Breaking Up Is The Hardest Cut
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
It was a few days after David Cook’s American Idol coup. For me, it was one of those good hair days. I felt pretty great with my spunky, short do and my cool non-mom jeans. I was busy trying to cram 100,000 things into a day and I stopped at Wal-Mart for a few essentials. Breezing through the checkout with my bad self, I noticed the cashier eyeing me with, what I knew to be, great admiration. After a few minutes of her obvious, envious ogling, she smiled and said, “So, you got a David Cook haircut?”

My inflated sense of self made that high-pitched squeak when all its air is forced out. “Wh…what?” I choked.

“David Cook. You got your hair cut like his.”

My hand flew to my non-David Cook hair. “No, no!” I stammered. “I’ve been wearing my hair like this long before David Cook was singing sexy, rock versions of Mariah Carey.”

I wanted to cry. I mean, I like David Cook. I think he’s a pretty hot guy, but I certainly don’t want to LOOK like him.

She told me it was “all cool.” She told me her sister was a hairdresser and she’d been getting a lot of requests for the David Cook Do. “Yeah, from dudes!” I hissed as I snatched my WalMart bags off the little rounder gizmo and fled with my David Cook Do bobbing frantically.

On my drive home, I weighed the pros and cons of telling my family this story. Bad judgment won out and of course, they found my sad tale a fantastic crack-up.

I broke up with my hairdresser after that.

I’m not trying to dis my hairdresser, in the least. It was a great cut. He was a skilled hairdresser and a lovely man. But, he just didn’t really get my shorthaired soul. I tried to stay loyal. I tried to make things work, but in the end, I had to go.

It wasn’t him. It was me.

The final straw came when I found out my ex was back in town.

My hairdresser, the one of my dreams, the one I was destined to be with forever, had left me a few years ago. We’d been together 12 years. The first time I sat in her chair, she reinvented me as a platinum blonde. I was hers forever. And then, just when I started taking our hairdressing relationship for granted, it happened. She met a man, fell in love, got married and moved to his homeland of Australia.

I was devastated.

I wandered through the next few years, dissatisfied and misunderstood. I can’t tell you how many times I had to say, “No, I mean short, like really short.” Hairdressers are afraid of my kind of short. My kind of short usually sends women screaming out the door threatening lawsuits at the top of their lungs. My kind of short is hard to capture because if not done just right, I can look like I’m gonna beat someone’s ass for voting yes on banning same-sex marriages. (Which by the way Florida and California, um, maybe we shouldn’t go there. But, I just have to say….why do we heterosexuals have the right to decree the law? Methinks everyone has the right to a happy life. EVERYONE!)

When I finally found someone, I thought could replace my hairdresser, he told me I should go darker and longer. I did it for as long as I could stand. I now know I am never meant to be a non-blonde longhaired girl. One of my friends put it best, when she said, after I had enough and cut it off, “I’m glad to see you’re done fooling around with the Sanjaya look.”

Yes, It was that bad.

When I tried to explain my shorthaired needs, my new hairdresser would smile and nod as if he understood. But, it just wasn’t the same. I tried to pretend for his sake. But, my heart and hair were longing for another, far on the other side of the world.

Then, I heard, she was back with her Australian mate.

I’m a very bad breaker-upper. I feel terrible about this. I feel like I should have at least taken my hairdresser out for drinks and explained to him that as much as we tried, we both knew deep in our hearts that this just wasn’t working. But, I didn’t. I slunk away, a coward through and through. I just quit calling. I stopped making appointments. I worry now that I will run into him in the grocery store or the dry cleaners and how will I ever explain my new do. I know it was ugly of me, but I ran back into the arms of her beauty chair.

I didn’t have to say a word. I didn’t have to say, “Really short, but not butch. I don’t want to be butch. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” I didn’t have to say, “Don’t leave it long in the back, because you’re worried that you’ve cut it too short and keeping some length in the back will redeem the cut. Really, I don’t want to look like I’m sporting a mullet. It’s hard enough, consistently dodging the fashion traps of a small southern town. Please, I beg you, no mullets.”

I didn’t have to say anything. With just one look, she pulled out her scissors and her razor and her blondie, blonde hair colors. “You’re too yellow. You’re supposed to be white and cream.” And she went to town, making me short and choppy, but not butch, giving me the priceless gift of looking in the mirror and sighing contentedly.

I’m reunited and it feels so good with the only one who understands my white and cream, shorthaired soul.

Today’s Twist Your Arm Download: The Ting-Ting’s “That’s Not My Name.” It’s punky and sassy just like my hair. A great song that’ll stay in your head, (in a good way) all the day long.


Melanie said...

YES!! Donna's back in town and we are all lovely for it!!
Good one, Jo... umm, JoANN.

Sarah Ohio said...

I LOVE that song!!!

ProudSister said...

I love, love, love this entry. I think I've felt less guilty about breaking up with a guy than breaking up with a hairdresser. Your hair is rockin' in that picture, by the way.

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