I’m meeting a friend for lunch and she’s late. I’m annoyed because I
know why. She had a hairdresser appointment this morning and even
though she would have been finished in plenty of time to meet me, I’ll
bet she’s gone home first. To re-do her hair.
By the time she arrives, 25 minutes late, I am officially cranky.
“Sorry, sorry, sorry,” she calls out apologetically as she hurries over
to the table where I’m sipping a chai and sending her “WHERE THE BLOODY
HELL ARE YOU?” texts.
“You are nuts, you know that, don’t you?” I chastise as she sits down.
“I cannot believe you still go to that hairdresser.” My friend has the
decency to look part sheepish, part wretched. “I know, I know” she
grimaces. “I’m hopeless.”
How did this happen? How did this intelligent, assertive woman end up
trapped in such a dysfunctional relationship with her hairdresser? As
the customer in this transaction, how did she surrender her power and
lose her voice? She’s not sure. All she knows is that she’s been going
to the same salon for 10 years and having her hair cut the same way by
the same guy. She likes him. She even likes the way he cuts and colours
What she hates is the blow dry afterwards because he does this flicky thing that makes her look like a 1994 newsreader. But instead of asking him to do it differently, she sucks up her flicks, thanks him profusely and then dashes home to wash out 1994 and blow dry it again. She’s been doing this for years and barely questions it anymore. I, however, question it. Often. I think it’s mental and never miss an opportunity to tell her so.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” she insists today as she orders prawn linguine. “I know, it’s stupid and I’m an idiot”. I nod. She continues. “I have no rational explanation for why I can’t ask him to dry my hair the way I want it. But it’s too late for that. I had my chance years ago and I chickened out and now I’m trapped. Window closed. The end. Shall we have a glass of wine with lunch?”