’t ask for the slightly frumpy one.) But I think I know what days she works, so my plan is to go in there, point, and say, “Her… I want her.”
Wish me luck.
Hello, Gorgeous Yogurt Parfait
The basil may sound like an odd addition, but honestly, it goes great. Although if you don’t like the sound of it, you can always go with mint or skip it altogether (killjoy).
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup mixed berries (I used frozen raspberries & blueberries)
- about 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 or 2 small basil leaves, sliced thinly
- 1 cup Greek yogurt, plain
- honey, to taste
- about 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- oats or granola for topping
In a small bowl, mix together berries, sugar and basil. Let set. (Because my berries were frozen, I mixed the berries and sugar the night before, then added the basil in the morning.)
To yogurt, stir in honey and zest. In a clear dish or goblet, start layering first with berries, then yogurt. Continue layering, ending with berries. Sprinkle some oats or granola on top.
Enjoy, you sexy thing.