Tom was excited to see how Stephanie’s first day at work went. He was so proud of her. Knowing how hard it was for her to actually go out and find a job, being so shy and all. He was waiting at the table for almost 1/2 hour for Stephanie to show up. He had ordered her a ‘Candy Apple martini’ and had already had a drink himself. He was beginning to get worried, she was late. She’s never late. Then he hears Stephanie’s voice. “Hi Tom”.
He looks up expecting to see Stephanie as she left in the morning. A very cute, typical looking, 22 year old young lady.
Only to see a bleached Champaign blond – ahhhhhh pinkish, highly teased haired, heavily made-up woman standing in front of him and breasts, pointed breasts peeking out at him through her sweater.
“STEPHANIE?…. Is that you???”
“Ohhhh Tom,” Stephanie says as she sits down at the table. She picks up her martini and gulps down the whole thing. “Look what they’ve done to me”. I look like some whore from the 1960’s.”
The waitress who also has been staring at Stephanie sees that Stephanie had finished her drink and comes over and asks them if they would like another round. Tom looks up to answer only to be interrupted by Stephanie. “Yeah, better make me two.”
Tom not wanting to upset her anymore and knowing how important this job is to them just tries to calm her down. “Stephanie it’s not bad at all. It’s just a little different than we’re used too. It actually looks quite nice. It makes you look aâ€¦ aâ€¦ a… little older too. You always said people think your still in high school. It will just take a little getting used to.”
“What do you meanâ€¦ get used to? I can’t go around looking like this.” Stephanie replies.
“Stephanie, the job? You have to keep the job, at least until we find you another one.” Tom continues.
“I know, I know, and they’re sooooo nice there too. They really think this looks good. They actually mixed the color special for you. Because I told them you liked my pink streak. They really did mean well. They treat me so good. Edna even gave me money to cover tonight’s dinner and Victoria gave me these clothes. She told me to enjoy the night and don’t worry if I’m late tomorrow. They’re so nice there, all of them. They really like me. I even hear Edna gives bonuses just because she likes to. She’s got a lot of money and she likes to give her staff bonuses for no real reason. She’ll make up some reason. But still, look at me. Just look at me. What I am supposed to do?” Stephanie asks as she gulps down her second martini.
“You look fine. Actually, sorta hot. Really hot.Â Â Just don’t worry. We’ll think of something. Let’s just enjoy tonight out. Tonight out on Edna, for now.”
“Tom, look at me. Hot? I look like a whore. Just look at me. Everyone is looking at me. I hate it, you know that.” Stephanie is now starting to feel her two martinis and has started sipping her third.
“Steph, they’re only jealous, especially the guys. They see a hot woman with me and they’re jealous.” Tom says trying to calm her down.
“Yea, they see you with some whore and wonder what we’re going to do next.” Stephanie says, obviously still upset.
By now they have finally ordered there meal and were eating. Walker’s has great food and they were now just enjoying their meal. Stephanie had, for the most part and with the help of the martini’s, forgotten about her new look and was being herself. After the meal they headed home. Fortunately for Tom, he had taken a cab to Walker’s so they wouldn’t have to drive home separately. Little did he know Stephanie would be in no condition to drive home anyway. She drank more in one night than she had previously all year.
In the car, Stephanie started again talking about her new look. “You know Tom; I just can’t go around looking like this. But, they’re so nice there. I know I’ve only been there one day, but I like them. And Edna… she reminds me of my grandmother. So sweet, trying to help everyone and she likes me. She really likes me.”
Tom puts his arm around her and pulls her close to him, at the same time reaching up to run his hand through her hair. He was shocked at what he touched. It was like plastic. Nothing moved. It was like touching a helmet. He nonchalantly moved his hand back around her shoulder hoping Stephanie wouldn’t notice.
“Maybe… maybeâ€¦ you tell them that this look is the perfect look for a special occasion like last night. And how much I loved it, the color especially, but in today’s world it’s just not practical to have your hair fixed so… so… extravagant on a daily basis.” Tom started reasoning out. “Then, tomorrow before you go in, mess it up, mess it up a lot and tell them how it wouldn’t hold and you wouldn’t have time to fix it every morning like that.” Tom continued as he gives her a big squeeze. “Yea, that’s it. It’s really nice, but not practical in today’s world. What do ya think?”
