Friday, February 26, 2016
"Twice a week I go to a beauty salon and have my hair blown dry. It’s cheaper by far than psychoanalysis, and much more uplifting.’ Nora Ephron
I went to the hairdresser yesterday. When I arrived, I was tired and slightly anxious about something. Nicky came over and sat down on the sofa next to me and looked me in the eyes and asked me how I was, and I don't know I responded, but she, being a sensitive woman who has been cutting my hair for 25 years, could tell anyway. Then she asked me what I wanted her to do to my hair, and got a minion to wash it before the cutting began.
I have been going to Nicky for all this time because she is such a good cutter, but also because she is sensitive, fun, and I can have a conversation with her that isn't about meaningless trivia.
At the end of the trim and the blow dry, when she'd shown me the back of my head in the hand-mirror, as they do, she put down the hand mirror, stood and looked at me in the big mirror with her hands on the back of my chair and said "Right."
And I found myself saying - without thinking - "I've got to get up, now, haven't I?"
I said this because it seemed like such a shame to be leaving the company of someone so amenable (as well as skilful) whom I only see for 45 minutes, every seven weeks. And also because I felt so much more cheerful than when I'd arrived.
"Yes, you've got to get up," she said, laughing. "You're done."
Oh, these wonderful people who are trusty landmarks in our daily lives. Dave and I have a local optician and a car mechanic, both of whom we like and rely on, and it fills us with mild panic that they are both on the brink of retirement.
When I was 15, I remember a friend's mother asking me what I wanted to do when I left school and I said "Something useful." She said "Every job is useful if it's done well." And I, in my idealistic world-changing mode, said with disdain: "What? Even a hairdresser?"
Oh, how little I knew back then.
How would I respond to my friend's mother now?
"What? Even an arms dealer?"
As I don't have a photo of Nicky, here is another of my personal heroines, the writer, Nora Ephron:
Posted by Sue Hepworth at 7:34 am