The relationship between a woman and her hairdresser is a special relationship. We women search high and low for the perfect hairdo and the one person that can create that hairdo ingeniously. The perfect hairdresser will kindly and gently tell the client if the hairdo chosen sucks. The perfect hairdresser will make the client feel like the client has made all the decisions when the client really hasn't made any decisions at all; the client has just been gently guided by the perfect hairdresser. When we women find the one and only hairdresser we will follow that hairdresser anywhere. If the hairdresser goes to a chi-chi salon, we will follow and pay exorbitant prices. When the hairdresser leaves a salon and no one at the salon will reveal where the hairdresser went, we will hone into our private detective skills and find the hairdresser. Usually a couple bucks given to the shampoo girl will get you what you need. Yes, we women will follow our hairdressers through the gates of hell to achieve the perfect do.
Women and their hairdressers are not really friends. We don't break bread or uncork wine together, but we usually know every teeny-tiny intricate detail about each others lives. During the small amount of time we spend together we talk and talk and talk and talk. Our hairdressers know about our jobs, children, husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends, pets, favorite books, etc., etc., etc. We women tell our hairdressers things we would never tell our closest friend. If you asked us why we tell our hairdressers everything, we will not have an answer; we women just do.
A year or so ago I found him, the "perfect hairdresser". Believe it or not I found him at a Cost Cutters! There is nothing closer to nirvana than the perfect hairdresser at a reasonable price. Dana knows everything about me: where I work, what grades I have taught, who I live with, who I used to live with, how many dogs I have, what their names are, my likes, my dislikes, etc., etc., etc. Dana is a bit over-the-top and flamboyant. He is a functional alcoholic with the emphasis on functional. He has no car and rides a bike everywhere. He hates the manager at Cost Cutters but he needs a job. Dana takes great care of me and I tip him very well in return for his care. When I come in he only does my hair. He doesn't start others' color or cut others' hair (except for Janet's hair) while we wait for my color to process. I hate it when hairdressers do ten other jobs while they are suppose to be doing my hair. (I told you I was a bitch.)
Alas! I went yesterday to my "perfect hairdresser" and he wasn't so perfect. Janet and I were waiting in the lobby for Dana who had just stepped out. When he entered my back was to him and he was talking to Janet over me and I could immediately tell something was wrong. He was talking about his hair and kept saying he was a rock star, but to me the words "rock star" sounded like "rosh tar". He was using very inappropriate language and I knew something was wrong!
Dana: Ccccchome on back. (looking at Janet) Immmmm goooonna needsh you help cuz Imma rosh tar.
At that point my eyes were about to bug out of my head. As we went back to his chair I saw that the manager was there and my greatest concern was for Dana and that he was going to lose his job. When we got to his chair he fell into the seat looked me directly in the eye and said, "Whash the hell do shoo want?" The way the words came out of his mouth it sound like he was hocking a loogie.
Me: First, I need to speak to you outside.
Dana: O (hocking a loogie) kay.
Me: That means you need to get out of the chair and come with me.
We finally made it out the door.
Me: What is wrong with you? Are you drunk or high?
Dana: Maaaaaaaybe both cuz imma rosh tar
Me: Why do you find it necessary to drink and use while you are working?
Dana: (starting to tear up): O (hocking a loogie) kay, Immmmmmmm gooooonna tell you everything and then I am going to melt in your arms.
Me: (thinking, "Please, God, no! I don't think I could catch him!")
Dana: Dish rosh tar ish leeeeeaving.
Me: Where are you going?
Dana: A ras ka
Me: (thinking there is probably not much demand for over-the-top, flamboyant, alcoholic hairdressers in Alaska) When are you leaving?
Dana: Zaaaa 27th
Me: That is some time away and I am thinking you need this job until then. I care about you and I don't want you to get fired. The "dragon lady" (his words not mine) is in there.
Dana: O (hocking a loogie) kay. I can dooooooooo dish cuz imma rosh tar.
Me: You can dye and cut my hair?
Dana: I cannnn toooone it dow. Tell me to tow it dow.
Me: (thinking I am going to go home earless and with bright fuschia hair): Tone it down! I am giving you one chance.
And then he got belligerent. I can handle sloppy, emotional drunks but I cannot handle belligerent drunks.
Dan: Whooooo do you tink you are, bitch? Sshtaying you give me one more chance. Fuh You imma rosh tar.
I went inside and told Janet to grab her purse because we were out of there. I didn't want to become the crippled, fuchsia colored hair version of Vincent Van Gogh. I am not angry at Dana I actually have empathy for him, but who I am really upset with is the manager. How dare she allow him to work with customers in that state. His state of drunkedness or highness was easily obvious. After hearing the conversation Janet had with her inside while I was outside makes me even more angry. The "dragon lady" (sorry, I don't know her name) was dying a customer's hair.
I step out with Dana.
Dragon Lady:(asking Janet) Should I go out there?
Lady in Chair: Yes
Janet: No, Cathy can handle herself. Don't you notice that something is wrong with him?
Lady in Chair: Yes
Dragon Lady: No, he is always like that. He IS an alcoholic.
Janet: He is always like THAT? Slurring and stumbling? Flipping people off? He can't even stand up.
Dragon Lady: Well, he is leaving. Do you think I should go out there?
Lady in Chair: YES
At that point I came in and got Janet. She was visibly upset. She said, "I kept telling the manger to not go out there because you could handle yourself, but I was thinking about how I was going to explain to Caren that you were stabbed to death by your over-the-top, flamboyant, alcoholic hairdresser." On our way home Janet suggested we stop at Walgreen's and get some color in a box. We did and as I was scanning the millions of boxes of hair dye I was thinking I might as well get one of those home perms also and then I could have "easy hair" that matches my "easy clothes".
And now a new search has begun for the perfect hairdresser again because I am NOT following Dana to A ras ka!
I hear you clucking, big chicken. I hate it when you take us to someone other than Miss Apple. Remember in Montana this summer someone almost chopped my tail off and I had an owie for weeks.
The Flip Side
Do lizards have to get haircuts? Do you think that is where they are today? I haven't found a single one!