Out of sight, ingrained in Mind

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The other day I briefly wrote about a horrific discovery made on My Very Own Head by my (now former) very own hairdresser. ("Now former" because of reasons you'll soon comprehend.)

Before I continue I want to adhere to the laws of Responsible Blogging (stop laughing!) and warn you: This horrific discovery is far worse than being notified that an entire army of headlice (or whatever the collective term for them might be. Troupe? Flock? Pack?) have forever embedded themselves into one's scalp and skull and are steadily, inch by inch and itch by itch, working their way towards one's brain.

Oh, yes, the discovery I'm about to speak of is worse than that.

And even though I have already mentioned it here, I feel that for my own therapeutic reasons (isn't that why we all keep blogs anyway?) and to keep my own insanity intact, I need to elaborate.

Okay, so about three weeks ago I went to the hairdresser to get my Rapunzel-like mane tamed and trimmed.

This is not so much a treat as it is an absolute necessity, for if I don't have the coif maintained and contained, it takes on a monstrous life of its own, terrorizing puppies and small children and the boy when he sees me in the morning.

So as you can probably imagine, this monthly trip to the salon is a time-consuming ritual that can easily last up to a full work day:

After the shampooing, the deep-conditioning, and the painful detangling (at which time they also remove any small animals and birds that may have become entangled in my hair since my previous visit), at least one full foot of hair gets shorn from my head. That is, if I'm there for a light trim. If I've skipped a previous appointment, they aim the shears about half a foot higher.

Then comes the industrial sized, hurricane-strength hairdryer, a contraption that, when switched on "low," emits gale force winds.

But only after the people in surrounding buildings have been notified and evacuated does it get turned on...

It is LOUD! So in order to regale the hairdresser with the sordid details of my oh-so-fascinating life, I have to SPEAK UP! (Funny, but now that I think about it, she always turns the dryer up another notch as soon as I begin to speak...)

And since hairdressers are supposed to be engaging and gossipy, I coax and interrogate nicely ask her a series of non-rhetorical questions, but she keeps on turning up the setting of the hairdryer and pretends not to hear me.

In fact, the only time she speaks is when she mutters comments about the state of my hair, which I have to decipher by reading her lips in the mirror when she looks at me.

Thus I've become able to fluently lipread words and phrases like "Gorilla;" "Baboon;" "Shave it all;" (But honestly, I readily admit that it could also be "Shove it all") and "Should've never left Africa." There are a few more, but I'm not sure I can repeat it in polite company. Or yours.

Anyway, I don't really blame the hairdresser for not having the strength to yell over the din of the hairdryer. Blow-drying my hair is, after all, a labour-intensive process which lasts several hours. Especially since I get all fussy and demand to not only have it dried, but... gasp! I get all picky and insists that she blow-dries it STRAIGHT!

This results in something resembling a wrestling match. As soon as the hairdryer appears, every strand of hair on my head springs to life like the coiling snakes on Medusa's head. The hairdresser tackles them with steely resolve and a comb made of real fangs, bravely lifting and layering and combing and separating and blowdrying.

It was during this all-engrossing process of lifting, layering, combing, separating and blowdrying that I lipread the hairdresser chirpily saying the following: "Oh, yes. Your hair looks much better when it's straight."

I nodded happily.

And then, as if in slow-motion, it hit me: SHE gave me a compliment!

I knew right then that something was off. Because I knew that she would never give me a compliment and LOOK THAT HAPPY ABOUT IT!

So I mentally backed up, pressed rewound in my mind's eye, and reread what I thought her lips had said.

What I saw upon instant replay made me sit up with a jolt.

Because she said (and suddenly I understood why she looked so smug and happy): "Oh, look! You have a whole stripe of grey hair at the back of your head!"

(And yes, DON'T tell me how that didn't sound anything close to what I had lipread first. Did I mention that she doesn't really move her lips when she speaks anyway?)

She immediately summoned all the other hairdressers in the room to hold up mirrors at the back so that I could see the devastation for myself: A thick, skunk-like stripe of grey hair running smack down the middle of my head.

"But I'm not even THIRTY yet." I wailed. (And I wasn't, three weeks ago.)

So now I'm old, and I have a Skunk Stripe Somewhere at the Back of my Head.

And I swear, whenever I walk past people, I can hear audible gasps.

And when I go to restaurants and bars, instead of being carded like before, the waiter and bartender now want to know what they can get me and the Skunk Stripe at the Back of my Head.

Oh, and I need a new hairdresser. My hair has grown another foot.

Which means that the Skunk Stripe at the Back of My Head is also a foot longer.

P.S. She had a gigantic booger removed from her nose today. (Thank you for updating us on her condition! Mwah!) Go give her some love. Get well soon, girlie girl! In fact, we want you drinking heavily by Sunday, since it'll be yer birthday and all.

P.P.S. He has some tips about generating blog traffic. Listen to him, for he is a Marketing Expert. Plus, he called me a world-class blogger! Okay, fine... so I just blew his reputation as an authority on blogging. Don't worry, it was just a moment of temporary insanity on his part. He just pities me because I'm a fellow South African and I'm homesick.


mice said:

"Tell 'im to take it out. It makes 'im look like a bloody skunk."

Cockney speaking personal assistnat to Professor Data in "All Good Things" STAR TREK:TNG

By the way. Mine is in the front.

kellen said:

be grateful, red. i'm not even going to tell you where i found three grey hairs last month. eep! (and i'm only 23.)

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


  • kellen : be grateful, red. i'm not even going to tell you where i found three grey hairs last month. eep! (... [go]
  • mice : "Tell 'im to take it out. It makes 'im look like a bloody skunk." Cockney speaking personal assistn... [go]
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