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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

In which a short entry about my new haircut gets all second-person on your ass

Friends, pity those who see me in person regularly, because I got a haircut yesterday and it is FABULOUS. Fabulous enough, perhaps, to scorch the eyeballs of all who witness it? Maybe. Maybe some reverse-Medusa action going on.

It is short and flippy and on FIRE. Love it. And it was FREE. Free professional haircut from Vidal Sassoon professional! The Vidal Sassoon Academy? Love it.

I mean, certainly it's a gamble. You go in, you pay your ten dollars, you wait to be assigned to a student. And sometimes you just get a decent haircut that takes four hours because the student has to wait for the teacher to give approval on the first five hairs she's cut before she can move onto the next five.

But then sometimes you walk in and it's a quiet Monday afternoon, and as you're handing over your moneydollars a nice man comes right up to you and asks "so, what are you looking for today?" And you say, "um, a haircut," and he says "do you want to play it safe or take a chance?" and you say "um, is there something in the middle?"

And then he asks if you can wait an hour and then be his demo model for his afternoon class. And then he gives you your money back, because there's no charge for being a teacher model, because life occasionally can be good that way.

You spend two hours sitting on a chair in front of nine beauticians while the teacher snips away, completely unable to see what he's doing due to the placement of mirrors in the room, just knowing that all the students seem to be nodding in approval. You hear about the technique, about how to understand what clients are really saying when they say things like "How much of a bob will that be?" You stare at the diagrams of heads on the white board when the teacher spins you around to show off your back. You listen to him explain about weight, how to strip it away but still leave length. You listen to the horror stories. You hold still.

People ask about your natural hair color and you explain about the wash-out red last August, the childhood as a platinum blonde. You confess your eighth-grade hair trauma to these strangers, and somehow that makes it possible for you to stray away from playing it safe, say to Nathan, "Sure. Go a little crazy."

Afterwards, they take pictures and you can see your hair now and now that you can see it, you can't stop staring. It's something really different, something brutal and cute in one go. And it makes you happy, to run your fingers through it, feel the texture. Feel like a different person. Feel unsafe, and like it.

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