Posted by: foodtalker | May 25, 2010

hair today gone tomorrow

I recently went to a friend’s daughter’s wedding.  Of course it was attended by many beauteous and slender girls, all able to look like Kate Moss in those dresses that are kept in place with grit and glue.  They looked amazing, oozing their confidence, gliding effortlessly around in ten inch heels talking about the men of their dreams and the dreams of their men.  Their lives spread out at their prettily-varnished and pedicured feet.  

I used to be like that.  The world was my oyster. I was promised this by the previous generation.  And that was all very well and titillating, until I realized you had to eat said oysters whilst they were still alive.  Then the world seemed to take a bit of a nose dive. 

Anyway, talking about oysters, that was the colour of the frock I’d planned to wear to this wedding, but unfortunately if wasn’t behaving well in certain areas and had decided to gather in accusing wrinkles around the hip and stomach area.  

It was time to divert attention. 

My hairdresser is a wizard. He’s given me hair cuts that take me off the spinster shelf.   He can shave ten years off my “real” age, put a twitch back in my tail and make me look and feel sexy.  The last hair cut I had was great.  Everyone who saw it said so.  I sat in the chair, reminded him and asked for the “same again”.  Like a repeat drink order. No deviations, no additives, no embellishments.  Straight up.  

He shook his head. “We’ll do something different this time,” he said.  No – I want the same thing as before.  I’d felt young and giddy.  I wanted that back.  He shook his head again.  “Time to make a statement,” he said.  “A statement?” I spluttered.  “Isn’t that something the bank sends you every month?”  “We’ll go shorter this time.” he said.  I should’ve grabbed his scissors and etched it in the mirror or his forehead.  “I want what I had before”.  

No one needs to tell you when you’ve had a bad hair cut.  It’s an instinctive thing.  I’ve drawers full of scarves bought as a result of bad clips, worn home with shame and chagrin. You always know when you’ve had a bad hair cut because you just can’t look your face in the mirror, and whilst you are saying graciously “Thank you, that looks just lovely,” inside your head you are screaming “oh my god, my life is over, I’ll be shunned, humiliated and stoned. 

It wasn’t even necessarily the haircut.  It was that he’d taken off so much that what I was left with didn’t work. There was nowhere for the jowls and the wattle to hide.  I looked like I was wearing Liz Taylor’s hair.  Not Liz Taylor in Cat on the Hot Tin Roof, but Liz Taylor in the tabloids in the wheelchair with the bad back trying to be stoic but at the same time looking very very bouffant.  I tried curling it and instead of Liz, I began to shape-shift into my favourite dolly who talked when you pulled a string and asked you to tea and is now a one-legged bath toy and hasn’t said much in a while. 

So I shall practice silence, but meanwhile you’re welcome for tea.


  1. This is perfect! I swear every woman in the world has felt this one at one time or another. Way to go Kate!

  2. I will take your hair any time my dear!

  3. What a wonderful story. Thank you. I’d write more but have to run out and get my hair cut. Wish me luck.

  4. A bout of chemotherapy showed me that the image in the mirror has but two dimensions, and even one of them is wrong: I’m right-handed, but the figure in the mirror is left-handed. So perhaps the eyes of those who care for you are more accurate mirrors.

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