Living in Western Massachusetts and the Bay Area of California, even staying in Westchester County NY, I have gone to places to get my hair cut, styled even on occasion. These shops could honestly and rightly be called "salons", "hair places", even a "spa" or two. However yesterday I had a whole different experience. You know the place in "the neighborhood" where your grandmother spent the better part of Saturday morning, like thirty years ago? Well I'm here to say those places still exist.
Sure there are salons out here where BC lives but I am on a budget. There is a nice looking one just about two blocks away - convenient I agree but a tad pricey. For BC this place is too "frou-frou", she tried and felt all the extra attention was wasted on her. She likes to get in, get out. Given all that I decided to go where she gets her lovely salt and pepper, er, can't say locks - she wears it quite short, um hair cut. I had plenty of warning from BC about this establishment. "It's where all the blue-hairs go." "I might be the youngest client they have." Um, okay.
Upon arrival I was enthusiastically greeted and welcomed by Nancy who apparently runs the place. Her hair was teased about 3 to 4 inches high and colored, well I'm not quite sure how to described other than distinctly unnaturally blond. On the counter was a small menorah with bright silver candles. As she moved there were delicate sounds her jewelry clanking together while she warned me that she was trouble, with a wink. The gentleman who would cut my hair was finishing up with a client, who if I based his talent on her I would have ran out screaming. Her hair was a large mousy brown bubble of rolled, teased, and sprayed within an inch of it's life of something that might have once been hair.
Another woman graciously showed me where coats where hung and even took it from me to place my red with black woven ribbon in vaguely tribal designs coat to spend time with the muted tones of the "blue hairs'" respectable, understated winter apparel. I was offered coffee, which imagining extremely weak Maxw*ll House that had been sitting far too long, I politely declined.
Soon I was in his chair with wet hair that had been shampooed with enough soap to wash Cousin Itt. As we were discussing what I wanted, the client who had just left his chair waved to him saying, "I feel like a whole new woman!". Under his breath but loud enough for me to hear he said "Ugly hair style" and I could swear he shuddered. Politely I responded with "Well it is perhaps a bit dated, but it seems to make her happy." Charbel, (yes that's his name) is fifty if he's a day and he's probably closer to sixty, wore slacks and a tailored shirt which had the first two buttons under allowing just a few wisps of his chest hair to make themselves known. On on arm he wore two serious gold bracelets. He spoke with an accent that was hard to discern but given everything I am thinking possible middle-eastern Jewish background.
As I was readying to leave he came over to take another look at my hair (which seems to be a promising cut by the way) and noticed I had some hairs on my face. As he brought the towel to me to gently brush away the trimmings I simply closed my eyes. "Ah, good you trust me," he said, and with that gave me a peck on my cheek, wishing me happy holidays. At the counter I was delighted that this good cut and amusing experience on cost $31 plus tip! Truly a bargain.
I giggled all the way to my car.