Award-winning writer: Jackie Papandrew

Airing My Dirty Laundry!

Beauty Shop Dropout

    She was at the beauty shop for two hours. That was only for the estimate. Henny Youngman
Im thinking about becoming a beauty shop dropout. Im thinking of abandoning my regular visits to those places of promised prettiness that writer Susan Sontag called theaters of feminine frivolity. If I do, it will be for the good of mankind, specifically for the sake of one of mankinds representatives who had the misfortune to witness my latest bid for beauty.

The salon is a sacred place for many women. You (and by using the word you here, I mean me) enter it ugly, with a bed head that looks like it got tangled in a spinning ceiling fan. You leave it looking good cleanly cut, cleverly colored and skillfully styled. The hairdresser is an authority figure, a sorcerer with scissors who can make us feel a little prettier, a little younger, a little more self-assured. The hairdresser is not to be questioned.

Ive been to a fair number of beauty shops in my day. Most are, like high school, sources of instant intimidation too often populated by women with great hair and prominent cheekbones. These are the women those upon whom fate has smiled -- who always seem to be at the salon at the same time that I emerge from the shampoo sink looking like a starved dog after a night in a thunderstorm. I hate these women.

So I thought Id found the ideal solution not long ago when I started going to a hairdresser who works solo. One chair. One customer at a time. No one to see my transformation from drowned, graying rat to frosted blond bombshell (OK, wishful thinking on my part). The problem is that my hairdresser a lovely woman who lies so convincingly to me that I believe (at least temporarily) I really am a bombshell -- is still operating in the styling stone age.

To bring out my inner blonde, she insists on using The Cap. This is a tool that could very well have been found in a medieval torture chamber. The plastic cap, which is covered with small colored circles, is tied around my head. Then my heretofore humane hairdresser takes a crochet hook, digs through the circles and pulls a few strands of hair those destined to be plied with peroxide -- through the cap. Soon, with sprouts of hair sticking up all over and a stinging scalp, I resemble Pig Pen the stinky character from the Charlie Brown comic except that I am slightly less attractive.

If you are a man, you are wondering why on earth I would put up with such torment. If you are a woman, you are wishing I would just stop whining because -- as every female knows -- it is better to look good than to feel good

I know there are other ways to lighten my locks, but my hairdresser is adamant that The Cap is still the best. And because having a hairdresser is often like having a husband you stick with them for better or for worse I am reluctant to go elsewhere.

Or at least I was until the other day when I was once again in the styling chair -- hair standing straight out and basting in bleach -- and in walks one of my neighbors. This wouldnt have bothered me too much except for the fact that this neighbor has the audacity to be a man. Men should not be permitted to walk into salons when women are there being beautified.

If I was single and allowed to notice such things, Id tell you that this neighbor is a fine looking man, with very nice hair that was apparently in need of a cut. As Im happily married (and my husband will eventually read this column), Ill just tell you that I was beyond mortified to have this particular person see me looking like Phyllis Diller on acid.

My handsome neighbor is probably still trying to recover from what he saw that day. I havent been able to look him in the eye since then. And Im considering going natural, forsaking my quest to be comely and giving Pig Pen a run for his money. Or maybe Ill just find a new hairdresser.

~ © Jackie Papandrew 2007 ~

Jackie Papandrew is an award-winning writer, syndicated humor columnist, coffee addict and mom to a motley crew of children and pets who provide a steady stream of column ideas and dirt. She's also wife to a very patient man who had no idea, years ago when he still had time to escape, what he was getting himself into. Visit her website at:  JackiePapandrew.com

[ by Jackie Papandrew Copyright © 2007, (me@jackiepapandrew.com) -- submitted by: Jackie Papandrew ]


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