Saturday, December 19, 2009

All My Own Fault

Now I know you'll say it's all my own fault for going back to the same old hairdresser, Mad Barbara.

But, as usual, I'd waited until I couldn't stand my hair another moment and I didn't have time to find someone else. So off I went, teetering along the icy pavements the couple of hundred yards from our house.

She has a new junior. She often has a new junior. They never stay long. I thought of whispering to this one, "Leave now, whilst you're still sane".

Mad Barbara throws up such a cloud of words that it's hard to follow what she's saying a lot of the time.

"Now, you were last here in August - - no, that can't be right - - what does it say on your card?"

"October" I said.

"Oh yes, October," she said, "but I didn't write the colour number down."

Did this surprise me? No. She's in a perpetual fog about the numbers which apply to different hair colours. Once, you may recall, my hair ended up bright ginger and it's always a bit hit and miss.

As a matter of fact my hair - like my mother's - is hardly grey at all, just a few bits round the edges. The reason I have it dyed is not so much vanity, more that in the roleplay I do, I very rarely play my own age, usually younger, and I hope that the lack of grey hair helps with that illusion.

We all peered at the colour chart. Barbara asked me what I'd like. 675? 673? This one was a bit warmer. This one was a bit darker. Barbara mentioned just about every number between 600 and 800.

"I don't care, just get on with it and get me out of here," is not the answer they're looking for, so I picked a colour.

The junior started to put it on.

After a little while, Barbara came over and did the usual thing she does of saying "Is that how they teach you at college? Well they're telling you all wrong, then. Oh, dear oh dear." And then she demonstrates how she'd do it.

Only this time she noticed that the colour wasn't the one I'd picked.

"This is too dark! What have you done?" she asked of the trembling junior.

"Er - - you said 775," said the junior.

"SIX hundred and seventy five, that's what I said!" exclaimed Barbara.

"No, you said 775," insisted the junior bravely.

A small animated discussion ensued, which Barbara won. I had no idea what she had actually said, since she had mentioned so many numbers, and I'm not surprised that the junior was confused.

My hair had to be washed to get rid of 775, and then 675 had to be put on, and this took longer than it took for dinosaurs to evolve into birds.

After it was washed, it had to be dried and at one point I had both of them pointing hairdryers at me. It was like being in a rather warm gale.

"Oh, you are being pampered this morning!" she said.

I said nothing. NOTHING was what I said. I am never more quiet than at the hairdresser's.

Then she started to cut my hair and she said that thing she always says. "It does grow wild, doesn't it? It's really thick, isn't it?"

It's not polite to say "Like you, you mean?" so I never do, but I always want to, and then I always feel bad for wanting to.

Then she moved on to the topic of my mother and how she's really mentally alert for her age. And then came what always comes from everyone - -

"You don't look anything like your mum, do you? And your hair's not like hers at all."

They always say it with a faint hint of accusation, as if I'd somehow swapped myself with my mother's proper baby. It's happened all my life and I always feel somehow in the wrong and that I'm a big disappointment whenever it's said.

"No, I look like my Dad. And he had curly hair like mine."

"Oh, poor you, inheriting it."

Did I say anything about what she'd inherited and from whom? No, I did not. I said NOTHING.

"And your Mum's so little. Was your Dad really tall, then?"

Okay, now I thought I'd have to say something, because suddenly I felt like a strange, curly-haired giant and it wasn't a good feeling. And actually, I'm quite short - it's just that my mother is tiny.

"I'm only five feet four. I'm not tall. And my Dad was only five feet eight."

"Oh, no, you're not five feet four. You're much taller than that. You should measure yourself. You're much taller. Fancy thinking that you're only five feet four! Hahahahaha!"

"Barbara, you are not only very rude to your staff and remarkably disorganised, but you are possibly the most stupid person that I have ever met."

No, I didn't say it. I paid and I left.

I'm not going back. I mean it.


Blogger WendyCarole said...

I wonder you have stuck it out so long. I had my hair cut today the young lady who used to do mine has left and so I have had to start aain with another young lady. But I am pleased with the result. I have been going to the same place for over 10 years now. Stylists come and go and its a pain getting used to a new one. But I don't think I could cope with Barbara! I bet the junoiur wont be there long!

2:34 pm  
Blogger mumof4 said...

Please tell me you didn't give her a Christmas tip!

2:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make a resolution for 2010.

Repeat after me, three times:

'I will never go to Mad Barbara again!'

and then stick to it.

Daphne, you deserve better than to let that mad woman or her juniors loose on your hair.


3:49 pm  
Anonymous ruth said...

I don't believe you.
Oh, a believe everything you say about your hairdresser appointment. I don't beleive you are not going back.

Unless you canvass every female Leeds resident you know and find the name and number of a different hairdresser, in a few months time you will be back at Mad Barbara's enduring another appalling experience. It makes great blog reading but please don't feel you have to continue going to her for our sakes.

By the way, what colour is your hair now?

4:08 pm  
Anonymous Milo said...

I'm not going to be popular but please DON'T STOP USING BARBARA as I will seriously miss the laughter I get from reading about your escapades each time you go!

4:55 pm  
Anonymous Jo said...

one thing i have to say "supercuts!"
You turn up, don't book an appointment, you have to wait in a queue but during a weekday its not too long. They cut your hair and leave.

There is one in crossgates and whiterose...
Its where i have had my hair cut for over a year... and my hair is awesome!

6:44 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I don't believe it for one minute.

7:20 pm  
Blogger Jennytc said...

You could colour your hair yourself - cheaper and quicker and just go for the cut and blow.
All my life, I have longed for curly hair!!

9:32 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

"Mad Barbara". I am surprised she attracts any clients with such a name over the front of her salon! Usually hairdressers play around with words that suggest their trade - "Cuts of Class", "Hairlines", "Cut N Blow", "The Hair Room" - at least that's what they do in Sheffield. Perhaps in Leeds they are more likely to call a spade a spade so that a butcher might be entitled "The Dead Meat Company" or an Estate Agent - "Stand and Deliver! Ltd". I am just surmising.

10:58 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Wendy - sadly there's only usually Barbara there, she frightens anyone else away - though two new stylists were starting today - - I bet they're not there by January though.
Mumof4 - - actually, I very nearly tried to negotiate a Christmas discount!
Lucy - thank you, I have repeated it three times and I am GOING to stick to it.
Ruth - - yes, I take your point but I MUST find somewhere else! My hair's a sort of lightish gingerish brown.
Milo - yes, I find it quite entertaining too - - though today I thought I'd commit murder if I stayed there a moment longer!
Jo - your hair is awesome but it was ALWAYS awesome. I may combine your suggestion and Jennyta's and see if that works! Thanks to you both.
Bob - if you ever come to Leeds I'm taking you straight there for a haircut. THEN you'd believe me.
YP - don't be silly, of course it's not called Mad Barbara's - that would never attract any custom, would it? It's called Sweeney Todd's.

11:21 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Of course I believe there is such a place and that Mad Barbara reigns supreme. What I don't believe is that you won't be going back.

9:43 pm  
Blogger Debby said...

Oh Daphne, I do believe you're delusional! Leave Barbara? I will believe it when I see it!

3:55 pm  
Blogger Silverback said...

Like your hair, this post and it's comments seem to have taken on a life of their own.

My two cents worth (which is appropriate considering where I am) is to simply say the post title says it all. I'm never sure who is madder; her for just being mad or you for going back time after time. I suspect SHE can't help it.

Until you leave this woman, I reserve the right to laugh at your hair. As always.

6:57 pm  

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