Grace had a busy week. She had one thing on her mind....well, several things on her mind....mostly relating to the return of her Blackberry that had been taken as a punishment, facebook, our plans to leave for Boston, pasta for dinners, homework (in that order) and the words I heard every morning and every afternoon, " I really want to get my hair cut this week!" "What do you think?" "MOM, come quick!" ....I run like my hair's on fire.......Grace points to the computer screen .....Don't you think my hair would look good like this?" As we hurry off to the hair salon for the much discussed hair surrender, Grace says, "I hope I like my hair cut"....."I know I won't like my hair cut!" What? What? What do you mean, "I know I'm not going to like my hair cut?" What are you thinking. Why would you think that? I say this as we pull into the parking lot of the hair salon within minutes of her scheduled appointment. Huh? Why would you think that? You always get great hair cuts. "I know, but I just know that I won't like it.....at first." Huh. "Oh," I say as though I understand what this child of mine is talking about.
The car is still running in front of the upscale hair salon. I said, "Well, the nice thing is that your hair grows fast even if you really don't like it." NO! That's not it. It's just that I want this much off....she gestures and folds back her locks. A major decision. Oh. Calmly, I mention that maybe it would be a good idea to have that very long 15 year old styled hair cut in increments. It could be a shock to the system that our Grace just can't handle. Simply put, she could freak out.
This is why I suggest the gradual chop. I know this girl. I have some flashbacks from a couple of teen hair drama myself. A girl and her pony tail are not easily separated. It's like an old friend. Very long pony tails swinging and bobbing and flailing and twisted up into one of those fluffed and twirled, spun and swirled, poked and pulled through a colorful rubber twisty is like an Olympic sport ...... only to be entered by a girl of 15. The training of this sport called pony tailing is intuitive for any girl in her teen years. It's new....something hair cool that we didn't have "back in the day"....we had long straight pony tails...no twirl, spin, flop and swish. Of course, I always had a ribbon. Ribbons are too tightly wrapped these days. Too contrived. BUT a ribbon is considered in perfectly good taste when sporting team colors while playing a sport....preferably a running sport so the pony tail can swing and swish from side to side.
So, after my teenage girl turns to me and tells me that she knows what she wants and lets me know that it's not may hair, it's her hair...she can get it cut how she wants.....she knows what she likes....we walk into the hair salon and let it be known that we/she has arrived. After consulting and discussing and looking and reiterating, I attempt to put in my 2 cents....after all, I am the one paying...in more ways than one. If this takes a bad turn....as I speak, my "child" looks at me, rolls her eyes that tell me she doesn't need me to explain for her. So true. Except, I was hoping to explain, selfishly, because I knew that we (Grace, Biff, T.J. and I) would be living with that hair cut....and hearing about that hair cut everyday until ......forever.
AND what about me? I'm still having flashbacks from my 14 year old hair cut that created havoc for the whole Memorial Day weekend....and the time I let my mother ( a retail executive, not a hair stylist....not even a seamstress with decent scissors!) cut my hair one Sunday night....I begged. I didn't want to wait for a hair appointment at Best & Co. I wanted it cut right then and there and /__/ '/'/'/chop, chop, slide up, chop, chop, slide up.....oh let me even this out..../////chop////'''''////chop, slide...TEARS...BURSTING TEARS AND SOBS....and that was just my mother....I hadn't even begun to acknowledge the horror! My oldest brother heard the noise and commotion from his room. He walked out to us, standing on heaps of honey colored hair, by the hall mirror. Yikes. He said, "You better let her take the day off from school tomorrow....that's rough." and walked back into his room....for peace, I imagine.
That's just the tip of the iceberg! There's lots more but the post traumatic stress might kick in if I keep going.Just let me say, that last example.....was the reason that my hair was pulled back for the rest of the school year....it was out of necessity since half of my hair was to my ear and the other side was almost shoulder length. For years, my mom pleaded her case, " You wouldn't wait for the appointment. Those scissors were no good!"
I left the salon. Whatever would be would be. Whatever was ours to see.Que seraah, serahhhh! I said a prayer. O.K., I said lots of prayers. Then, the phone call. It was time for the unveiling. I arrived at the salon. I opened the door. Grace looked at me. Her hair looked beautiful. She appeared a bit subdued....especially for someone who had just been pampered. Snip, snip here. Snip, snip there...and a couple of la di das. After I offered my compliments and effusive comments, I asked how she liked it. She mumbled that she liked it.
Later, it came out. It was a great hair cut. Grace was happy. She liked it. It was what she wanted. BUT, she was bothered. She was upset. She was frustrated. She was hysterical. Huh? Yup. Welcome to my world. Grace felt that I should not have "butted in" about her hair cut....after all, she is 15 years old. She knows how to talk to her hair dresser. She knew what she wanted. It was her hair. Actually, it was her life. I was treating her like she was in second grade. Didn't I know how stupid it made her feel......................... .........................
Huh. Had she forgotten that she asked me to come in with her. Had she forgotten how unsure she was....until moments before we walked in the door. Had she forgotten that the last thing she said, when I asked her why she was expecting not to like her cut......"I don't like change....it takes me awhile to get used to things."
Me too. I have a teenager. Actually, I have two teenagers. Thankfully, T.J. just lets me buzz his head....
Oh, by the way...so does Biff.