Stephanie looks up at Tom. “I like it. And I won’t hurt anyone’s feelings that way. It’s just too much to maintain in todays fast past world. And you could take me tomorrow and thank them too and support me when I explain how hard I tried to fixing it in the morning. And… and the make-up. I can say was a great going out night time look, but for the day I prefer to use just a little make-up… ah… ah… becauseâ€¦ because it makes my skin break out. That’s it! That’s perfect! Stephanie blurted out.
The rest of the way home, Stephanie was all smiles. Her happy go lucky self just as she has been anytime she’s with Tom. At home, they made love. Stephanie much more aggressive than usual. It was like Tom was with a new woman. He loved it… they both loved it. Finally, they fell asleep in each others arms.
When morning came, Stephanie went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Her hair hadn’t changed one bit. All of the hairspray and gel that Martha used did its trick. It actually looked just as perfect as when she left the shop, yesterday. “OK Tom lets have breakfast and then you can help me mess up this hair.” They both enjoyed a big breakfast and laughed about how they were going to mess up that ‘DO’. After breakfast they both headed up to the bathroom.
“Now, we can’t make it look like we did it. It’s got to look like it happened natural,” Stephanie said. First Stephanie laid on the bed and tried to push the hair flat. That really didn’t work so she had Tom gently wet the flip side then she pulled it straighter. That seemed to work. They then would wet parts of her hair and pull it or push into or should I say out of shape. This is really the first time Stephanie could tell how long parts of her hair were. The nape was short, mid neck length short. From what she could tell the rest of the hair was still long. Probably an inch or two longer than shoulder length and the higher hair in the back actually was longer in the back. It looked shorter since it was all piled up high. That still seemed short to Stephanie, but she really couldn’t tell, because of the style. After about a half hour her hair looked naturally messed up. Tom could even run his fingers through some of it now. Stephanie made sure it looked like she tried to fix it. She then took off the heavy make-up and put a softer look on. “There… this looks good. This looks like it just didn’t hold last night and the make-up is something more practical for a work environment. Not to mention there’s less of it so my face won’t break out,” she giggled.
“Looks like a mess… a… natural mess. Hurry and put your uniform on and we’ll get going.” Tom said.
They pulled into the shop about 11:30 and both Stephanie and Tom. Edna was behind the desk and looked up as they entered. “Edna, I’d like you to meet Tom,” Stephanie said.
“Nice to meet you Tom,” Edna said while she was giving Stephanie’s hair the once over.
“Nice to meet you, maam. I just wanted to thank you for hiring Stephanie and for paying for our nice time last night. We had a great time and Stephanie looked just fantastic. I’ve never seen her look so good and that color… Wow.”
“Oh, that’s so nice of you to say. I usually have good judgment of people and I could tell Stephanie was going to fit in even before I hired her. Wait here a minute I want you to meet the person responsible for updating Stephanie’s look.” Edna then goes through the curtains to the backroom.
“You’ve never seen me look so good. You put it on a little thick didn’t you Tom?” Stephanie comments just as Edna walks back through to the front bringing Martha and Norma with her.
“Tom, this is Norma and this is Martha. Martha is really the creative genesis behind Stephanie’s updated look.” Edna says giving all the credit to Martha.
“Nice to meet both of you. Steph looked really special last night. It was a great look for a special occasion. As you can see, it’s doesn’t seem to be very practical for her on a daily basis. But, really nice for that special night and celebrating her new job. It was truly special.”
“Well thanks, that’s so nice to hear. You’re obviously right, that’s not a good everyday look for Stephanie. We’ll have to find something else for that.” Martha replies.
“Tom you better get going, I’ve got to get to work,” Stephanie says as she gives him a big kiss.
As Tom leaves Edna turns to Martha and says, “Martha you were right. It didn’t hold. I’m sort of surprised with all the gel and hairspray you used.”
