This is an unexpected next chapter in the series Seems Like Old Times. the series at:
The pleasure I had gotten from from walking into Edith’s Beauty Parlor with a crew-cut was short lived. I don’t think my mother was ever more disappointed in me in my entire life. My mother kept asking why I couldn’t just do this one think for my husband, and her of course. I tried to explain my actions, but she was so mad that she just wasn’t hearing what I had to say. Edith just looked at me, then went about taking care of my mom’s hair. Forty minutes later we were back in the car, and my mother started all over again telling me that “Michael will never forgive you for what you have done”. I knew that he would be upset but our relationship was certainly strong enough to weather thru growing out my crew-cut.
I thought listening to my mom complain for an hour was bad enough, but it was nothing compared to what happened when Mike came home from work. I don’t think he would be that upset if he found out that I had cheated on him. He kept going on how we were “partners in this relationship” and “we don’t make decisions like that without talking about it”. I just kept telling him that between my mother and him I was not given any choice in the decisions about my hair. Mike, like my mother, was too upset to hear what I had to say about my actions, and he decided it was best to just go out to the bar for the night.
Things did not get any better in the next few weeks, all Mike and I did was argue. Things finally boiled over when Mike asked if I was going to curl my hair again once it grew out. I told him in a very clear voice that “I was done looking like an old lady” and wouldn’t be going back to Edith’s. We didn’t talk again for two weeks, then Mike decided he needed some time away from me and he moved in with his brother. When my mother found out that Mike had moved out she again started with “You need to make sacrifices to save your marriage” I wasn’t sure that anything I did at this point would save my marriage.
It was a month later that my hair was getting to the point of needing some attention. I went back to Mary, my old stylist. I asked her to give me any haircut that wouldn’t make me look like a senior citizen. I walked out of her salon with a new Pixie Fauxhawk. She clipper cut the sides close and left all the length on top. I was as happy with my hair as I had been in almost a year. The only problem was that I was still going home to an empty house. My youngest daughter came home from college for a long weekend and she even gave me grief, telling me that “I should stop trying to look like a young girl”, and “that haircut doesn’t suit you”. I started going out most nights, so I didn’t have to be home alone, but soon realized that most of my friends only went out on weekends, and always with their husbands. I was slowly becoming more and more depressed with my how my life was now going.
More and more of my free time was now being spent with my mother. She stopped bothering me about my choice in haircuts, or pushing me to change. On a Saturday morning, I headed over to pick her up, we were going to the mall then for lunch. We were almost thru lunch when she asks if I could drop her off for her hair appointment. I did not have to stay with her as my dad was picking her up. I didn’t see any harm in this so I happily agreed.
My mind started to wonder as we made our way to Edith’s shop, thought’s of being forced to go back to her still made me cringe. To my surprise Edith was sitting in a chair on the front porch when we drove up, and most surprising of all was as we made eye contact Edith smiled and waved to me. I would never guess that she would be nice to me in any way after the way I had acted those month’s ago.
I quickly forgot about what happened, and went about my day. The next morning I was up early to go to church with my parents. I was never a regular church going woman, but since I was by myself it was nice getting out with other people. As we made it to our seats, I see Kathy and Edith sitting in front of us. I say nothing, but as my mother notices them she says hello then they see me as well. Again to my surprise both of them our quite cordial towards me. It was strange for me to be sitting by them, and I just kept replaying my visits to Edith.
As we made our way out of the church, mom makes sure to seek out Edith and Kathy for a quick chat. When we walk over I just stood quietly as the elder ladies talked, then to my surprise, Edith addresses me. “Honey, when you’re ready for a proper hairstyle again, please call me” I just gave a bit of a smile and said “Okay, I’ll do that”. I had heard the entire conversation between Edith and my mother, so I knew that nothing was said to Edith about my hair. I my mind I felt happy that It was Edith that wanted me back, not my mom pushing her to ask me..
Another week passed, and I was really depressed about not being with Mike. His birthday was in two weeks and I was still planning to give him a present, but was at a loss for what he would want. My pixie fauxhawk was well past it expiration date so I started to call Mary about getting a restyle, but as started to dial my mind started to think about what Mike really wanted, and for some strange reason I started to consider going back to Edith’s again.
My mind was racing for several hours until I finally made my decision. I would sacrifice my hair if it meant it would repair my marriage. I did not tell anyone of my choice and called Edith myself to schedule my appointment. Edith was more than gracious to me over the phone and to my surprise she told me we would discuss what I wanted done once I arrived.
For some reason I was not nervous on the drive to Edith’s salon. I had it in my mind that I would be receiving the same tight poodle perm that she had given me before. I was going on my terms, so it was my choice of what would happen. Surprisingly it was a completely different atmosphere without my mom there giving directions. Edith was smiling as I went inside and even Kathy was warm and welcoming to me. After I was shown to the salon chair Edith asked me what style I had in mind. This threw me, as I had gone there with the only thought was that I would be a poodle when I left. I thought about it for a minute, and decided it had to be permed if I wanted Mike to come back home.
Edith started by trimming the ends off the long ends of my pixie cut. When she was finished It looked different than the last time I was here. She then told me that we could use the longer grey perm rods, these would give me some nice soft curls. Again, I felt myself at a crossroads, could I go the easy route with the longer soft curls, or did a need a proper curly perm. I was surprised with the ease that I told Edith that I wanted it permed like she had done before. Edith said she was happy that I made the choice on my own without any influence from anyone else. Edith wasted no time in severing all what remained of my pixie to a uniform two inches all over. She then pulled out the tapered 1/4″ rods and held them up to me for my approval. She then asked if I wanted her to use the extra strong perm lotion that was used on my last perm, telling me that because of the exothermic properties she could use heat to “set” the perm into my hair leaving it tightly curled even as it starts to grow out. This was different from when Kathy had given that perm to me, as I was able to cut off my curls within 4 months. Edith told me that it isn’t part of the directions for use, but she had done this to several of her customers daughters, when their mothers brought them in.
Almost six month’s have past and I don’t know who is happier, I have Mike back in my life, and he has his curly wife back. I have just started to see the slightest bit of straight hair at my scalp, and have scheduled another visit to Edith’s in a couple month’s. It was easy to decide to keep my hair like this, as long as the decision was mine.