Monday, March 7, 2011

How I Got My Hair Did And Was Not Mistaken For A Drag Queen

I finally got my hair cut this weekend, which needed to happen because I was starting to look like 1970s Cher crossed with Rosanne Rosannadanna. It was not cute.

I went to a place in my neighborhood I'd never tried before. I chose it--as I do with so many things, included but not limited to nail polish colors, Zipcars, and primary care physicians--based on the name. Also because someone on Yelp compared visiting the salon to "walking onto a John Waters set." Um, yes, please.

Guess which haircut I got?
As I walked in, my stylist, Arturo (which was already a great sign, since Jeff and I are both big fans of the movie Overboard, and have been known to shout "Catalina!" and "Arturo!" at each other like we have Garry Marshal Tourette's), was saying goodbye to his last appointment, a tall woman dressed in a retro ensemble that made her look like she was going to an elegant sock hop: circle skirt, collared blouse, fitted cashmere cardigan. She had just chopped off 8 inches of bronze-red hair to donate to charity, and to match her outfit Arturo had given her new bob a sassy little flip. "That's her natural hair color," he sighed to me by way of introduction. "We call her 'Bitch.'"

I always get nervous going to a new hair salon, because I never know if the stylist is going to ask me for my life story, and I don't know about you, but I have trouble forming a coherent narrative while simultaneously staring at myself in a giant mirror. I've always turned into a narcissist when faced with my reflection; in high school I could never prepare oral presentations by doing the speech-into-the-mirror thing because I was too busy winking at myself in profile or trying to see how much I could pout my lips before it looked like I was doing it on purpose.

Anyway, it ended up not mattering, because all Arturo wanted to talk about was his previous client. He told me that he had a few drag queen clients and that even though the statuesque redhead had been beautiful and feminine, he was shocked--shocked!--to discover she was a natural woman. As he chattered excitedly about her enviable coloring and exquisite fashion sense, I wondered what he might say about me to the next woman to sit in his chair. I was wearing a Dirty Dancing t-shirt I'd gotten for free from a friend and had applied concealer hastily, so that my blemishes were not so much hidden as they were highlighted with smears of an ivory color a few shades lighter than my acne-reddened skin. "Now she, she could never be a drag queen," I imagined him sneering. "Not with that skin! And someone needs to tell her that wearing Patrick Swayze on her boobs will not bring him back. Demi Moore tried it with pennies, and honey, that shit does not work. The best you're gonna get is Patrick in Whoopi Goldberg's body, and nobody wants that. It completely defeats the purpose."

Lucky for me, I got a preview of my assessment--a much kinder one than I had envisioned--as I went to pay. "Honey, when you came in here you had more hair than body," he said, looking me up and down. "A big pile of hair on a petite little body--I can't have you looking like a Bratz doll. Now you have balance."

I tipped him 30%. A good haircut is hard to find, but not looking like the Bratz doll version of a bygone SNL character? Priceless.
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19 comments :

  1. Love Overboard. LOVE it. That movie is so underrated.

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  2. Aww - you are going to deprive us of a photo of your new look?!

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  3. As per normal, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA.

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  4. I'm with StrangeBird: show us the do!

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  5. Overboard!!!!! "But I like it when she goes bah bah bahbah bah bah bah!"

    Yes, where, oh where is the photo?!?!?!

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  6. A photo please! Can't wait to see :)

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  7. Oh no! The pressure's on. It doesn't actually look that different, guys. Now I just look more like Russell Brand than Cher.

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  8. we need to see the new 'do!

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  9. Anonymous12:42 PM

    I agree - photo please!

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  10. I DO NOT want to see a photo Una. No way...

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  11. "I can't have you looking like a Bratz doll." What a great thing to say! Would you have cut your hair sooner if Jeff had said this to you?
    Arturo sounds like a keeper. He's not related to Mondo is he?

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  12. Overboard? Overboard? We are kindred spirits!! I've loved that movie since forever and often feel like some kind of critical failure at life and art for enjoying it to the extent I do.

    Clearly, I am passionate when it comes to '80s B sort of movies.

    Okay, back to the hair...Arturo is funny. I want to see a picture of your hair.

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  13. Wow! The title totally pulled me in. Good job!

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  14. Fun, good for you...nothing like a good haircut by an Arturo to shake off the winter, and you've had a snotting long winter.
    Love Overboard too.

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  15. I'm glad you tipped him well. A chatty hair dresser (or salon artiste, maybe?) is a good find. Imagine the blog fodder you will have as you get to know him a little better and he starts letting you in on the really good stuff.

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  16. i'm glad someone else besides me has overthought the love scene in GHOST.

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  17. I love Overboard...it was the first movie I watched repeatedly without tiring of it. Ironically Dirty Dancing is a close second. I always end up at places looking my worst.

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  18. That is an A+ experience indeed!

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  19. Where is the damn picture!

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