I had the most perfect haircut of my life. For 60 seconds.
It was sleek, smooth, jaggedy at the ends and it snuggled my jawline like no man ever has. The stylist—we’ll call her Adrianna–put away her scissors and held up the mirror so I could see that the back was every bit as fabulous as the front.
For one minute, I was Jennifer Aniston. I tallied up all the things I’d have to change to live up to this kind of hair. I needed a crisp white blouse. I needed to be seen on tennis courts, atop sailboats. I needed thinner ankles.
At the very least, I needed to change out of my sweatpants more often.
Just as I was contemplating enroling in Alliance Francaise and dusting off my French, Adrianna pulled out a razor-ish sort of tool.
“I’m just going to break up the ends,” she said.
Before I could block the blades with my bare arms, the entire right side of my hair had been hacked to shreds. No, worse than shreds. Shredded hair can look chic. Ish. This was more like someone had tried to curl the ends of paper ribbon in my hair. What little was left frayed and puckered. Bent. Then she pruned the other side.
I don’t know how, but I remained upright when she pulled out the mirror so I could view the back again. She declared the cut to be perfect. I stood up, thanked her. Walked to the cash desk and paid. As I stood there waiting for my change, I vowed to go back to the stylist’s chair and tell her I wasn’t happy. For once in my life, I was going to stand up for something. Even if that something was myself.
I spun around and marched back, my head whirling with phrases like, “I didn’t ask for my ends to be broken” and “Will eating gelatin help make my hair grow back?” and “I didn’t ask for my ends to be broken.”
Adrianna looked up. She smiled as I approached. I paused for a moment, building up my nerve. Then I kissed both her cheeks, told her I loved it, and scampered ouside so she wouldn’t see me cry.
Worst of all — I tipped. And the only defense I have is I am way too Canadian.
Epilogue: I spent the next three months under a baseball cap. If ever I took it off, friends politely asked me to put it back on. My hair looked like a gigantic highlighted broccoli – Florence Henderson skinny at the bottom and mushroom cloudish on top. I’ve never let a razor near my head again.