March 31, 2012


I have this really weird quirk that involves my beauty regimen, if you can even call it that.  On most days, I'm in and out of the shower with hair done and face on in under 10 minutes.  I don't spend a lot of time on much of anything, well, except for my eyebrows and I've already explained that red hot mess a time or two.   Come to think of it, I guess it's not really my beauty regimen perse, but it is my self image.  Basically, it all comes down to my hair.

I'm really particular about my hair. 

I don't mean it has to perfectly parted or glistening in the sunshine.  But it does have to be short.  And as far as I'm concerned, the shorter the better.  I've sported short hair for most of my adult life and since having kids it's only gotten shorter.  It's quick, clean, and easy.  I'm also lucky in that I can pull it off though I think that this has more to do with attitude than face shape because I've been every shade of two hundred and back again all the while sporting the same do.   And like clockwork I'm in the beauty shop every 5 weeks come hell or high water to get it trimmed back to nothing.  Because that's what a good pixie cut is...nothing.  Of course a pixie does not  a quirk make but the fact that each trip to the salon leaves me convinced of a five pound weight loss probably does. 

Unfortunately, the move to Spain has presented some challenges in the hair maintenance department.  First off, there's the unspoken rule - well, law is perhaps a better word for it - that if you are a female you will have long hair.  Period.  I've already been approached by women in the pueblo, "Por favor, you've got to stop shaving your head, darling.  Just let it grow out for a while.  You'll see, it'll be okay..."  Really?  How 'bout defining 'while'?  Is that  Crystal Gayle 'while'? Because anything beyond Susan Powter while is just not gonna work for me.  Secondly, my hair is shorter than most men's and by far the shortest of all the women's in town.  This fact I don't mind at all but it did have me a tad leary of that first appointment with the peluquera.  How was I going to explain that I needed it as short as she could get it without resorting to clippers?  Would she even do it?  Break the town norm and put her ass on the line for my five pound fantasy?  Point cut, texturize, oh yeah and don't forget the cowlick - all very minor details to you, the reader.  In English.  Ever try explaining all that in a tongue other than your own?  

Lucky for me, we've gotten past my Spanish 101 beauty parlor vocabulary and my girl does an awesome job each and every time.  I now sit back, grab the Hola magazine and let her go to town while my brain floats in and out of Spanish consciousness straining for only the most important of the pueblo's gossip that hangs like a soupy fog over the black vinyl salon chairs.  That is, once the shampooing is done.

Aaah yes, the shampooing.

I do realize it is quite possible that being follically challenged, in other words, practically bald (by local standards), I may be hyper sensitive to the Spanish approach to washing clients' hair but I gotta ask:  what the hell is the deal with washing my ears?  I lean back all the way, my head centered and hanging into the sink.  I make sure to scooch up all the way so my neck rolls seal the gap between me and the wash basin and I never complain about the water temperature even though it's always too cold.  The hair gets soaked, the shampoo goes on and the next thing I know it's gone from hairwash to aural assault with no warning whatsoever; a two for one special at no extra charge.  It's not just a pueblo thing either because I've had my hair cut on multiple occasions in Castellon, Valencia, Madrid and Cordoba.  It doesn't matter if I'm in the city or the pueblo - it's always the same, two minutes worth of scalp scrubbing and ten worth of sudsy ear swirls.  The first couple of times I thought it was just bad luck so I shrugged it off.  But then I started noticing that it wasn't just my bad luck but everyone else sporting a Superman cape. 

I don't know.  Maybe America's approach to customer service has made me soft.  The Customer is Always Right mentality may have prejudiced me to the point of no return.  Of this I'm not sure but one thing is for certain:  I'm already dreading my trip to the gynecologist.

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