“Yea, she definitely needs a permanent to help that hair.” Martha adds
Stephanie’s eyes get real big and says, “No, I don’t think so. I just slept real hard on it last night. I don’t think I need a perm.”
“Oh, don’t worry none girl. You know were here to take care of you”. Edna replies.
“Come on back. I’ll wash you up and we’ll come up with something a little easier for you to manage. Norma, can you finish Mrs. Reynolds? I think I better get started on Stephanie right away.” Martha asks.
“Not a problem. Stephanie is really our priority today. We can’t let her go home for the weekend looking like that.” Norma answers.
Martha grabs Stephanie’s hand and they walk back to the shampoo area. “Boy, girl you sure do get special treatment. Edna must really like you.”
“Yea, aren’t I lucky? Martha, don’t you think you can just brush this style out and see how it looks today.” Stephanie says trying to talk Martha out of ‘fixing’ her hair again.
“No, no, you saw your hair. I’ve never seen anything like it. Your hair must not be able to hold any style at all. I can’t believe the way it looks. I used extra hold gel and enough hair spray to stiffen a wet noodle for a week. No, we shouldn’t put this off. You need a perm, a good perm to give your hair some holding power. And besides Tom, thought it was a little too fancy for an everyday look. So, if nothing else we better try to please him.” Martha explains.
“But Martha, you just bleached my hair yesterday. Don’t you think that’s too much stress on my hair too soon?”
“No, your hair’s in excellent shape. I conditioned it yesterday and I’ll do it again today. It’ll be fine.”
Stephanie leans back in the shampoo bowl. While Martha’s washing her hair, she’s trying to think of what else she could try to get out of this. Finally, Martha’s finished. Not that Stephanie wanted her to stop, it really felt good. Martha gives one of the best shampoo/messages Stephanie’s ever had.
“OK, into the chair.” Martha directs Stephanie.
Just then Edna comes around with the paychecks and hands one to Stephanie. “I get one too,” She asks as she looks at the amount? Her eyes got big. “This is only my second day. I haven’t even done anyone yet?”
“Of course you get one. You’re a part of this salon aren’t you? We’re a family here. We all take care of each other. Just like having Martha here trying to find you a nice look. We all take care of each other here.”
After Edna walked away, Martha explains how Edna is rich and just runs the shop because she likes it. She treats everyone here like family. “She’ll take care of you. Now, let’s get these rods in,” handing Stephanie a container holding the perm rods.
“Aren’t these kinda small? Won’t these make my hair too curly,” Stephanie shyly asks, obviously concerned.
“No, no, I just hope these do the trick. After seeing your hair this morning, obviously it doesn’t hold a curl. I think these should work and if not we’ll give you a tighter one next week. Like I’ve said before you’ve taken great care of your hair. It’s in great condition. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll try something else.” Martha went on.
Stephanie just sat there, handing Martha the perm rods. She was helpless. Thinking how she and Tom shouldn’t have done such a good job messing up her ‘flip’ from yesterday. Obviously, the plan backfired. Thinking how nice Edna and everyone else is here. Thinking of the money she made in just two days. Two days that she didn’t even do anything. But what’s she to do. Hopefully, whatever Martha does to her today won’t look as ridiculous as yesterday, she hopes.
“OK, ready? This is going to be cold.” Martha informs Stephanie. Martha has finished putting in the perm rods and was about to apply the solution. Stephanie looks in the mirror and sees her head full of tight rods as Martha starts squirting on the solution. She just shuts her eyes and looks down, as great a place this is to work she’s wondering what she has gotten herself into.
“Don’t worry, Stephanie” Martha says trying to comfort her. “If this doesn’t work, I’ve still got a few tricks up my sleeve. We’re going to get that hair some staying power somehow.”
Martha hands Stephanie a couple magazines to read while she is processing. While Stephanie looking at the magazines she notices another woman just finished raving to Norma for doing such a nice job on her hair. She appeared to be in her late forties and had big red hair with sort of a big and wide.
It looked nice, but definitely an older, out of date style.
