My grandma, Doris, was always a character. She was just weird in my opinion. But she’s her and that’s something I just have to except about her. To be clear, she’s not a mean or malicious person at all but she has… some weird tendencies.
Like, take for example, the other day. She wanted to go for a walk in the park, her favorite boredom reliever, and I was perfectly willing to go with her. I gave her purse to her and we went out. She held onto my arm as we strolled down to the park.
On our way, my grandmother saw something that peaked her intrigue.
”You see that girl over there”,she gestured to a little red haired girl walking beside a woman, presumingly her mother.
”Yeah”,I replied, noticing the girl with long, bushy tresses that bounced off her shoulders,”What about her?”
”She needs a trim desperately”,my grandma went on,”let’s go over and ask her mother for permission”
I became nervous but couldn’t speak, all that came out was a weird,”Uuuuhhhh…”
My grandmother took my arm and we crossed the street and walked to where that mother and child stood.
”Excuse me”,my grandmother struck up the conversation.
”Oh hi”,the mother of the child smiled,”How are you two?”
”We’re fabulous”,my grandmother said, ecstatically,”We were just noticing your daughter’s luxurious, red hair”
‘You were the only one noticing it’,I replied in my head.
”And”,my grandmother went on,”I was wondering if you would let me give her a haircut”
’Why? Why did you have to say it’,I cringed upon hearing the words.
”Well”,the mother said,”I was just thinking about taking Tia here to the hairdressers. But do you have experience”
”But mom-“the child started but was shushed by her mother.
”Yes”,my grandmother nodded,”I graduated from the most prestigious barber college and have 40 years of cutting hair under my belt”
”That’s nice”,replied the mother,”But how much do you charge for a haircut?”
”I wasn’t planning on charging you for this”,my grandmother went on still,”This is just because I saw that she needed a haircut”
“Well then”,the mother said,”You have my permission”
I was just as astonished as the redhead who had her mouth agape with shocked. She tried to get her mother to reconsider the proposal but to avail.
”Could you get us a chair for the little lady to sit in, Daniel?”my grandmother asked of me. I had no other choice but to obey her request and got her a chair from outside a nearby cafe. Again, the child protested and again her pleas were ignored. Her mother ordered her to sit in the chair and she reluctantly did.
”Can you hold my purse, dear Daniel?”my gran gave me her bag and she dug into it, pulling out a neon blue cape. I watched as she pulled out a hairclip, gathered up the girl’s tresses and pinned it to the back of the girl’s head, and began to wrap the cape around the girl’s small torso, clicking its buttons together to secure it. Unpinning the hair, my grandmother let it cascade freely down to its length and then she ruffled it with her right hand.
My grandmother then reached back into the bag and pulled out a comb and sharp shearing scissors. I continued to watch as she combed through the hair and snipped the length in half. A large amount of strands were lying limply between my grandmother’s bony fingertips. The redhead girl had a scared look on her face and her mother’s attempts to calm her were unsuccessful. She could only watch as half of her hair was chopped away.
When my grandmother was satisfied with the length, she used a comb to separate the top and a part of the sides and pin it all on the girl’s head. She put away the scissors and for the third time, dug into the bag that I held. She pulled out a black case as she held it for a minute, she asked me to set the bag on the ground. I did set the bag with the infinite void inside it down and my grandmother gave me the black case to hold. My gran opened the case and inside were clippers.
She applied a guard to it and shut the case, the girl that was caped up was horrified at the sight. I watched on as my grandmother tilted the girl’s head down to her chest and switched on the clippers. All the wasn’t pinned to the girl’s head fell as the clippers ate it away.
”There we are”,my grandmother breathed, switching off the clippers and rubbing the short stubble of the girl’s buzzed sides. She unpinned the girl’s hair again and removed the guard from the clippers: I feared the worst. The clippers were switched back on and the remaining long hair was halved again.
I couldn’t tell if the girl was crying as this point, I couldn’t really tell what she felt at this point. My gran finally switched off the clippers, for good this time, and used the scissors she still possessed to trim up the short curls. The girl’s hair looked like a super short bob and my grandmother was not done. Putting all the cutting utensils back in the bag, she took out a roller set, elixir, and head cap. She started to wrap the girl’s hair into the rollers and squirted the elixir into the head of hair. Putting the shower cap on the girl’s curling hair, we all waited for the elixir to do its thing. The sun acted as the heat needed to activate the elixir.
When it was all done, my grandmother took off the shower cap and a bottle of water that she told me to grab to rinse the excess elixir out of the girl’s hair. Taking out the rollers, my grandmother teased the hair til it was super curly and fluffy. She ruffled the hair and swept off the red bits of hair off the cape. My grandma removed the cape and gave the girl’s head a final ruffle,”So, what do you think?”,she asked the girl’s mother.
”It looks great”,the mother awed her daughter’s new hairstyle,”Doesn’t it, Tia”
The girl said nothing as she got up from the chair and started to walk away. Her mother put her own arm around her shoulder and they walked off together.