Friday, April 18, 2008

Overheard in a Beauty Shop

There are times I am not fond of my "girl" genes, those XX chromosomes which dictate that I'm suppose to love shopping, shoes and shopping for shoes. I received my Dad's shopping gene which is somewhat akin to that of a Caveman on a hunt: go in, grab what you need, put on counter to pay and leave with package. Total time: less than an hour. So going to an actual Beauty Shop to get a haircut is right up there with the shoe thing. Alas, a girl needs to get her hair cut some time.

I remember going to the Beauty Shop with my Mom as a young girl. All I remember were a sea of mouths, all moving at once. Sometimes whispers and sideways nods, often loud accompanied by fierce laughter. Fierce because some poor soul not present was the butt of the joke or story. I was shocked that women gathered in a group under hairdryers often sounded like hyenas. Or worse. I would walk away from these brief, infrequent encounters somewhat shell shocked. I heard stories I shouldn't hear...most of them long, difficult labors that questioned why anyone would want a child. Or a husband. Most were horror stories of simple things gone bad. Not once do I remember stories that were filled with praise of children or grandchildren even. I thought of it as a Woman Cave with rituals I didn't really want to participate in if the stories being told were true. And frankly, the place stunk. Hairspray and perm solutions are not pleasant, especially when accompanied by tales of woe. If Stephen King was a woman, he'd have had a field day there. And the hair dryers would've been victorious and eaten the hyenas.

But today was my day for a haircut. Or a trim, in my case. I like Cindy, the woman who cuts my hair, although I'm jealous of the fact I'm probably the fastest money she makes all day. With my baby fine hair, $17 worth of work is completed in roughly 4 minutes.

As usual I arrived early. Another Dad trait. I smiled and said I'd wait patiently and without causing trouble. Cindy grinned and said she'd hold me to it. The older woman holding court in the chair was not happy with the interruption. It was a slow day and as I sat around the corner, which was actually on the other side of the wall, I learned a lot.

According to this sage woman on the beauty throne:

Obama is not the anti-Christ. His wife is. It appears Michelle has a plan for taking over, not the U.S., but for world domination. Sadly she whispered the part about what the plan was, so I can't reveal it here. All I know is that it's awful and we can't let that woman gain power. [Insert rolling eyes here].

Then again, I hear that the Evangelical Christians have their own plot..I mean plan to run the country. She, of course is a good Christian, not one of THOSE kind. You should know they won't be running their plot in public but in an UNDERGROUND system of passing on information. I wonder if she meant the Internet?

The End of the World will occur in her life time, she is sure of it. After all, the world is going to you-know-where in a hand basket. Why her very own nephew had been seduced by drugs. Yet it is other druggies who are the reason we need more prisons. The end of the world is coming, she kept saying. With feeling. Let us pray she's not right....she looked about 80.

And then the true End of the World raised it's ugly head. Did you know it should be a crime for grandchildren in a public school system to be made to graduate outdoors? In a facility known as a..gasp, [I hope you're sitting down]...football stadium. So undignified. Where boys grunt and sweat and hit each other. A location uncovered. Sitting on wooden benches, laced with splinters. In the out of doors. In the South. In June. How awful that her darlings have lost the previous indoor venue...the one where only 2 family members per graduate were allowed to attend, often leading to blows to see which two surviving members would be present. All that traded for a whole stadium filled with seating. And her grandson's last name begins with a "Y", so it will take FOREVER to get through the 300 or so names to reach his.

The last one almost made me pop my head around the corner. First to tell her that her whining was making my ears bleed and I feared Cindy would take it out on me. With scissors. Then I considered consoling her, to tell her it hadn't killed me. I sat on that field during graduation in a class of 720 with a thunderstorm building overhead. By the time we reached name number 600, thunder was rumbling. By name 700 the dark sky was lit up on occasion by heat lightening. This was quickly followed by the stuff that catches your attention...in bolts. My best buddy was the last to cross the stage...with a name like Zilch, where else would he be? He threw his cap in the air, against all regulations, encouraged us to start singing the damn Alma mater so we could get home and we did. We threw our caps in the air, were greeted by our loved ones and walked to cars unscathed. As I opened my boy friend's car door, the bottom dropped out and we got soaked.

I wanted to tell her that if she sprayed the stadium seat with the same lacquer that was on her head, she'd be fine. Then I wickedly thought about telling her the rain had ruined my hair. And I hadn't cared. Wouldn't care if it happened today either. But I didn't. Who wants to be lumped in the same category with Michelle Obama?

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

I'm with you. I absolutely hate shopping. Don't really know a lot of women who do. I think that's one of those urban legends men made up to make women look frivolous. Anyway, reminded me of a time hubby #2, his dad, and I were taking a trip. The dad kept wanting to stop at every shopping mall and shopping strip. Finally I said I would just stay in the car as I really hated shopping. The dad looked at me and said he was only stopping because ALL women liked to shop. Thank goodness I finally rebelled or we may never have reached our destination! I also avoid beauty parlors at all cost! Generally cut my own or find someone who does it out of their house. The chemical smells can kill you! And here all along I thought george bush was the anti-christ!