Tale Tuesday: I Wait Too Long

“I was thinking about you the other day.”

I was touched, even if it was just my hairstylist. She’d been “thinking” I was overdue for a touch up.

Angelina combed her hands through my nest. I watched her in the mirror and was reminded of our gerbils, the way they groom each other, though be it with their nubby little teeth.

She pressed down my hair so I could see the two inches of gray bordering my part. “You really shouldn’t wait this long.”

I do. I wait too long. Until the gray is this, a bar down the middle of my scalp. Trying to maintain a deceptively youthful appearance costs bucks, and I don’t care for sitting too long in front of a too-brightly lit mirror.

I do like that I’m often the youngest lady at the salon – a mere 49-year-old child! At least in comparison to the snow-white grandmothers shuffling in on walkers, wearing out-dated daisy-print blouses, polyester blue pants, and maybe an old rhinestone dragonfly brooch. These ladies are the salon’s most frequent patrons, escorted weekly by devoted daughters (distracted by the texting of their own most likely newly minted adult daughters) to have their thinning hair washed and set in pink rollers.

Being such regulars, one anecdote can be continued from week to week, and these anecdotes usually are precipitated by hair washing; something about craning your head back into a sink inspires the confessional. As about the negligent grandson who left his attaché case on the train given him after he graduated law school by Grandma; he forgot it “so he “claimed,” because “the wife” was calling about the broken laundry machine and he was so distracted, he left it on his seat; but Grandma gave into his other “claim” that he really did love the attaché case; so Grandma made her daughter drive her to the mall to find the exact same case but for fifty bucks less than at Christmas and isn’t it wonderful that “with just a few dollars you can make a problem go away.”

When the washing and rolling is done, so is the chatting, and these ladies are comfortably settled under dryers, to flip through home-decorating magazines, to doze off, or, in one case, to pass away:

“I did, I thought she’d just nodded off,” Angelina was telling me on one visit. “But when I went to check her hair, she was dead.”

Last time I’d sat under one of those dome dryers was when I could still squeak by with mere highlights to disguise the gray. But I remember that, enjoying the heat and hum, and thinking this is what it was like to be inside a fishbowl.

Rubber-gloved, smearing poo-colored goo into my hair, Angelina had gone on to tell me how they’d called an ambulance and the deceased lady was “wheeled out.” Then evidently, she’d moved on to her next customer.

I looked at her in her gilded gold-leaf mirror. Fake ivy trailered dustily down the frame. “You….didn’t close or anything?”

She actually chuckled, more of a phlegmy cough from 30 odd years of smoking. “Hon, what was I supposed to do, reschedule everyone for the next day when I was already booked?”

She set the timer and walked away.

I had only myself to look at in the gilded mirror, my head a matted gooey mess.

After what seemed hours of my trying to focus on my Kindle without overhearing more sink confessionals, the timer finally went off.

Then it was my turn to crane my head back into the sink for my own little therapeutic session.

Deb, the hair washer, started hosing the goo out of my hair, asking, “So how ya been?”

Well, I thought about this. I could spew the saga about my mother driving into the wall of a carpet store, then taking a mandatory road test only to fail and lose her license. Or I could tell her about how my eight year old worried he looked like a girl. That my basement flooded because a sock got stuck in the drainage hose. That recently I discovered my first wrinkle that is no frown or laugh line, which, from the hair washer’s vantage point, she could probably see for herself, as well as probable nose hairs.

I couldn’t pick or choose one thing so I just closed my eyes and said, “Oh, great. I’ve been great.”

And I will persevere with the blond until I succumb to a turkey neck. Honestly, a small (minute) fraction of my 49-year-old youthfulness looks forward to that surrendering to the snow-white. And if I cannot spend my last moments breathing in salty air at the edge of the sea, I would opt for that, dying in my sleep under a hair dryer.

About Sandra

Author;editor of The Woven Tale Press at thewoventalepress.net; mother; weaver
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Tale Tuesday: I Wait Too Long

  1. It’s hard to imagine having to deal with a death by dryer situation. I just hope it wasn’t from dehydration.

    You take the daily, and make it so much more Sandra… always enjoyed.

  2. Libby says:

    Oh My God! Crazy that that happened!

    But, I guess as you implied in the summary – there are worse ways to go.

    Well, as always, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story 🙂 You really are one of the most talented writers in my circle of bloggy friends!

  3. Kathy says:

    That is just crazy some lady died under the dryer and they just continued on with business as usual. It makes me wonder if dying under the dryer is a normal occurrence. Wonderfully written story!


  4. I guess passing away while doing something you like or perhaps look your best is a way to die!

  5. Absolutely funny! I was right at your side even into the sink! thank you.

  6. Corinne says:

    This was hilarious and sad at the same time. I guess we’ve got to admire the hairdresser’s ‘Keep calm, and carry on attitude’! You have such a gift for story-telling, Sandra!

  7. oh my…what a way to go! I don’t think I would want to go that way.

    I love your story telling, brilliant. Trips to the hairdresser always are interesting. I think it’s because we notice more as we are forced to just sit with nothing to do in a setting where all kinds of people wander in and out.

    I vowed to keep the color coming for a long time too. 🙂

  8. OH MY GOSH!! No way, death by dryer!! I, being in a menopausal way, hate the dryer!! But I do love the hair wash. Get this… My hubby is my personal colorist!! And I am a freak about nose hairs, LOL!!

  9. i know how it can be–too many choices too little time or people willing to listen—funny stuff!

  10. LOVE this blog post! We are so much alike in our thinking—I go through similar thoughts while at the hairdresser (which I too, must visit tomorrow for blonde highlights to cover the gray). Loved the comment about the gerbils–you had me cracking up over this one! Excellent post!

  11. pammustard says:

    I can think of worse places to die I suppose. At least at the salon you are being pampered, relaxing and doing something that makes you feel good about yourself. Not a bad way to exit the world in the whole scheme of things. 🙂

  12. Anne says:

    This is a funny take on dying and leaving this world. Many times we always attach such gloomy ideas with death that a different angle like this makes it more interesting. Following you now.

    Thanks for visiting my Creative Doodles and leaving a comment. It would be great to know what you think of my writing 🙂

  13. I loved this story Sandra, it brought back so vividly the hair salon I used to go to with all of the old regulars… I have been plucking the grey out of my hair every morning, one of these days I know I’ll have to break down and get it colored…a day I’m dreading!
    Take care,

  14. Wylie says:

    Thoughtful and hilarious as always, Sandy! I need to schedule my appointment for highlights, too. The salon I go to is a mix of the old purple-haired ladies with the bee-hive hairdoos and young, sexy women. I love to people watch when I’m there!

  15. Kelly Vial says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story! I felt like I could envision it as I was reading it. The story paints a descriptive picture and one I was so engrossed in that I hated for it to end! Thanks for posting!

Comments are closed.