I went to the hairdressers today. I hate doing this, so I always put it off as long as possible, opting for an extra short cut and then leaving it for several months until I resemble a shaggy sheep peering through a hedge. Eventually, Other Half will start making fun of me and I'll be forced to go to Supercuts. I don't like going to a real hairdressers, partly because I'm cheap and I didn't ask my hair to grow like Harry fucking Potter so I resent paying for it to be cut off in the first place, and secondly because you have to make an appointment and they get really sulky if you forget. With Supercuts you can just walk in off the street and wait in a queue of old ladies. I rather like old ladies. They remind me of my great grandmother, who was 93 in January and still has a tongue like a razor. She is my mum's grandmother, so she not only has authority of years, but also the authority of generations. This means she can get away with conversations like the following and no one can scold her.
Mum: Did you like your dinner, Gran?
Great-Gran: It was lovely, thank you. (stares at mum for a moment) Are you putting on weight?
Mum: (appalled and looking anxiously at her reflection in a spoon) No! At least, I don't think so.
Great-Gran: Hmm. It must just be what you're wearing. What's for dessert?
For this, and for so many other things, she is my hero. I can't wait til I'm old and grey and can be as rude as I want to be. I salute you, Great-Gran. One day I'll make you proud.
Anyway, back to the haircut. I hate being made to stare at my own reflection under harsh, uncomplimentary fluorescent lights. I hate looking at my own reflection in any case and usually avoid it whenever possible. I also don't like being forced to converse with a total stranger who is wielding scissors near my head. They always ask me if I have holidays booked (I don't) and if I have any plans for the weekend (I don't) and what I do for fun (hang about on twitter, take photos of my cats in gay poses, make fun of stuff on the internet, chase Other Half around the house doing spoken-word rap at her) and after that the conversation trails off.
Today, by some cruel twist of fate, they gave me a green 16 year old fresh out of hair school. She comes accessorised with a vacant expression and a selection of scissors that range from nursery school safety scissors - which only shred your hair into Split End City - or hedge shears, with which she will transform you into Lisa Stansfield circa Been Around The World. The latter happened to me a few years ago, and while I can laugh about it now, it took a long time to get over the horror of it. She may also come with some amusing phrases, such as "oh dear, I think I've cut more than you wanted" and may ask highly personal questions regarding the haircare products you use. Batteries and intelligence are sold separately.
I'm sure we've all experienced that sinking feeling as you watch large chunks of your hair fall to the ground and realise that when you said "just a little off the bottom please" or "an inch or so would do, thanks", what your hairdresser heard or chose to hear is something completely different. It takes a brave person to speak up and correct this. It's odd, because I imagine that if you ordered a meal in a restaurant and it arrived cold or otherwise unsatisfactory, few people would have trouble sending it back. Hair, however, is different. From the second they put that rubber mat around your shoulders, they have the power, and you know it. They are your HairMasters. They are your HairOverlords.They will do whatever they want with you and to hell with your feeble protests.
I scuttled out of Supercuts today, feeling my wallet only a little lighter, my hair a lot lighter, and overall managing to look even more Biebalicious than ever before.
Like baby. Baby. Baby. Oh, damn.