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?|
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.