Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday Memories—Hair Dressers

your guess is good as mine . . . 9? 10? 11?

Today I went to get my hair cut. Judy was the first hairdresser I remember. She cut hair at the second station in Mr. Juan’s shop. She had a short, gray bob and always gave me a pixie cut. While Judy cut mom’s hair, I took care of Lee, my little brother. We walked to Arctic Circle and bought a hamburger with fries and dip and then to King’s and looked at the toy department in the basement. By the time we’d done those two things, my mom’s hair was done. I named my doll with short hair, Judy.

Second was Jeanette at Jeanette’s Country Curl. She had her shop in a trailer next to her house. She had thin, shapely, tan legs and wore shorts and clogs year round. She cut my hair in a shag. She had an oh-so-nice-looking son two years older than me. Jeanette cut my hair around 6:30 am and then her son drove me to school. I looked forward to getting my hair cut at Jeanette’s.

For the next several years I mostly used cut-and-go shops. I only remember one stylist clearly. Though she cut my hair only once, she was memorable. She was 54 and met her husband through an ad in the newspaper. Two weeks after she met him, he gave his life to God so she knew he was the one for her. After she talked a bit, she referred to her ex-husband, so I said, “Oh, you’ve been married before then, I see” and she said, “Heavens, yes. This is my fifth husband.” Then she told me each husband’s story. There was Alan who was a schizophrenic, Darrel who was an alcoholic, gambler and ex-con; hmmm….I’ve forgotten the names of the middle two now….and then there was Gary. She told me of a past Thanksgiving where she’d spent it with her oldest daughter’s family. Husband #2, the gambler and alcoholic, lived with her daughter, so while the hairdresser gave her daughter and grandchildren perms, husband #3 and husband #5 went to the bar and played pool together for four hours. The hairdresser said her life was grand because she just turned everything over to God. She has a step-son that she doesn’t like so she turned him over to God, too. I believe God can do anything, but she made God sound like a garbage disposal where she threw everything she didn’t like or know what to do with.

But for the past number of years I have gone to Melanie. I love Melanie. I owe Melanie. It started even before my comb-over.

Remember when our friends or siblings said we shouldn’t stare with our eyes crossed because they might get stuck that way? I took that warning seriously. There are just some things you don’t mess with. So, with a healthy dose of jinx-caution, I don’t know how I got cursed hair. I’ve never been obsessed with my hair, but I’ve never taken it for granted, either. “Be and let be” has been my motto, with one exception: I do remember staring at comb-overs. Here is a caution and warning to my blog-readers: Don’t stare at comb-overs, your hair may get stuck that way if you do.

A couple of years ago my hair was suddenly short—really short—in one spot, a silver dollar patch of short hair. I had noticed extra hair on the brush that same morning, but didn’t link the two. I told Ande (who had a long, beautiful, curly mane that sheds) that she really needed to do something about how much hair she was leaving in the brush and on the bathroom sink. But, always having animals and knowing that spring is the time for shedding and molting, I didn’t worry about my patch or the pile I assumed was Ande’s hair. However, I did become more alarmed a few days later when the patch on the top of my head seemed to be getting larger—with lots of different hair lengths (short to really short). I wondered if maybe I had a disease that attacks hair follicles for no good reason and eats them off at varying lengths.

A few days later, Ande showed me that the diffuser attachment to the blow-dryer had melted to the blow-dryer nozzle. I finally put two and two together (fuzzy patch, short hair + very hot hair dryer, melted attachment = singed hair of varying lengths). I called Melanie and said, “Help! I think I’ve got a problem.”

Melanie squeezed me into her schedule and when she saw my hair she said, “Oh my gosh!” and gave me a pitiful look, “I won’t try to sugarcoat this. It’s bad.” She spread her hands out the size of a small cereal bowl and said, “You’ve burned your hair off and the spot is this big.” She ran her fingers through my hair a few times, then ran a pick through the stubble and separated the surviving long strands and finally said, “I can’t do a thing with it, Jane.” She rummaged through her stock of supplies looking for some kind of hope. Finding nothing, she said, “Let it grow for a couple of weeks and then I’ll trim the bottom layer—the least I can do for you is prevent a mullet. But, for now, you can . . .” and we chimed together, “do a comb-over” and began laughing. Then she rummaged through her supplies again, but this time looked for something that would glue my remaining hair across the bad spot. A comb-over was the only answer.

So, yes, I owe Melanie because she can make me laugh at anything, even my own comb-over, and she introduced me to so many bloggers.

One day, a couple of years ago, while Melanie was cutting my hair we were talking about blogs. Melanie told me about Kristi’s blog and in turn, Kristi introduced me to Pink Christmas which led to Michelle’s and Jenny’s blogs, which led to . . . well, you know how blogs-leading-to-blogs works. Melanie also introduced me to SPT’s and Lelly, which leads to this self portrait of Melanie, Reed and me.

Melanie really is normal sized and I’m really not giant-ish, I just didn’t pose us well.

I enjoy getting my hair cut, really much. I enjoy Melanie's company. I enjoy her skill. I enjoy her laugh. I enjoy her kids. I enjoy her conversation. I suppose that partly explains why I'll always have short hair.


Ande Payne said...

Yes I agree Mom, Melanie has done wonders for us both!

Amy said...

This totally had me laughing. I so love the way that you tell a story. I don't think I'll forget your unnamed "turning over to God" stylist very soon either. And I have to admit that I was waiting for a comb-over picture. But I'm guess I'll just be happy that Melanie saved your hair AND introduced you to this blog world.

melanie said...

I still get a bit disturbed thinking you thought that was my texturizing technique. Yikes!

I sound so mean when I saw 'the patch'. I swear it was all shock talking. And I'm glad we saved it. Can we save things a second time around? Oh yes, we can!!

And I do wish I were described like Jeanette.....thin, shapely legs, ha!

I love when you need an appointment....sorry about the tag alongs today.

hennchix said...

hahahaha!! you are such a good sport. this is my monday rebellion-no caps! melanie did a great job- i never even noticed you had a combover. i love reading your monday memories.

Mindy said...

Melanie is awesome! Love your post, every description is just perfect and easy to see.

Cali said...

That dastardly drier was amazing in one way though, it dried your hair in seconds... not minutes. Melanie, I too will be eternally grateful to you because my mom's first reaction (before calling you) was, "oh well, maybe no one will notice." She was too optimistic.


Jenny said...

I am so glad we met to! I still treasure my gift. Your hair looks great. I swear with all of your great stories you need to compile a book!

Julie said...

I love the picture of you! I can see Cali in your face too. I'm just glad it was something fixable with your hair and not more permanent. It got me thinking of the hairdressers I've had, none quite so interesting but lots of characters!

Lucy said...

What a great post. I wish I had Melanie nearby to cut my own hair - she's got style!

Mostly, I love how you both got into blogging because now I have two more sweet friends that don't have comb overs:)

Kathy said...

I couldn't laugh (which is saying a lot!) because it brought back painful memories. Thanks for encouraging me to go public with a blog. It is so fun!

michelle said...

That is hilarious! So so funny that you had to have a comb-over. I love these Monday Memories.

Barb said...

That is a great picture of you together and quite the hair emergency story!