Recently I went to Nina to get my hair cut. I know Nina not because I am loyal to one beautician over another; I know her because my husband visits her on a regular basis, because he loves his hair short and she does a phenomenal job cutting his wavy salt and pepper hair. I hadn’t been to get my hair cut in probably six months. Even Nina, a sweet person of few words said, ” Your hair is really long.” I knew she was thinking, “Women in this age range, don’t usually keep their hair this long.” And she would be right, but for once in my life I wanted to know what it would feel like to have long, straight, thick hair.
In my younger years, my mom always cut our hair. I had short hair with bangs that were usually very uneven. My mom had said that I needed to keep my hair short because it would look stringy if it got long because it was so fine. Looking back, it probably was an attempt to save money. It was funny however, because my youngest sister Carol, who had beautiful blonde curls, never had to have her hair cut like Julie, or I did. Perhaps my mom was afraid to touch the beautiful ringlets with her scissors, or perhaps it was because she was the baby in the family. I remember mom having loads of fun putting Carol’s hair up in pig tails while she squirmed in the high chair. The truth of the matter was I was jealous, very jealous.
When I was in Junior High hair mattered. Hair was what separated you from the popular crowd. My mom still was hacking away on my hair at that point. Do you remember the television show The Wonder Years? Winnie Cooper was a character on that television show that had long, glossy dark brown hair. There was a girl at my school that was the blonde equivalent. I wanted to be her. I wanted my sandy hair to hang long and straight down right to my waist so it would sway gently in the breeze as I moved through my day.
Once when I was in high school my mom had given up on the hair cutting dream and we started going to get our hair cut at a salon near our house. Baby Carol, four years younger, was in the chair first and then it was my turn. After cutting Carol’s hair and while she was working on mine the beauty operator said to me,
“What happened to you? I guess you didn’t get the good hair gene!”
That pretty much stung, even though it really was the truth that I lived with. Maybe that is why I’ve never had beautician loyalty all of these years.
Well, my dream never died. And now, at this late date, after the big M...my hair had magically changed. My once stick straight and very thin mousey hair grew fast and wavy and is incredibly lustrous. God granted my wish and I now I really have Rapunzel hair. But then one day I had a reality check. I actually saw a women my age with long straight hair, walking ahead of me. I thought,
“That hair really isn’t so becoming for a woman of her age… which by the way is my age!”
I made the appointment with Nina. “Cut it I cried.” And she did. After she was finished, she said,
“You have very pretty hair , Nancy.”
I smiled and thought…”and now I will now forever be loyal to you too, sweet Nina. And your gratuity…it will also make you smile.”