I was gettin my hair done today, because I change my hair everytime I find myself forgetting my priorities–and whenever I’ve worked enough to deserve it–but this time was different than the usual experience.
To be truthful, I dont even really like the hair dresser I go to. She is quite infantilizing , and fluffs my hair up til I look like white scary spice, but she is aware of my disability. By “aware”, i mean she is willing to shuffle me from dyeing chair to rinsing chair without fear of lawsuit, which is understandably rare.
So, I contend with all the “sweeties” and “I’ll take care of yous” in the name of making half my hair dark and the other half blond. I wade through an hour and a half of shitty Elle mags in order to be an inch or two closer to the models they bombard me with. And then I leave, $200 poorer, with a different version of the same frizzy-haired me.
Not so today though. Hairdresser was in the middle of my rinse&tone(heyyyyy), when, in between the spurts of water and conditioning, I heard a voice.
“Well, I’m sure you give that girl in the chair a discount. And she’s a mess.” The voice was unwavering, but there was another girl in the back with me, so I momentarily tried to pretend the comment was about her, and waited for the rinsing scalp message. A few minutes later, the employee that dealt with unwavering voice, came to vent to Hairdresser while she was in the middle of digging her nails into my head. The conversation went like this:
“You know that woman that you called that name this morning?”
Hairdresser: “Oh yes. What about it?”
“She was mad, and said this one’s a mess”
My eyes were closed, and I was trying to bask in this paid-for comfort, but the fact that they were indirectly talking about me, as I lay vulnerably in the hair-rinse position, began to choke me.
“I told you what she is.” Hairdresser replied sternly, “As if she could say anything about this sweet girl.”
My stomach jolted, as neither of these hairdressers realized (or cared) that the water didn’t drown out their not-so-subtle convo.
“Yeah, you were very right” her confidant replied, giggling and returning to the front desk.
Now, before yous go off with what you would’ve done, had you been the one gettin your hair did, chilllll. People are constantly telling me their opinions of how they would’ve reacted had that old person smiled at them like that, or if a guy had asked them that inappropriate question, but they’re missing something: truth.
The truth here is that I am a mess. For all I know, that rude woman saw me enter the place shivering, with my foot falling off its rest, and my hair flying in every direction, as if to scream “help”. She could’ve seen me having the dryer globe overtop my head, trying to position my head in a way that would avoid weird spasms and still allow me to read my Facebook feed. There’s a good chance she saw me contemplating how to walk backwards onto the rinse chair. In all depictions, I’m sure I am a spectacle, and I have trouble being angry with someone who is honest, even if I am hurt.
If I had a disability that somehow allowed me more elegance, or a circumstance which didn’t constantly offer me up as some sort of Exhibition figure, I might’ve interrupted my once-wonderful hair rinse to voice my anger. But my guts for matters like this rely on a sense of completely hypocrisy, lying, or other lunacy to be evoked, none of which were prominent here.
And, of course, I said nothing.
But now I carry it around with me, trying not to frown over it. Heaven forbid truthful but rude statements cause another wrinkle in my forehead and hole in my stomach.
In awesome news, its halloween! use this weekend to be spectacularly slutty. Jesus loves you!