My daughter is sitting in the car, telling me all the things about her hair that she hates. She’s pointing out this strand and that strand, discussing color, highlights, non-existent split ends and the terrible, terrible length. Obviously something must be done. And done quick to avoid catastrophe before people see her later that night at the coolest party ever.
I suggest we drop into the local haircutting chain which rhymes with Poopercuts because they are cheap, close and cheap. You have never seen a look of such distain and disbelief in your entire life. She wailed and gnashed her teeth exclaiming that no one there would even have a real hair cutting license and that if one of them touched her hair it would never, ever look good again because they don’t know what they are doing and then she would be ugly and have no friends and it would ruin everything for ever and ever. And then she spontaneously combusted *poof* leaving only a charred mark on the passenger seat of the van. I told her we could go check the place that is more expensive and where there seems to be all manner of importantly tanned women with long, fake and shiny nails encrusted with jewels toddling around on high heels two sizes to small*, talking on their cell phones and carrying their tiny dogs in little purses. Why must this rant include small dogs? I don’t know, but it does.
After 2 hours and an unmentionable amount of money, of which she paid half because there is just no way I can justify paying that much for hair, she had the hair she had always wanted (for the past entire morning) and she gushed and looked at herself in the mirror all the way home pointing out how it was just exactly how she had always dreamed hair could look. I was pleased to have been able to facilitate this momentous occasion for her. And also, world peace.
Fast forward to the next morning when I pick her up from her friend’s house where she spent the night. She is tired from all the antics and lack of sleep. And then she asks me if I notice anything different about her. Now, I know that this is a historically bad question and the bane of the sexes in some circumstances. I’ve been asked how old I think someone looks and how much I would guess they weigh before creatively turning the conversation towards something safer like, oh I don’t know, penguins. Or Monopoly. But this is my first experience hearing it from my own daughter.
After a lengthy and uncomfortable pause, during which I’m trying to figure out how to remain calm when she tells me they snuck out last night and got matching tattoos with the words ‘Tiffany + Alex = BFF 4EVR’ across their hips, she interrupts me mid-nightmare-thought with, ‘My hair, mom! Look at my hair!’
Since I’m driving, and people that know me, love me and have my best interest at heart, Alex included, know that me just paying attention and going forward and staying within the dotted lines is sometimes as much as I can handle, she quickly follows it up with, ‘Wait. Look when we get to the light.’
The mile between that comment and reaching the light was very looooong. And when we got there, I turned slowly to look at her. And looked at her. And saw…..nothing.
She says, ‘So, after you dropped me off last night, we were getting ready and M told me that my hair was, like, totally, totally great except for that my bangs were too long and I needed some more layers right here? in the back? so she and T, who are both, like, totally into hair and going to be professional hair cut people when they get out of high school, are, and I’m not even kidding mom, genius with hair. So they gave me some more layers in the back and fixed my bangs for me. Don’t I look great?’
*The other day I was out and about and noticed a plethora of people walking around in sandals because, hello? it is hot. But more than half of all the people wearing sandals, flip-flops or other manner of toe-exposing shoes were allowing some part of their foot to touch the ground as they walked. A big toe here. A little toe there. And heels of all kinds. I think that is odd. They must go home and find that they have a mostly clean foot with only the usual wear and tear on it and then that one part, that slice, that is completely covered with black tar and sidewalk filth.