Miss Frizzle

This is what you want to hear from your hairdresser:




This is what you do NOT want to hear:


—heavy silence—

Then​: “Why didn’t you​ tell​ me you colored your hair???!!!”

I was at Erich, “Hairdresser to the Stars,” for my first perm. He styled all the senior managers’ wives at my office in Indianapolis. I was treating myself and couldn’t wait. Erich hissed as he unrolled curlers that had promised beautiful, bouncy waves. Why was he upset? I was frozen with apprehension. The answer became clear after he finished. My hair was fried. I looked like I had been hit by lightning. ​Twice​. Incredibly, ​he​ was angry at ​me​. “If you had told me, I would have used different chemicals!”

“Well, you didn’t ​ask​ me,” I was thisclose to tears. He was the hair professional. Not me. I stared in horror at my Bride of Frankenstein reflection, but my polite Midwestern personality was warring with the need to be assertive. I actually felt badly for ​him​, and heard myself reassuring this hair butcher that all was fine. I even tipped him, but refused to return so that he could “work” on it. I was never stepping into his salon again. I went home and made brownies, eating the whole damned pan.

My hair and I flew home to visit my parents the next weekend. Dad was waiting at the airport gate, and didn’t recognize this wild­-maned girl flinging herself at him. He looked stunned and was speechless the entire ride home.

Mom knew what to expect, having impotently listened to my hysterical phone calls. She pulled me into a big hug, whispering: “I made an appointment with my hairdresser for tomorrow.”

I held on tightly, so relieved to be home. Moms can fix anything.

15 thoughts on “Miss Frizzle

  1. Cindy Keely says:

    Induction into the 80’s required permanents. I was just recalling how I had permed my hair too. What we don’t go through to be stylish! I also can see your parents’ reaction. I can’t wait to see the other stories in you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes…. I really did tip him. And even pretended that I liked my hair because I didn’t want him to, y’know… feel badly about it. I also used to apologize for everything, whether or not it was my fault! Oh, I’m so sorry that you just stepped on my foot. Please excuse me!!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Well you know what. I think that is a nice way to be. I always hear Americans saying British people are like that, but there are some really offensive loud people here!
        Given the choice, I’d take somebody like you every time. It’s the way to be. My mum is the same. I kind of am I think. To a point. Im good at falling out with people then being rubbish at actually arguing. That’s not a good way to be. Would not recommend. Your approach is probly better. Im off to learn kung fu now.
        Har so.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. If I had all the money I wasted at hair salons in the ’80s who did what they wanted with my hair instead of following my instructions I would be quite wealthy. And sadly, I also tipped them, in the event I would need to return to make sure they didn’t make the situation worse! aaarrrggghhh!

    Liked by 3 people

    • It takes all that growing up time to appreciate who we are. AND … aha!! I am not the only tipper of bad service.
      Even when one time I looked in the mirror and burst into tears!! My mother was with me and she tipped the idjit girl. I asked for China Doll bangs … the kind that brush your eyebrows? and she gave me FRINGE! I hid for a month while it grew out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I solved the entire problem 16 years ago by growing my hair down to my waist, trimming when needed and colouring it myself. I tip myself generously with cupcakes and ice cream as I’m always happy with the results 😀
        And yes, that last tip when I was not happy at the salon was the last time ever! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

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