Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I think I need a counselor. You see, I can’t keep a hair stylist. They all eventually leave me. Sometimes they move. Sometimes they change careers. Sometimes they make me wait 8 weeks for a cut. Sometimes they die.

I find myself, on insomnia nights, wondering if they all are text messaging among themselves just conjuring up ways to lose me.
I like my hair short and I mean short. I don’t mean long-short. My ears like to be seen. I guess hair stylists like long-short and don’t feel the same way about my ears. I also used to be partial to my subtle gray, and that was obviously painful to the long list of women who have been entrusted with caring for it.

A couple of years ago, I had an epiphany. Well, something like that anyway. My mom announced that I looked like a man from behind. I presumed she meant the hair cut. About the same time, my then-stylist mysteriously quit.

Our conversation:
Caution: Why are you quitting?
Stylist: I’m …. sick.
Caution: How are you going to work full-time at your new job and go to
school if you’re so sick?
Stylist: Well, it’s not like you ever gave me complete control of your hair! It
was always short, gray, short, gray.

And that relationship ended.

I went to my friend, Exceptionally Cute Neighborhood Mom [ECNM], for advice. She sent me to Hillary, a very cute stylist young enough to be born after I graduated from college.

Hillary took charge and for two years we wrangled over hair length.

Our conversation:
Hillary: What are we doing today?
Caution: Cutting my hair short.
Hillary: No we’re not.
An adamant Caution: Okay.

But we were happy together! And yes, she took my virgin tresses and colored them. Nothing prepared me for the reaction to my new look. Clerks at the store admired my hair. My students interrupted grammar class to admire my hair. My, get this, pastor admired my hair. Never before has that happened. (Okay, that’s a lie. I once worked for a man who wanted one of his mistresses to cut her hair like mine. That didn’t go over so well.)

I was good looking!

And now Hillary has moved on to a more upscale salon with more upscale prices. It’s a bit of a longer drive than I want, too. I’m left with over-grown hair and dark roots. When I work through the grief, I’ll be back knocking on ECNM’s door looking for advice. Maybe she’ll know the name of a good counselor.
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