Down East 2013 ©
You remember Patsy, don’t you? My hairdresser? Well, she recently went in for a hysterectomy. I guess she was due to have it for some time. Still, it was a shock. Nowadays, where most surgeries are laparoscopic, this one is still the old fashioned kind, with cutting and weeks of recovery. I mean, anytime they let you stay overnight in the hospital, you know it’s serious!
As I’ve said before, I’ve been going to Pasty every Saturday morning since she opened Hair Affair, some twenty-five years ago. For the record, Patsy is a good, solid hairdresser. Sure, occasionally she gets a little distracted and I’m forced to do a “Hairdresser Smackdown,” but all in all, she’s a keeper.
So three weeks ago, when Patsy announced that she had to have the big “H,” as she calls it, and was taking six weeks off to recover, it kind of threw me for a loop. My mouth said all the right things, “Oh, Patsy! I’m sorry to hear that. But you’ll feel so much better once it’s done. You take all the time you need to get back on your feet.” And part of me really did mean it, too.
But sadly, another part of me, a pretty big part, really, was silently screaming, “What about me! What am I supposed to do? I can’t go six weeks without having my hair done! How could you just abandon me like this?” Not pretty, I know, but it’s the truth. I hope I’m not alone here. Have you ever felt this way when your hairdresser tells you she’s getting married and moving away? Or is having a baby and taking two months off for maternity leave? Part of you is pleased, sure, but another part is, well, kind of miffed!
Now when Patsy takes a vacation for a couple of weeks, I just go down to Bangor, to Sheer Excitement in the mall, and get my hair done there. It’s too weird to go to anyone else in Mahoosuc Mills. They all know I’m one of Patsy’s girls. Most of the time, the gals at Sheer Excitement do an adequate job. Though once I ended up looking like a little Meme with them too-tight curls. That was a long week, let me tell you.
But six weeks is just too many trips to Bangor. So I finally decided to give Claudette down to Loose Ends a try. What a sweetheart she is! Squeezed me in Saturday by coming in a half-hour early. Isn’t that nice? She offered me a cup of coffee, too, and really took her time, listening to what I was looking for, making a suggestion or two.
The end result? Complete and utter disaster! Claudette did a better job than Patsy! At first I thought it was just because it was my first time. But I went back this week, and Claudette knocked it out of the park again! It makes my heart sink to I think about it. Why even my husband Charlie noticed.
“Ida, don’t you look nice today, dear. New top?”
“No, it’s my hair.”
“You’re right. It’s different. I like it!”
“Oh, please don’t say that, Charlie.”
“Why not? Looks great!”
So I give Charlie the scoop.
“What’s the big deal?” he says. “Tell Patsy you need a change, and switch to Claudette.”
“I wish I could, Charlie, but I just don’t have it in me.”
So, I’m at Loose Ends for four more weeks, then back to Hair Affair. What is it with a woman and her hairdresser? It’s got to be the most dysfunctional relationship in my life. There should be some kind of Twelve Step program or something, Hairdressers Anonymous, for all of us women who are utterly powerless to leave our hairdressers.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here. )