I was way overdue for a haircut. Last week, in an attempt to transform the mop into some semblance of style, I flipped the ends up with my flatiron. “Cool hair,” my 12-year-old son said as I entered the room. “Yeah,” seconded his brother, “you look like Jimmy Neutron’s mom.” Not exactly the look I was going for, but he meant it as a compliment, I think, so I brushed off the notion that I was walking around with cartoon hair.
So I went in yesterday and had it cut. I’d used this stylist before, but had another woman cut my hair the last time. It seems whenever I move, it takes a few attempts to find someone who really cuts my hair to my satisfaction.
I made the mistake of not having a clear idea of how I wanted it cut. Instead I rattled off general directions such as: keep the length, trim the dead stuff, and bangs? Sure, why not? As the hair began to fall, I started to get a bad vibe, but it’s hard to judge a cut when it’s still wet.
The bad vibes intensified as she started drying it. The layering got poofy and I caught a glimpse of Loretta Lynn—the early years—staring back at me from the mirror. Before she could finish, I blurted out, “Oh, I don’t like it!” So she stopped and offered to flatiron it, and I went from country music-singer coif to Carol Brady flip. “Better?” she asked. Well… I muttered something, paid for the disaster and left. I haven’t cried over my hair since a ‘do my mom gave me which involved a home perm and Dippity-Do, but I came close in the parking lot.
I had planned to run some errands post-cut, but just couldn’t. Instead I ran home, got my flatiron out and tamed the flip. The end result looked like Pat Benatar with bed-head.
I text-messaged my husband, my sister, and my friend Jennifer with: I HATE MY HAIRCUT! My husband called and listened to me whine, but there wasn’t much he could do. Then I called my writing partner, Joan, who empathized and said, “I can’t believe you told her you didn’t like it.” I had to—I’m not a good enough actress to fake enthusiasm through potential tears. Then Jennifer called and convinced me to take a picture of myself with my cell phone and send it to her. I knew it was bad when she called back and said, “Just wait and see what the boys say when they get home from school. And smile, so they don’t think something’s wrong.”
The first boy arrived home and said, “What happened?” I responded, smiling as instructed, “I got my hair cut!”
“Oh,” he said. “Don’t take this the wrong way or anything, but you look like a witch.” Gee, I thought, and just in time for Halloween. So I tucked the sides of my hair behind my ears. “Better?” I asked. “Not really,” he said. “Now it looks like a mullet.”
Second son got home an hour later and asked, “What’d you do?” Again, through teeth clenched in a smile, I said, “I got a haircut!”
“You look like a drag queen,” he said. So I asked, “You mean it looks like a bad wig?” and he nodded, still stunned to find his mom looking like Cher—without the cool clothes.
Then his younger brother joined the conversation and suggested, “Maybe you should be like Britney and just shave your head.”
Really? I think he might be onto something. Then maybe I could convince a judge to get K-Fed to take these kids.