In what seemed to be no time Martha called Stephanie over to the sink. She then rinsed her hair and then put on the neutralizer. After a little while longer Martha started removing the perm rods. “Oh, this looks good. But, your hair is tricky. We’ll just have to see. She then rinsed Stephanie’s hair again and then walked her over to the styling chair. Stephanie gets a quick glimpse of her curly hair before Martha turns her away from the mirror.
“Looked a little curly to me, how bout you Martha?” Stephanie asks.
“Just right, I think its just right. We’ve got to get your hair to hold.” Martha answers while she starts combing out Stephanie’s hair again. “Tom was right about the last style being too much for a special occasion. This one will be more down to earth.” She says. “I’ve got to trim your hair just a bit for this style, not much mind you.” Schnickâ€¦, schnickâ€¦, schnickâ€¦. “Not as much as yesterday.”
‘Not as much as yesterday,’ Stephanie thinks. She never really did get a good look to see how long her hair was because of the way it was styled. And now with the perm she can’t tell either. She looks down and there appears to be a lot of hair on the floor, some short pieces and quite a few long ones. ‘Oh god, what’s she doing to me now’ is the though running through her mind now.
Martha now sets down her scissors and starts to roll Stephanie’s hair with medium size rollers. “For this style, I had to layer it a little too. Not too much though. It will look good.” Martha explains.Â Â Again before rolling each curler in the hair she applies a think amount of setting gel to the hair. Then she rolls the hair tight. Painfully pulling the hair taunt from Stephanie’s head. This goes on for about forty minutes. “That’s it. Last one. Now let’s get you under the dryer and get you dry.” Martha instructs Stephanie.
While Stephanie’s under the dryer, she see’s that it’s almost 3:30. Again, the day is just almost over for her and she hasn’t done one thing other than get her hair done at her new job. Edna comes over and sits by her.
“Well how do you like it here, honey?” she asks.
“Ah…ah I like it? I love it. But, I haven’t done anything yet. You’ll all treating me so nice, but I feel I haven’t done any work yet,” Stephanie answers.
“Oh, don’t worry about that honey. You’ll get busy next week. You’re our priority until we all are happy with your look, so don’t worry about work. That’s my job. We can’t have you not looking your best. You don’t need to worry about anything. Believe me we’ll find a good look for you. Your in good hands. Martha’s one of the best.â€ Edna continues as she gets up and goes back up to the front desk.
A short time later Martha calls Stephanie up to her chair. “Time to finish this up.” As soon as Stephanie sits down a light pink cotton cape is placed around her. Martha then begins taking out the rollers. Then all the teasing, pulling, teasing, smoothing starts again. And let’s not forget the spraying of it. A lot of spraying with a lot of hairspray. “We’re using ‘extra hold’ hair spray today” Martha adds. Martha is really focused on her work this time, Much more than yesterday. Finally she calls Edna and Norma over. “Well, what do you think? I didn’t want her looking as mature as yesterday and I think this is a great look for everyday. Then if there’s a special occasion we can do something more elegant. Martha explains to them.
“I like it.” Edna announces.
“Me too, simple yet really still nice,” Norma adds.
Stephanie’s starts thinking, simple… great. Not too elegant… great. This sounds good.
“And I used one of our ‘super perms’ and that ‘extra hold’ hairspray. That should at least hold it until after the weekend. If not we’ll try something else. We won’t know until she comes in on Tuesday.” Martha explains as she starts to turn the chair toward the mirror.
“Tuesday, what about Monday,” Stephanie asks.
“Oh, we’re closed on Monday. That gives us all a nice two days off.” Edna replied.
Stephanie’s heart is pounding with anticipation hearing them talk and now expecting nice and simple hairstyle. The chair seems to be moving in slow motion. Finally, she’s in looking straight into the mirror. Oh, no not again, is what goes through her mind. Its high, very high, and looks like I’ve got ear muffs on, she’s thinking to herself. ‘Ohâ€¦ my, it’s so high’ “Ohâ€¦? this looks so nice,” she politely says.
“Oh wait, I’ve got to show you the back and sides.” Martha says while she holds up a hand mirror and rotates the chair around slowly showing Stephanie a soft flip all the way around her head. The top of her hair looks like she’s got a pile on it. The sides look like she’s wearing earmuffs and the back looks like a soft flip. Not to mention the sweeping bangs in the front. Her hair looks more white than yesterday. Maybe the perm took out some of the pink. Although you can still catch a glimmer of pink in the light.
“This is a much more practical, don’t you think? And I can’t see how this won’t hold. Here, when you sleep at night wrap this around her hair.” Martha says as she hands Stephanie what looks like a towel with a Velcro strip on one side. “You wrap it around like this” taking the towel and wrapping it around her own hair. “Then you press the Velcro together and wolla…It keeps your hair in place no matter how much you move around at night.â€
“Ohhh… greatâ€¦Stephanie softly says.
“And on Tuesday, we’ll see if it works or not. If not, we’ll just try something else. Who knows, maybe we’ll just end up giving you a poodle cut.” Edna adds.
“A poodle cut?” Stephanie softy asks.
“Yes, its a cute short cut with curls. Almost 2 inches long, sort of like the coat of a poodle. It’s really cute. You’d really look great with one.” Edna answers. “Maybe when you’re tired of this style…”
“No, I mean… Tom really doesn’t like short hair.” Stephanie quickly answers back.
“Oh we’ll just have to talk to him and see. Even though us woman want to please our man, sometimes we can use tricks to get what we want. Isn’t that right Edna?” Martha interjects.
“That’s right Mart. We woman have our tricks. I like Tom. He’s such a gentleman.”
“Now Stephanie, you be sure to tell him. The perm took some of the pink tint out. But, we’ll re-tint it next week for him. Then he can have that light pink color he likes so much. Martha joins in.
“Oh, I’m not soooo sure he really wants it all pink… But, I’ll ask him. I really will.” Stephanie replies.
“Hey, look at the time. It’s just about time to close. Tom should be picking you up shortly.â€ Edna says. “Stephanie clean up Martha’s station for her and then you can go,â€ she adds.
“Yes, maam”, Stephanie answers wondering how she’s going to go out with friends tonight looking so ridiculous. How can she break this cycle? They want to deepen her already light pink hair. Give her a poodle cut? My god, I can’t stay here. At the same time they’re so nice. And Edna really pays well.
Just then Edna calls back that Tom just pulled into the lot and was waiting for her. Stephanie says good bye and tells them the have a nice weekend. “Stephanie, tell Tom to come in so we can ask him how he likes your hair.” Edna says.
Stephanie’s mind goes blank. “Ah… ah… ah not tonight we’ve got to meet friends in an hour and I’ve got to change. Gotta go. Bye,” with that she bolts out the door.
As Stephanie gets in the car Tom just gives her a great big smile.
“Tom, it’s not funny. Look at this, just look at this. I look like it’s 1960. Look at this. They permed my hair… and if this doesn’t hold their going to cut it. Cut it short. They used super gel and super hairspray on it. Feel it, just feel it. It won’t move. It’s like cement. Tom, what am I supposed to do? And they want to make it pinker, pinker for you. Because you liked my pink streak. What am I supposed to do? And she paid me…”
“Stephanie, slow down, slow down. It looks better than the last style. Just slow down. Did you say she paid you? You were only there two days.”
“They paid me a lot. Look.” she says showing Tom the check.
“Maybe I should just explain to them that it’s to far to commute each day and quit.”
“You can’t quit. You couldn’t find another job that pays like that very easy. You can’t quit.”
Stephanie tells Tom to cancel they’re plans with friends that night. “You can’t hide forever, just because of your hair” Tom tells her.
“We’ll I sure can’t go out like this either,” she snaps back. “And I’ve got to look like this until Tuesday. We’re closed on Monday’s. It’s got to look like this when I go in on Tuesday or who knows what they’ll do to me.”
Tom just drove not saying anything. That night they just said home and ordered pizza. Before going to bed Stephanie put on her ‘turban wrap’. She put it on very carefully. She wanted to make sure her hair stayed in place until Tuesday. Who knew what they would do if it didn’t look good when she went back to work.
“Tom, look at me. I look like a fool. What am I supposed to do?”
to be continued