"Your cheatin' heart/ Will pine some day/ And crave the love/ You threw away/ The time will come/ When you'll be blue/ Your cheatin' heart, will tell on you..."*
Hello, my name is Anastasia and I am a hair salon floozy. [Hi, Anastasia!] In my entire adult life I have only managed two meaningful relationships with hairdressers, and both of those were more than a dozen years ago.
Sure, I could blame it on my transient youth. With so much moving around, you barely have time to get to know somebody's name and how they feel about the '80s pop blaring through the salon before you're picking up stakes and having your split ends trimmed by some fresh new face.
Or I could fall back on the overall coiffure culture and the heady (no pun intended) hair scene of the West Coast. Back in LA, and then later too in Seattle, I went to "Rudy's," the key party equivalent of salons. You'd saunter into the place and eyeball the talent--hmmmm, the guy with the short bleached 'do and the tattoos seemed to be doing a good job on that girl in his chair, but then you didn't see her when she came in, did you, so who knows what his role really was in designing those kicky little bangs. Feeling daring, you put your name on the list and you rolled the dice; whoever called out your name was your destiny for the next half hour. You got a new stylist every time, and it was exciting and dangerous and you felt like you were living on the edge.
But this program is all about taking responsibility for our mistakes, right? So I have to tell the truth and admit that my laxity in who I allow to put their fingers in my tresses is due entirely to me. I'm drawn to the allure of a new salon and the mysteries it holds. What kind of shampoo do they use? Do they massage your scalp? Do they offer you coffee or--praise be--wine, or just season-old issues of "In Style" and "Details" magazines?
And there are the stylists; oh the frisson that accompanies somebody new sliding up behind me, placing their fingertips on my head and delivering that age-old come on: "So, what are we doing today?" At that moment, all my dreams seem possible. My hair will be thick and straight, no more unruly curls or unending frizz. The cut will look perfect without my having to blow-dry it or coat it with an unending variety of "products." It will cascade behind my ears and onto my neck in a glorious, shiny, smooth stream, the light reflecting off my saucy highlights and with a vague scent of exotic vanilla trailing behind me.
I know what you're thinking. "Your expectations are too high, Anastasia. That's why you can't commit." Well, duh. That and the $95 a really good cut seems to cost. But I just haven't met that perfect somebody yet, that stylist I'm ready to settle down with. So in the meantime, if you have any recommendations, let me know. 'Cause me and my hair are totally available and cruising for a new salon.
*Hank Williams, "Your Cheatin' Heart," 1952.