The Politics of Oooh Feeling Good

This week, both Suzette and Katy posted about how meeting-hugging and personal space violators can transform one’s professional life into some gross game of Duck-Duck-Duck-Goose! and one’s wardrobe into a fingerprint test kit. Personally, I dislike being touched by anyone without receipts for flowers and jewelry but don’t mind touching other people myself, which might explain that storied multi-state dating spree. Know this: if I’m wearing lipstick, we’re gonna air-kiss, buster! And if you squeeze my ribcage, I’m going to punch you, even if you’re Grandma.

Still, it pays to be flexible and examine the stub: yesterday, I went to the salon for a haircut. Last week, I rescheduled an appointment for this week and wrote down the wrong time. When I arrive at the salon, the young woman with the appointment book is mystified.

Inez: Did you know your appointment was for 5?
Tata: Six.
Inez: Five. Rosanna left. Leona’s here. Would you like her to trim your hair?

Uh oh. This way lies the path to heartache. I’ve upset my hairdresser! If I think my hairstyle is a wreck when I walk in and she’s not there, wait until next time she is! I may look like a lawnmower backed over my head. Again. I’m desperate. Leona takes pity on me, but between the grovelling and the leaving in shame lies my nemesis: the sink.

Auntie InExcelsisDeo and my grandmother were hairdressers in the same shop. I spent dozens of my childhood Saturdays sweeping up and reading books under the old appointment desk that now sits in my bedroom. Anyway, Auntie I. would sometimes scrub my scalp and trim dead ends and I whined the whole time.

Tata: Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow…
Auntie I.: I was done ten minutes ago.
Tata: I’m practicing for next time.

It is hard to convey how very little I enjoyed the experience. Compounding my current situation, the spray nozzles at the salon tickle my scalp. This has nothing to do with the nice lady on the business end of the hose: getting my hair washed in a public place is three minutes of horror, discomfort and desperate giggling.

Nobody finds this funnier than Siobhan.

Tata: I keep trying to get further away from my head.
Siobhan: Does this involve yoga?
Tata: The shampoo girls have given up diplomacy and now yank me back to the sink when I slide down the chair like the Grinch.
Siobhan: I can’t breathe! It’s like you need nitrous!
Tata: Sixty seconds of funny noises and I smell like conditioner? If they have a drug policy I’ll bring my own ReddiWhip and lurk in the bathroom like I’m smuggling cheesecake.

My haircut is not a disaster but it’s not inspired, either. My hairdresser will have her revenge – sometime. Nobody’s touching me for another six weeks. Not without receipts, anyhow.

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