Tuesday, October 21, 2014

in the matter of hair

When a topic comes up in three different ways in the comments to your previous post, you know you have to address it head on. Or more accurately -- on the head. My topic for today is, therefore, hair.

There was a time when hair styles were firmly drawn. You remember: guys got haircuts before visiting home, otherwise there'd be trouble.  Oh, but those years have passed! I can't think who, except perhaps the military would even care about the length of your hair these days. (It's especially common in Europe to see exquisitely attired men with pony tails -- so devilishly good looking and completely blending in with the rest.) Hair simply doesn't matter any more.

Unless you're me and you meet an Ed. It's shocking how two people may have completely divergent approaches to an issue that is so small!

First, the background: Ed has never in his entire life taken a razor to his face. Ever. Electric or otherwise. When I met him, he told me he was on a monthly schedule to have his beard trimmed at the cheapest place in town. And he was on a bimonthly schedule to have his hair trimmed. At the same cheap shop in a strip mall.

Sometimes, he would come out looking like Harpo. Other times, he'd walk away with a mullet. You never knew. It all depended who cut his hair and believe me, in those cheapo places, a good cutter did not linger. The tips of a buck max just don't tally up to a living wage.

I intervened. Equipped with a razor and scissors, I became a one person hair salon. But ironically, with the disappearance of the trips to the hair cutter, Ed lost interest in regularity, so that my periodic question -- Can I trim your beard please? -- is usually met with not today, gorgeous.

Ah, but on our anniversary, I could whip out the tools of the trade and, as soon as he came back from the DMV, set him down and trim away. At least the beard. No, I never do a clean shave. That would go against the image of an unkempt man. Still, for a day or two after, I get to admire his face. At all other times, it hides itself behind a cloak of Santa hair.

There is a flip side to this topic -- my hair. Ed met me when I was especially tight on money. Divorce, debt, new home to put in order -- the usual. So much so, that in order to travel (for there shall always be travel), I took on extra work in the evenings and weekends selling French body lotions at l'Occitane, just to boost my spending power. But despite this tightness in my budget, I shocked Ed by admitting that every six weeks I went to a hair cut place where Jason, that superb mixer of wonderful hair dyes would apply miraculous stuff to my hair and I would walk away a golden brunette -- sort of what I had on my head when I was maybe the age of six. (Did you know that your best color was, in fact, at around that age?) And I paid close to $150 for this (with cut). I believed in Jason. I loved his transformative magic.

$150??? -- Ed was dumbfounded. I did not admit that this was before the tip, though it did include hair product. Because yes, Jason always talked me into shampoos and conditioners that purported to be absolutely essential to my well being. Even though I knew the hype (selling French creams at l'Occitane teaches you a few things), I could not say no to Jason.

But over time, as I embarked on a path toward minimal spending and maximum travel, the stupidity of this expense became evident. Oh, sure -- they tell you that looking younger (with painted hair) is really something that YOU want for YOURSELF. So that even if the man in your life doesn't care, it's YOU who is enjoying the delightfully younger looking self.

It took me a few years to understand that I didn't care either. Or at least that I cared at such a low level that practically anything was a better investment than a hair session with Jason. So I dropped the hair color and eventually the hair cuts. Well, almost dropped them: I still go twice a year for a trim -- not quite to the cheapest place in town, but I'm now in the $40 range and even so, Ed has been looking through youtubes on how to cut a woman's hair. The other day he asked -- what do you want, a bob or a layered look?

In other news -- the day got off to a dazzling start. Breakfast in the sunroom!


Cheepers, clamoring for seed treats!


And then we just sort of lost it. It turned cold, cloudy, uninviting. Too, Oreo is still up to his old tricks, Ed is still distressed about the rooster's imminent departure and the chicken mama has yet to shop up to take him away. And neither of us wants to call her.

So we're stuck, waiting, I suppose for the frost that has yet to come. Ed is thinking about coop designs (we need a bigger one for the winter), I'm waiting to hear about my writing. Stuck.


But not unhappy. No, not unhappy!