Fringe Benefits

I could not put it off any longer – I could not see out from under my fringe. I HAD to do something about having my hair cut, trauma or no trauma

So, yesterday I crept back to the hair salon – a sort of spur of the moment, “maybe my brain won’t realise that it needs to panic if I don’t make too much of it” decision.

It was no use – the instant I walked in through the salon doors, the Foreign Language department in my brain put up a “Closed on account of previous traumatic language foreign speaking experience in this location” sign.

I stammered and spluttered through “we want haircuts”: my husband had bravely decided to join me – his first haircut in China even though we have lived here for 2 years! We were given the option of three possible stylists: owner – RMB 100; 2nd most experienced – RMB 60; or apprentice – RMB 30. I decided that the owner should have the honour of cutting my hair and picked the next most experienced stylist for my husband.

My haircut went fine – I managed to rectify the damage inflicted by the RMB 30-apprentice that cut it 4 months ago. (On that fateful day I somehow missed out on the option of choosing which stylist.) The apprentice had done to my fringe what many gardeners do to their lawns and flowerbeds – “let’s just neaten it out a bit more; trim a little bit more from there; cut it back a bit here along the edges a little bit more”… and before you know it you have an enormous gap between the lawn and the flowerbed. In my case I ended up with too broad a fringe extending WAY across my forehead. Note to self: don’t assume that the stylist knows what he is doing even if he has an extensive array of scissors, brushes and combs in a very fancy briefcase. [Actually I am making it sound worse than it was – mostly he did a great job, but this was the one area that I had to fault him on.]

Anyway, this time I made sure that the stylist knew that I was unimpressed with the previous over-generous, extensive fringe and that I needed “more lawn and less flowerbed”. I said it at the beginning and I said it again later. Well, what I mean is that I communicated with one word sentences: too much, not good, need less, and used sign language to make sure I was understood. She got the message – now I have the correct width of fringe and just a few more weeks of waiting for the damaged lawn area to grow out properly.

My husband is happy with the results of his haircut too! He thought he would be finished long before me, but his cut ended up taking longer. He was very impressed with the care and attention to detail that the stylist put into his cutting efforts.

So we have survived this round.

Except for the Foreign Language Department melt-down – clearly some intensive trauma counselling sessions are needed here….


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