Girl Talk

I pushed the button on my phone as I left yoga to see that Shelby had called.  Shelby cuts my hair and on my list of VIPs he falls just behind anyone with whom I share DNA.  “Darn.  Sick,” was my first thought.

“Patricia, I’m just making sure you’re alright.  We had you down at 9:45….” Just so you know, “making sure you’re alright” is code for “where the hell are you?”  Or it would be, except Shelby is so nice.  I had him on my calendar at 11:15 and I’m not quite sure you can understand the importance of this in my life, but this one misstep might have meant that I would not have a haircut (and color, to be honest) for four more weeks.  Which in the scheme of things means nothing, but in my day-to-day, well, it’s significant.

I called. He relented. I went, slightly sheepish in my workout wear and slippers.  As I “processed,” a woman I have known for twenty years was having her hair dried.  When wet, it springs in inky dark ringlets hitting just at her jawline.  As Shelby worked her hair with a brush the circumference of my fist it bloomed into the most delicious curls.  Big, soft and full, they framed her face in a kind of Hollywood glam I fear I’ll never know.  She looked back at me through the mirror with dark eyes and I mouthed, “I want my hair to look like that.”  She smiled.

Back in the chair, where I should have been quietly grateful and repentant, I looked up at Shelby from under bare lashes and said, “I want to have big hair.”  Not in a Veruca Salt kind of way, but wistfully.  Just shy of desperate.  Rather than apply the flat side of a brush to my backside, he went to work.

As I left, less conscious of my yoga pants and no make-up, I glanced into the book store window on my way by.  Big, golden curls winked back and in an instant I thought, “Sometimes it is so fantastic to be female.”

Photography, Howell Conant, with thanks to the helpful reader.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail      rssrss

13 thoughts on “Girl Talk

  1. I'm a pilates teacher and when I have a client run late I do the same thing. "Are you OKAY? I was so worried you got in a car accident or something!" Usually it just slipped their mind. Maybe they were at the hairdresser 🙂

  2. Oh you were so lucky to get in Patricia, this could make a girl go off the deep end!

    It IS fun to make chanes!

    2012 Artists Series

  3. Yes, the most wonderful feeling is to leave the hairdresser (Kevin) and glace in the mirror and see that he has gotten it JUST RIGHT. Kevin sometimes gets it right and sometimes NOT. But when it's good; it's really good. Have a wonderful week with big hair.

  4. You girls with your big curls are something to behold. I am the dark haired one with flat hair that leaves just as flat as I arrived despite years of yearning for more!

  5. Darn women; all they have to do to feel better is get their hair restyled. Men, both straight and gay, have to go to the trouble, both before and after, of having affairs or the expense of a new automobile, or both…

  6. Big golden curls winking at you in the storefront window reflection, nothing compares to private moments like this. Here's hoping the 8 male eyes who greeted you at home later that day offered similar validation. Off topic, but I saw a photo in a tumblr yesterday that reminded me of that table in your living room, the table with the one leg too short. Look at this, see if this doesn't make you smile:


  7. Anon – Bill walked in and said, "Oh, your hair's messy." Then, based on my response, circled back around a half hour later and said, "I think I like it." After being with my eldest for an hour I said, "My hair's different." Without turning to look at me he said, "Huh." The younger two gave it raves; I like them best right now.

    And, thanks for the link – I love it.

  8. "Then, based on my response, circled back around a half hour later.."

    Based on your responnnse, oh this is the most fun I've had all day. Like your [whispered] response might have gone something like this?

    "That leopard teddy you tucked in my Christmas stocking? forget it."


  9. Ah yes the longing for those curls…in my mind's eye, I still see my young blonde self patiently sitting as my mother would put endless pink foam rollers in my hair wistfully hoping for big bouncey curls. Those curls would fall flat within seconds. So now some 40 odd years later, I have resigned myself to a little flip on the ends of what my husband kindly calls "angel hair"… Thanks so very much for this post!

  10. Indeed, embrace those curls and your femininity. I think there is something wonderful about a woman's pride and prejudice. We can wear boots, romp in the muck with the boys and then clean up like a lady.
    Oh, by the way J.McLaughlin is coming to Kansas.
    I illustrated that shop….just yesterday. That should give your curls a bounce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *