A Good Tidy-Up (To Meet The Parents) : Chapter 11

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Sarah nervously walked in through the office doors. She had last been at work two days before, on Tuesday, when her new short haircut, clean-scrubbed face and conservative uniform had attracted considerable comment. She was now looking even more prim and proper with her tight poodle perm, and whilst she had received overwhelmingly positive comments on Tuesday, she wondered what her colleagues would make of her appearance today.

As on Tuesday, the first reaction came from Kevin, the tactless security guard. He hadn’t learnt from his previous encounter with Sarah though, and jumped in with both feet.

“Morning Sarah.” He nodded in her direction. “My ex always used to complain that the humidity made her hair go frizzy too. I suppose now you’ve had it cut so short you can hardly get the straighteners on it. I sure hope that the boyfriend likes your hair curly as well as short!”

Sarah wasn’t quite sure whether he was having another dig at her or not, but she smiled sweetly at him and replied.

“Good morning Kevin. As it happens, Steve does like my hair short and curly. In fact, he asked me if I would have it all permed up into a nice tight little bubblecut, and I was very happy to do that for him. My Mum really likes it too, she says it’s lovely to finally have her daughter looking so smart and presentable.”

She looked pointedly at Kevin, waiting for a response. Kevin’s eyes widened and he spluttered slightly as he realised that he had put his foot in it again.

“Oh, well, er, yes, it, er, it does look very, um, smart, Sarah,” he finally managed to stammer.

“Thank you Kevin. My hair will be staying like this for the foreseeable future, so perhaps I should have that new photograph for my ID badge taken today?”

Kevin nodded, wordlessly, and Sarah swept in past the security desk. To her disappointment, Mrs. Reeves wasn’t at the coffee counter, as Sarah was sure that she would have approved of her short, neat, freshly permed curls. Stephanie, the glamorous but shallow receptionist glanced up as Sarah walked past, and her eyes widened as she realised that the tight little poodle cut belonged not to one of the older ladies, but to the formerly fashionable Sarah. She was too shocked to say anything and just nodded wordlessly at Sarah’s “Good Morning”.

Sarah hesitated when she reached the office door. She had seemingly brushed off Kevin’s clumsy comments, but in truth she was extremely nervous about the reaction she would get from her colleagues. She imagined that Wendy, her manager, would approve of her new hairstyle, and she was sure that the older ladies in the office would welcome another convert to the ranks of the permed. The younger girls were another matter though. Sophie and Maria had said nice things about her toned-down appearance on Tuesday, but she wasn’t sure how sincere they were. Were they laughing at her behind her back? And what would they think now that she was looking even more prim and proper with her extremely traditional and modest little head of curls? How could they have a good working relationship if she was secretly the butt of their jokes?

She pushed the door open, and nervously glanced across to where she, Sophie and Maria had their desks. She saw that the other two girls were already in the office, standing with their backs to her. They were easily recognisable by the long, poker-straight manes flowing down their backs, but as Sarah approached, she had a nagging feeling that something was different about them. It wasn’t until she rounded the corner of the adjoining desk that she could see what it was; both Sophie and Maria had opted, like Sarah, to wear the long, pleated uniform skirts rather than the fitted, above the knee ones that they habitually wore. Following the line of the skirts down, Sarah saw that also like her, they were both wearing plain low-heeled court shoes, rather than their usual 4-inch heels, which Wendy would frequently, and with exasperation, point out violated the company dress code. It was the change in posture caused by the ‘sensible’ shoes which Sarah had immediately noticed.

Sarah wondered what could have caused such a change in the two girls’ outfits, as neither would normally be caught dead without their high heels, or indeed wearing the long, dowdy, pleated skirts. Could it be that they were following her example? If so, then hopefully they would also be positive about her hair. If nothing else, it was a relief that she wasn’t the only one who was looking different today!

“Good Morning!”

Sarah smiled as she greeted her colleagues. They turned round, and all three girls’ eyes widened. Sophie and Maria were somewhat surprised that Sarah had apparently felt that her sensible short haircut wasn’t enough of a change, and had been back to the hairdressers’ to have her hair tightly permed into a style usually worn by much older ladies, and which (in their eyes) made her look distinctly frumpy and matronly. Even more surprising was that she was seemingly happy about it, holding her head up high, and with a smile on her well scrubbed face.

Sarah, on the other hand, was gobsmacked to see that the two normally fashion-conscious and glamorous girls seemed to have discovered the benefits of soap and water, and were as Sarah had never seen them before, completely free of makeup. A quick glance downwards revealed that the nail scissors had also been put to good use, and that like Sarah, they were sporting sensible, short, clean fingernails. The only jarring note was the girls’ hair, with Sophie and Maria still sporting their customary long, carefully straightened locks, which made a sharp contrast both with Sarah’s perfectly neat perm, and also with their own toned-down and smartened up appearance. Sophie was the first to find her voice.

“Hello Curly! Is that a perm? It looks really lovely on you! What brought that on?”

Sophie was privately thinking that actually Sarah looked like a freshly-clipped little poodle. She wasn’t going to say that to Sarah’s face though, and was keen to make a fuss over Sarah’s new hairstyle, as that might mean that less attention was paid to her own changes, which had left her feeling rather plain and lacking in confidence.

“Oh, thank you!” Sarah blushed a little. “Yes, it is. I went and had it done yesterday. Steve told me that he loved my short hair, but that he thought I’d look even nicer with it curly, so I just thought ‘Why not?’ ”

“Why not, indeed?” Maria chipped in. “Well I think you look like a sweet little poodle. My mum has her hair permed up just like yours, and she always tells me how easy it is to look after. She’d love me to have mine done the same, and look all prim and proper like you, but I couldn’t bear to have all this chopped off, never mind permed.” She ran her hands through her precious mane, showing off just how long it was. “And I can’t imagine what my boyfriend would have to say about it! He’d probably be horrified that I’d turned myself into my mother!”

Maria was also feeling extremely unsure of herself without her usual faceful of war-paint and towering heels, so was relieved that Sarah was looking even more dowdy, and she couldn’t resist having a little dig, just to make herself feel a little better. She flicked her long hair back over her shoulders, just to drive the point home.

Sarah was well used to being told she looked like a poodle by now, and whilst she was quite aware of what Maria was doing, she had no desire to start an argument, and anyway, was desperate to know why her two colleagues were in long skirts and sensible shoes, and what had made them snip off their nails and scrub their faces.

“Thank you Maria, yes, it is much easier to keep tidy, and my mum certainly likes to have me looking presentable. But it looks like you two have both decided to smarten up a bit as well. It’s lovely to see you both with nice clean faces, and what happened to your nails? Surely it’s not just my good example?”

The two girls exchanged glances, both reluctant to answer. Eventually Sophie looked around the office and spoke, lowering her voice.

“No, it’s not you. Wendy gave us both a bit of a telling off yesterday. You know what she’s like, always on at us about something. Anyway, we were just in the ladies, and she came storming in, told us we spent far too much time gossiping, and fiddling with our hair and makeup, and what with staff appraisals coming up next week we needed to knuckle down and concentrate on our work…”

She tailed off and Maria picked up the thread. “…and while we were at it, to take a look at the company dress code and make sure that we were ‘meeting the expected appearance standards.’ She did say that we could do worse than taking a leaf out of your book, but it’s not your fault, like Sophie said, she’s always complaining about something…”

This story, though essentially true, omitted a few details. The girls had been in the ladies’ loos for quite a while, fixing their hair and makeup, and gossiping. In particular, they had been talking about Sarah, her new haircut and new look. The funny thing was that whilst both Sophie and Maria actually quite admired Sarah for being self-assured enough to abandon her fashionable, sassy appearance, and happily present herself as a conservative and respectable young lady, and whilst both had even gone so far as to wonder what it would be like to have her own hair cut off short, neat and tidy, neither was remotely ready to share these thoughts, even with each other.

Consequently, their conversation centred on expressing their shock that a trendy young woman like Sarah could ever want to cut off her long pretty hair, and especially into such a plain, frumpy, old-lady style. They went further; even if Sarah had wanted a boring, short haircut to make a good impression with Steve’s parents, that didn’t mean that she had to give up on her looks completely. She could, they agreed, have made some attempt to style her hair in a trendy way, and she could certainly have made the effort to do her makeup, and put on some proper heels, and a skirt that didn’t make her look short and dumpy.

This had been largely overheard by Wendy, who had been in the corridor outside, waiting for the caretaker. She had personally been delighted by Sarah’s transformation, thought that she looked lovely and presentable, and had hoped that her example would rub off on Sophie and Maria. So she was extremely annoyed that instead, the two girls were just making rude remarks about Sarah behind her back. It was time, she decided, to assert some authority and leave the two of them in no doubt that their behaviour and appearance both left a lot to be desired.

Sophie resumed the story, referring to the handbook she had picked up from her desk.

“So we thought we’d better try and get in Wendy’s good books and stick to the rules. So, paragraph 3.1: Black polished shoes, heels no more than one inch.” She pointed to Maria’s feet, who responded by lifting one shoe for Sarah to see, whilst rolling her eyes.

“Paragraph 3.2: Navy-blue pleated skirt, falling below the knee OR navy-blue fitted skirt, falling no more than one inch above the knee.”

She lowered her voice again. “We’d both, ah, taken our normal skirts up a bit, so, er, we thought we’d better wear these ones.” She and Maria both looked a little sheepish at this.

“Paragraph 4.2: Fingernails shall not protrude beyond the end of the finger. Only clear nail polish is permitted.”

She held up her own hands for Sarah to see her short, clean nails. “I have to admit, they felt a bit weird at first, but I didn’t realise quite how much my long nails were getting in the way of doing things. I might even keep them short after the appraisals.” Sarah smiled and nodded encouragingly, but Maria’s eyes widened in surprise. She had reluctantly agreed with Sophie that they both needed to cut their nails to appease Wendy, but she had every intention of having new false nails fitted as soon as this had blown over.

“Paragraph 4.3: It is preferred that no makeup is worn. Minimal makeup may be permitted at the manager’s discretion. We couldn’t really decide what Wendy would let pass, so like you said, it’s nice clean faces for us today. It did at least mean that I was in early for once; just washing my face was a lot quicker than doing my makeup, but…. ” She screwed up her face, making it clear that for her, a good scrub with soap and flannel was no substitute for a full face of makeup. Behind her, Maria shuddered. She hated going without makeup and would normally never leave the house without putting a full face on.

“Well,” replied Sarah, “I think you both look lovely, and really smart too. Except…..”

“Yes, I know…..”

“You seem to have forgotten paragraph 4.1.” Sarah pointed and read. “It is preferred that ladies’ hair is kept short, i.e. off the ears and off the collar. Longer hairstyles may be permitted, at the office manager’s discretion, but any hair that falls below the bottom edge of the collar should be tied, pinned or clipped up. Hair must be kept neat and tidy and out of the face at all times.”

Maria pulled a face again. “Well, when Wendy’s got her knickers in a twist about our hair before, we’d both put it up for a few days until she calmed down again. But since I had these layers cut in last time, it just doesn’t stay up. All the short bits keep coming out.”

“Yes, mine’s the same,” put in Sophie. “I love my choppy layers, it’s so much sexier than my old boring flat hair, but I simply can’t put it up. She can’t really make us have it cut short can she?”

“Well legally, probably not.” Sarah tried to reassure her. “But you know there are staff appraisals next week and there are rumours of redundancies coming up, so it would be best to keep in her good books.

“It says that Wendy’s got ‘discretion’ over hairstyles, but I think that just means to make sure that it’s neat and tidy, so you should probably try to do something to keep it out of your faces, and off your collars, and hopefully she’ll appreciate that you’ve both made an effort to smarten up.” She smiled reassuringly.

Sophie wasn’t entirely convinced, but recognised that Sarah was trying to help. “Well staying in her good books probably means not being caught gossiping when she gets in to the office, so we’d better get down to work!”

The three girls hurried to their desks and quickly got to work.

When Wendy entered the office a few minutes later, she was pleased to see the three girls hard at work, with heads bent over their desks. She was disappointed, though not surprised, that two of the heads still had long, messy hair hanging down and looking thoroughly untidy. She hadn’t expected Sophie or Maria to have had their hair cut since yesterday; there hadn’t really been time, even if they had wanted to, but she had hoped to see their hair neatly put up, in compliance with the dress code. She made a mental note to have another word with the pair of them and make clear that the dress code, and especially hairstyle requirements, were not optional!

What did surprise Wendy though, was the neat and tidy cap of curls covering the third head. Her eyes widened and she looked a little closer, to make sure that the girl underneath the neat little cap of wonderfully tight curls was, in fact, Sarah. She made another mental note to speak to Sarah, tell her how lovely her curls looked, and encourage her to keep them. She swept through the open-plan area and into her office.

 

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“Come in.” Wendy looked up, and saw Sarah standing in the doorway. “Good morning Sarah, what can I do for you?”

Sarah proceeded to outline the work problem that she needed advice on, and Wendy offered her guidance. When they had concluded, Wendy smiled at Sarah.

“I’m glad you came to see me Sarah, I wanted to tell you how nice and smart you look with your hair like that. Have you had it permed?”

Sarah smiled back whilst instinctively patting her curls with her cupped hand. “Thank you! Yes, it is permed. My boyfriend said he thought I’d look nice with curly hair, and my Mum’s wanted me to have it cut and permed for ages.”

“Well it’s lovely that you had it done to make both of them happy, and I have to say that it suits you very well. It’s also highly appropriate for the office, and gives exactly the impression that I like to see from my staff.” She touched her own short curls, a little self-consciously. “You’ll find that a nice tight perm is a very practical style. It won’t give you any trouble, and you’ll have the reassurance of knowing that you’ll always look smart and presentable. I just wish that one or two others would follow your example and smarten themselves up a bit.”

“You mean Sophie and Maria? Have you seen them today? They have made quite an effort – they’ve both got nice clean faces and they’ve even cut their nails. I think they both tried to put their hair up as well, but they’ve got too many layers, so it wouldn’t stay.”

Sarah was doing her best to stand up for the other two girls. Whilst she was quite sure that they’d both look much smarter with nice, sensible short haircuts, she wasn’t sure that either of them were quite ready to take the plunge, and certainly didn’t want either of them threatened with redundancy for not complying with the dress code!

“Hmmph…. No, I haven’t seen them properly. Just enough to see that they both still had their hair all over the place. It sounds like they might finally be paying a little attention to me, but really, they both know that if they want to keep their hair long, then it’s got to be put up tidily. I’ll be speaking to both of them later. Don’t say anything to them, please.”

Sarah raised her eyebrows fractionally. It sounded like Wendy wasn’t very impressed by Sophie and Maria’s efforts, and wasn’t in any mood to compromise. She suspected that they would be getting a real lecture about their hair later, and possibly even an ultimatum. Attend their appraisals next week with neat and tidy hair, or…. what? A negative appraisal, certainly, which might in turn lead to being first in line for being let go. Or was there the possibility of an enforced visit to the hairdresser’s for a company-approved short haircut? Sarah was sure that in that case, then Sophie and Maria would be leaving most of their treasured locks behind on the salon floor, at least if Wendy had anything to do with it.

Well, she had already told them that they needed to stay in Wendy’s good books. It was up to them now to persuade her that their appearance, and attitude, was up to scratch, and especially that their hair could be kept ‘tidy, and out of the face’.

 

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Wendy looked out across the office and frowned. She had been wanting to speak to Sophie and Maria for a good ten minutes now, and they still weren’t back at their desks. A thought crossed her mind, and her frown deepened. She got up from her desk and made her way to the corridor outside the ladies’ loos. Her suspicions were confirmed when she heard Sophie’s voice.

“…and I can’t believe that you told her that she looked like a poodle! Right to her face!”

“Well she does. I can’t believe she’d make herself look like that just for her boyfriend. What was she thinking?”

“Yes, I suppose she does. Not just any poodle though,” Sophie smiled mischievously. “A neatly groomed little poodle fresh from the poodle parlour!”

“Yes! Or like one of the old biddies. She was over the other side of the office earlier, talking to Mary and Joan, and I couldn’t tell which one was her! Hey, do you think Wendy put her up to it? Like she’s been on at us?”

Wendy had heard enough. She walked smartly in through the door, and glared at the two girls, who started guiltily when they saw who had walked in.

“Oh, um, hello Wendy. We were just, er, making sure that our hair looked tidy.” Maria attempted to brazen her way out of it, but immediately realised that this wasn’t going to wash.

“Don’t take me for a fool, please. I heard quite enough of what you were saying to be really quite disappointed in you both. Is that the way you talk about all of your colleagues? Do you think I look like ‘a neatly groomed little poodle’?”

Both girls realised that anything they said would simply make things worse, so wisely kept quiet, and did their best to look contrite.

“Well it’s clear to me that what I said yesterday had no effect whatsoever. It’s all very well washing your faces and wearing the correct skirt for a day, but despite what you just said, you’ve neither of you made any effort to make your hair look tidy, and from the way you were talking about Sarah, it’s obvious you haven’t changed your attitude to the dress code one bit.

“For the record, no I did not ask Sarah to have her hair permed. I do, however, think that she looks very smart indeed, and I’m very glad that she, at least, has decided to take her responsibilities seriously, make sure she complies with the dress code, and give herself every chance of an excellent career here at the bank.”

Wendy softened her tone slightly, hoping that she had shocked the two girls enough, and could now work on persuading them.

“What the two of you need to understand is that you are working for a very traditional, conservative employer. The banking sector in general is conservative; people want to think that their money is safe with us. And a small bank in a small town is even more so. Many of our customers have been coming to us for decades, generations even. They want to be reassured that we are absolutely secure and reliable. That’s why the management insists on the staff maintaining smart, traditional standards of appearance.

“I understand that ‘smart’ and ‘traditional’ aren’t necessarily words that most young ladies would choose to describe the way they want to look, but I’m afraid that’s what the company requires, and if you want to further your careers here, then you will have to not just accept it, but embrace it.”

She paused, letting this sink in.

“Now, I will be giving both of you your annual appraisals on Monday. I hope to see a marked change in your appearance and attitudes by then, and I would like to make it absolutely clear that the dress code is NOT optional – it’s a part of your contract. So I suggest that you give serious thought to how you are going to wear your hair from now on, and if you don’t feel that it can be put up tidily, and out of your face, on a daily basis, then perhaps you should consider making a voluntary trip to the hairdressers’ for a more appropriate haircut.”

Wendy didn’t spell out the alternatives, but the inclusion of the word ‘voluntary’ made it clear that she would be quite prepared to send an employee to the hairdressers’ with strict instructions if she felt that they weren’t complying with the dress code. In fact, though Wendy had never had to do this with a female employee, she had sent a number of the young men in the office to the local barbers for a proper haircut. In fairness to her, they had all been told repeatedly that their hair needed to be cut, and given a final instruction to have it done over the weekend. When they turned up on Monday with hair still covering ears and collar, or even worse, fringes hanging in their eyes, Wendy had no hesitation in ordering them to go straight to Mr. Sykes’ shop on the corner and ask for a short back and sides. She had, of course, taken the precaution of briefing Mr. Sykes to deliver a proper, traditional short back and sides, regardless of what was requested!

Funnily enough, not only had all of the recipients of Mr. Sykes’ attentions kept their hair short and tidy with only minimal reminders in future, it had also served as an example to others, with the result that the male half of the office overwhelmingly kept their hair not only short, but neatly combed, as per their section of the dress code.

Wendy very much hoped that she wouldn’t have to resort to similar tactics with Sophie and Maria, but if necessary, she was prepared to send them to ‘Jean’s Hairstylist’, the traditional ladies hairdressers’ just over the road. Jean was a long standing customer of the bank, bringing her takings in at the end of each day, and Wendy knew her well. She was quite sure that Jean would have no qualms about cutting either girl’s long, messy hair into a practical, neat and tidy short style, that would look smart and appropriate for the workplace. Perhaps she’d try to catch her when she came in this evening, and have a quick word with her, just so that she was forewarned, and knew how Wendy would want their hair cut, if it came to that.

 

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“Hello Darling, I wasn’t expecting to hear from you. Is everything OK?” Sarah was puzzled, though not displeased to receive a call from Steve.

“Yes, I can talk, I’m on my lunch break. How’s the convention going?”

“Oh good, and do you think you’re making a good impression with your boss?”

“Really? That good? Well, you must be doing something right then! Anyway, what can I do for you?”

“Errr, yes, I can pop in on my way home, but I thought you weren’t back until late tomorrow?”

“Oh, Ok, yes, but why does your Mum want to see me?”

“Well you could have asked her! Oh well, I suppose I’ll find out when I get there…..”

 

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The afternoon went slowly. Sarah guessed that Sophie and Maria had not enjoyed their conversation with Wendy, but they didn’t seem in the mood to talk about it, and she decided to keep out of it. She kept wondering what Steve’s mum, Barbara, wanted to see her for, and why she couldn’t have phoned, or given a message to Steve. Eventually, 5 o’clock came, and Sarah headed off. Soon enough, she was standing on Steve’s parents’ doorstep.

“Hello Sarah, come in dear. Thank you so much for coming.”

“Hello Mrs. Barlow. It’s no trouble, it’s not far off my way home.”

“Well it’s very much appreciated. Now I must tell you how nice you look with your hair in those lovely tight curls. Steven told me that you’d had your hair permed, but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite such a traditional little bubblecut. You look absolutely delightful, and I’m sure that Steven’s grandmother will be so pleased when she meets you, to see that his new girlfriend is a young lady who has such respect for tradition, and knows how to present herself properly. Now come on in, there’s someone I’d like you to meet.”

Sarah followed Barbara through into the kitchen, where she saw a young woman about her own age, smartly dressed in a calf-length pleated skirt and a modest long sleeved blouse, primly buttoned up to the neck. She looked slightly uncomfortable, as though she wasn’t accustomed to being dressed this formally. This was accentuated by her hair, which was hanging over her collar, but looked a little uneven, as though it had grown out from a shorter style, rather than having been cut like that. An effort had been made to tidy it up, by pulling the sides firmly back with hairgrips, but this didn’t stop the overgrown fringe falling across her forehead and towards her eyes.

“Sarah, this is Tina, Steven’s sister; Tina, this is Sarah, Steven’s girlfriend. Tina’s come to stay for a few days, and she’ll be joining us on Saturday for Mother’s birthday.” The girls shook hands and said hello.

“I was just telling Sarah how lovely and smart she looks with her new perm, Tina. Sarah used to wear her hair quite long, you know, but had it all cut up nice and short recently. And just the other day she had it permed into a properly conservative little bubblecut. Don’t you think Grandma will love it? You know how much she likes a neat little head of curls. “

Tina chose her words carefully. She thought she could see where her mum was going with this. “Mmmm, yes, you certainly do look very smart Sarah. I’m sure Grandma will approve of your hair looking like that.”

Sarah was suddenly filled with doubt. “Ah, well, er, my hair won’t actually be quite like this on Saturday. Steve thought that his grandma would like to see me looking extra smart, so I’m going to have a shampoo and set on Saturday morning. Is that the right thing to do?”

“Oh yes dear! Mother has her hair set every week, and I’ll be having mine done on Saturday too. It’s so thoughtful of you to go and have your hair properly styled to meet her. It shows a great deal of respect.”

She turned to Tina. “Now dear, it would be a shame if you were the only lady there who hadn’t had her hair done especially, don’t you think? Won’t you come to the hairdressers’ with me on Saturday? It would be lovely to see you with a presentable hairstyle for once.”

Tina sighed, and then smiled with resignation. “Ok mum, I suppose I could have my hair done, if it will make you happy.”

“It’s not me dear, it’s your grandmother. And if you want to make her happy, you’ll have a good tidy up as well as a proper shampoo and set. You know what she always says – young ladies should have long skirts and short hair – not the other way around!”

Tina rolled her eyes. “Alright Mum, I’ll have a trim and a set. It is Grandma’s birthday after all, and I know she likes to see me with my hair done properly.”

Barbara beamed. “Thank you dear, I know it will mean so much to her, especially as Sarah will be looking so lovely and smart too.”

They made some arrangements for meeting on Saturday and Sarah excused herself and headed home. She had realised fairly quickly why Barbara had wanted her to visit; Steve had told her that Sarah had had her hair permed, and she hoped that Sarah’s example would help her to get Tina into the hairdressers’ chair before Saturday! Sarah wasn’t quite sure how she felt about being used like this, but also found herself worrying about Tina’s reaction. Would she blame Sarah, if she wasn’t happy with how her mother had her hair cut?

Sarah assumed that Tina had been taking advantage of living away from home to attempt to grow her hair out, but she must have known that her mother would disapprove, and that there would be considerable pressure to return to a smart, presentable hairstyle. She certainly hadn’t seemed surprised at her mother’s efforts, and had consented without too much fuss. So it seemed that despite her attempts to grow her hair, she still recognised the importance of showing respect for her family’s traditional values, and her agreement showed that respect and tradition had won out. She was prepared to sacrifice a little length from her precious locks, and allow the hairdresser to give her a conservative shampoo and set, knowing that it would make her grandmother happy.

Of course, she might end up with more than she bargained for, Sarah thought. It was easy to imagine that once Tina was in the chair, with her bossy mother giving the instructions, then the hairdresser might go further than the ‘trim’ that Tina had agreed to. Hopefully, however much of Tina’s blonde tresses ended up on the salon floor, she would accept it with good grace, and realise, as Sarah had, that a short smart haircut wasn’t such a bad thing, especially if it kept her family happy.  

 


 

  Also published at: https://f35hstories.wordpress.com

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