Tressed out (or Feeling Hairied)

Women often feel nervous about going to a new place to get a haircut. And they should. I tried a new stylist over the weekend. I took a picture with me so the woman, Arlene, would know exactly what she needed to do. We got off to a bad start. She looked at the photo and then asked, “Can I cut it real short in the back?”
“Umm … no,” I said, my palms starting to sweat.
“But your picture just shows the hair from the front, so we can do whatever we want to the back.”
I considered bolting from the chair. Again, I told her not to make the back short.
Arlene began talking. And talking. And she was snipping away at my hair, but I don’t think she even realized she was cutting it. When she finished cutting, she brushed the hair off of me and into a pile on the floor. “Wow,” she said. “I didn’t realize I cut so much hair.” Yup, I know you didn’t.
I didn’t plan to pay extra to have my hair styled, but Arlene said she wanted to blow dry it to see how it looked, so I said that was fine. She ran around gathering four different containers of goop. She returned to her station with a mountain of gel, wax, etc. in her hands and coated my hair in the concoction. As she dried my hair, she warned me that I have buildup in my hair from styling products and need to switch shampoos. Gee, do I? Because I hardly ever use styling products.
Then she told me she would flip up the ends for me (to make my hair look like the photo).
She grabbed her flat iron. I have never had a flat iron used on my hair because my hair is already as flat and straight as a Kansas highway. She begins running the iron through my hair. She’s still yacking away, and steam is billowing from my tresses. I’m starting to pray to myself. Please let me live. Please let my hair remain attached to my head. She starts telling me about the first perm she gave in beauty school in 1962 and how the woman’s hair fell out from the perm. I consider bolting from the chair again, my hair sticking out at all angles, but she’s still wielding the iron. She grabs another piece of hair and scalds my head with the iron.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” she says.
“It’s OK,” I say.
“You know this iron is 400 degrees.”
Yes, I know.
After an hour and forty-five minutes, I’m released from the terror. It was the longest haircut of my life. No, really. Even my prom and wedding hairstyles took less time.
I arrive home and Greg greets me at the door. He’s jumping up and down; even Abe can’t match his enthusiasm.
“Why were you gone so long? I thought maybe you had died. I started considering funeral arrangements.”