Ever since I met him, the beau didn’t like the way his hair was cut. They always hacked it too short, forcing his flowing curls into an unnatural box shape. For nearly five years, it went on like this. Finally I told him, look. Maybe you should try somewhere other than Supercuts. Maybe you should try my lady.
My lady. If there’s one lady we all need, it’s a hair lady. Preferably one who can do spot-on impersonations and dishes dirt like a champion. So I took the plunge and called to make appointments for each of us, the beau and I, back to back.
If there’s one thing I may never get used to in my upcoming marriage, it’s booking appointments for another person. The fact that here I was a woman scheduling a grooming appointment for a man added a whole new dimension of insecurity, for in such instances I tend to assume the person on the other end of the line assumes that I am a shrewish busybody who has taken full control of maintaining my partner’s appearance. Thank heavens for gender stereotypes, or else I might be naturally confident and balanced!
I didn’t have a plan when I dialed the phone number for the salon, which is never a good sign.
“HELLO!” I began briskly when the receptionist picked up. So far, so good. “I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A HAIRCUT FOR ME…” — at this point I suddenly realized I didn’t know what to call us, so I made a serious attempt to cover my tracks with aimless mumbling — “…and uh, me and my, uhhh, fiance.”
“What?” the receptionist asked.
Whywhywhy did you call him that? my brain shrieked silently.
“My fiance?” I inquired, timidly, like I wasn’t really sure and looking for some positive reinforcement.
“OK?” she ventured.
“For haircuts?” I volleyed back.
“Let me look at the schedule,” she said.
Yes. Please do that. Before I make this conversation even more awkward than it already is.
SUDDEN SHAMELESS WEDDING SIDEBAR: One of the very first wedding decisions I ever made, in fact the first wedding decision I made, was to hire my hair lady to fix my wedding hair, and to also fix the hair of my mother, the beau’s mother, and the brigadiers. This was way back in the wedding planning dark ages when we thought we were getting married in Monterey, even. After we settled on Santa Barbara, the fabled hair lady was the one who suggested we check out her caterer friend, who coincidentally lives a block down the street from us — and who also ended up actually being on our venue’s approved vendor list. Our caterer then, in turn, suggested we use his boyfriend as our DJ. So basically, hair lady is the genesis of our entire fucking wedding.
Anyway! For the record, the beau liked his new cut, and has accepted hair lady as his own. Since then, I have devised a plan. Now, when I call up the salon, I will ask to make hair appointments for “two people.” Because that’s who we are, right? Just two people. Plain folks, hangin’ out. No one person in control of the other. Except for, you know. The fact that I forced him to start coming to my hair lady.*
So I will keep on braving awkward phone conversations to schedule our haircuts together, especially because of our new routine. Now, after our appointments are done, we walk down the street to that one bar where the bartender has missing teeth and the back patio always smells like french fry grease and regret. We get a couple of drinks and toast our new looks. Because nothing says awesome like a fresh new ‘do.
I know this because the hair lady told me so.
* Most likely by withholding sex.