Over the next three of month’s my mother had me in Edith;s chair every 2 weeks for regular sets and re-tinting. Every time I ran into one of my friends they all gave me that look of feeling sorry for me. I also noticed that calls from my friends to have coffee, or go out together were coming less often. I needed a way to break free from my mother’s reigns without hurting her, or my husbands feeling. Then it happened, on my bi-weekly visit to Edith’s beauty parlor, she tells my mother that she is going to Arizona until after winter because she can’t stand our cold winters. Edith tells my mother that her grand daughter Kathy would take care of our next several appointments. In my mind I knew this was the break I needed to get my hair back to a current style. I spent the next two weeks looking online at very short haircuts, figuring that was the only way to make a clean break from the poodle currently living on top of my head. I saved several images on my phone to show to Kathy, most of which were very short pixie cuts. This would not only get rid of the perm, but, get me back to my natural color.
I waited until the night before my appointment to tell my husband of my plans. I also told him that I was not going to tell my mother about my plan before I was in Kathy’s chair. I could tell that he was not happy with my decision, but he seemed to understand that I had not been happy with my hair for the last three month’s. When I got up the next morning my husband tried to make a plea for me to maintain my curly style, telling me how much it has meant to my mother and how much he loves my curls. I told him that I was firm in my decision, and I had kept the curls long enough. He seemed dejected by my attitude, and headed out the door to work. I looked thru my clothes, looking for an outfit that worked with my upcoming youthful looking hair style. I got dressed for the new me, even putting on some extra make-up to go with my recently manicured nails. I saw myself in the hallway mirror and thought I would look ten years younger when I had my new hair style.
When I pulled into my mother’s driveway she came right out to meet me. This was unusual as I normally would have to go to the door to get her moving, this time I could tell she had an agenda. I should have guessed my husband would have called my mother as soon as he walked out of the house this morning. My mother started in on me as soon as she shut her door, telling me I should continue to look and act like a mature woman, instead of trying to keep looking like a young woman. I told her my mind was set, and my curly days would be ending today. I seldom won an argument with my mother, but it seemed like my mother knew how serious I was about what I was going to have Kathy do and stayed silent the rest of the way to our appointment.
It was the first time that I was happy to be walking into Kathy’s beauty parlor. I had made up my mind what I wanted Kathy to do and there was no way I would let my mother do anything to change that. When we stepped inside, Kathy greeted us invited us into her area. It was nice to be back in a modern salon with a stylist that was used to working on younger clientele. Kathy started on my mother’s shampoo and set first while I relaxed in the waiting area. I had my pictures ready and was getting excited as I waited for my turn in the chair. Kathy put the finishing touches on my mom and I could not wait for her to get up from the chair so I could finally be rid of this old lady style. Kathy invited me over to the chair, and I show her to pictures of how I wanted her to cut my hair. Kathy takes my phone and looks at the photos, and to my dismay says that those styles are for much younger woman, and tells me she knows what I need and I should trust her judgement. I was thrown off guard by Kathy’s statement, and all of a sudden couldn’t keep my thoughts on what I wanted her to do to my hair.
Kathy washed and conditioned my hair, then started combing out my curls. The hair on top of my head was currently four inches of straight hair with three inches of curls at the end. I still had only one inch on the back and sides. Kathy began cutting off several inches of my curls, I was excited at the thought of getting back to a normal looking style. As she finished up removing most of the curls she goes back towards Edith’s salon area. As she returns, I see that she is wheeling Edith’s cart of perm rods over by me. Just as I was going to speak up, I look into the mirror just in time to see my mother starting to smile again. I then see Kathy’s face in the mirror as she says ” Time to get you back to your starting point with some nice tight curls.” My mother, still smiling, says” yes, that is just want she needs” I sit there in a state of shock, how could this be happening again? As she begins rolling my hair, Kathy tells me that Edith and my mother had already told her how she was to do my hair after my last visit, and she had to do what Edith directed to do because Edith, though mostly retired, was still the boss what she said goes. Kathy tells me that even though she runs a modern salon, she was trained by Edith, so she knows all the old school beauty treatments that Edith’s customers still want. As I see my reflection in the mirror, it looks different to when Edith first put her perm rods on my head. I finally asked Kathy why it looked different, and she tells me that Edith told her that she should try using the smallest rods on me this time because unlike most of her perm customers, I still had a full, thick head of hair and these rods would keep a tighter curl for a longer time. She said she also ordered in some extra strong perm solution so hopefully I would get a full 6 to 8 month’s of tight, close to the head curls. She then goes on to tell me that the new solution is so powerful that I won’t need my hair set every 2 weeks, it will stay tight to my head until Edith gets back from Arizona in the spring. I stared in the mirror at that smile on my mother’s face now knowing that she was still in control of my hair, and would be as long as she wanted to be.