Today was mom’s long awaited haircut day. She’s been nagging me for weeks to take her in, not understanding that “that girl” Crystal (her hair stylist for the past 20+ years) has been on vacation. When I arrived at mom’s house this morning she greeted me at the door (I can’t even remember the last time that happened!!) and was eager to head out the door.
You know that old saying about kids, “you can dress them up but you can’t take them out?” Yeah. That was my mom today.
When we arrived at the salon, Crystal was finishing up on another client; a lady who was probably in her late 50’s. Crystal was curling the back of her short hair, flipping up the ends. It reminded me of the way mom used to style her hair, about 10-15 years ago. I loved that hairstyle on mom. Mom, however, was not impressed with this lady’s hair. As she sat, waiting in a chair behind Crystal, an amused grin spread across her face and she started shaking her head. She turned to me, still grinning and pointed to Crystal’s client, saying (in a very non-whispering voice),
“I don’t like her hair, no. That looks so weird, I don’t know why older women like to wear their like that too, I don’t think it looks so good.”
My eyes popped open wide and I quietly shook my head at mom and put my finger to my lips to signal her to quiet down. Mom wasn’t reading my cues. She got up from her seat and walked closer to where I was sitting.
“Even some women at church do their hair like that too but I don’t like that. I don’t think it looks so good…” she went on.
Crystal glanced over at me with a little smirk in the corners of her mouth. I prayed the woman in the chair didn’t hear but knew that was very unlikely. Hopefully she could sense something was a little “off” with my mom and didn’t have hurt feelings about it.
When it was mom’s turn in the chair, she instructed Crystal about how she liked her hair (no really long pieces in her eyes, she likes the back of her neck shaved, she doesn’t like any stray hairs sticking up, etc) and she made some of her usual small talk with Crystal. I’ve noticed over the past couple of months that mom has some short hairs sticking up on the center top of her head. I asked her once if she had tried cutting some of those wild hairs, to which she replied,
“I don’t cut my hair no. I go to that girl.”
I’ve been trying to solve the mystery of how mom’s hairs are so short on the top of her head. Another thought I came up with was that maybe she had gotten the blow dryer too close. Crystal noticed the hairs also and asked mom if she had tried cutting her hair. After getting her to understand the question, mom finally replied,
“I get hairs that stick up here too, yeah. I don’t like these hairs like this too, see?”
She held several strands of hair, maybe 10 or so, and held them up to demonstrate how she doesn’t like her hair sticking up, and then she pulled the clump out of her head. Mystery solved.
“Oh no, don’t pull your hairs out,” Crystal replied to mom. She tried to redirect mom and teach her not to pull out her hair. She worked patiently to show mom how to spray down the hairs on her head, by putting some spray on her hand and gently rubbing it across her hair, so that they wouldn’t stick up. It was very sweet that she was so patiently trying to help mom. Sadly, I think her efforts were in vain; mom is un-teachable.
While Crystal finished curling up mom’s hair, mom suddenly blurted out,
“Do you still get periods so severely? I still get them so severe even though my mom and my sister stopped having theirs in their 50’s but I don’t know why I get them so severe…”
On and on she went, talking about her period for the next 5 minutes. I was so embarrassed that I could only laugh. Crystal just chuckled and talked back with mom as if she were talking about the weather.
Finally, Crystal was done curling mom’s hair. She fluffed it up and it looked so cute; then she began spraying her hair. But mom could only see the one rogue hair atop that head of hers. She grabbed the bottle of hairspray from Crystal, held it one inch away from her hair and began plastering her hair with the spray.
“Let me show you, this is what I do, see? I do it like this so it stays down.”
Crystal’s eyes bulged just a little bit as she witnessed mom’s hair process (this was probably a hairstylists nightmare! ha ha) but all we could do was sit back and chuckle.
I told mom she looked pretty and tried to get a picture of her. Crystal got in beside her and urged her to take a picture with her. She doesn’t really understand the concept of pictures anymore; this was all I could get.
On another note…I think it’s time to get those “oops” cards out again!!