Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Beauty Shop


I took my mom to have her hair done on Saturday. There is nothing quite like a "beauty shop". Movie mags and gossip rags are everywhere. Brightly colored rollers lay atop tables and carts. The air is redolent with the smell of permanent solution.

This is not a "salon". The customers have done the same thing every Saturday morning for 40 years. There are an assortment of walkers along one wall and the staff takes exceedingly tender care with clientele. God bless these women who pamper women like my mother with a gentle wash and set while gossiping about shared acquaintances before gently placing them under the dryer to read about Brad and Angelina and shout at one another.

It was so very reminiscent of my childhood! It made me long for a cold grape soda in a glass bottle. Back then, the stories in the magazines were about Liz and Richard and the ladies' hair was much darker. The gossip was whispered and far juicier. A Saturday morning spent at the beauty shop was an inside look at womanhood. There were glamorous women there who had their hair colored and their nails done. There were women like my mom, hoping to look good for most of the week. (I never remember my mom painting her nails or having them done, but there was always Cutex nail polish around the house, so she must have done them herself.) There were the hair dressers (not stylists)with curlers in their own hair, waiting on a moment when another could comb them out. They wore make-up and smoked and laughed about going out on Saturday night, things I knew nothing of.

My mom knew little of make-up and styling of hair. She had my hair cut short when I was small to keep from having to deal with rolling it, braiding it, and all of the other things you do to little girls' hair. No bows or ribbons for me...a pixie cut was my destiny. My parents would occasionally step out on a Saturday night when I was the only child. My aunt and uncle and some friends would join them and share the baby sitting services of my older cousins. But some couples moved away, some marriages crumbled, and my sister came along and Saturday night became family night.

But Saturday was the day that Mom ran errands and did a little something for herself. And sometimes I got to come along.


MileHighBaker said...

What a lovely piece! It brings back memories for me, as well. Including the ever present pixie haircut. I sometimes wear my hair longer now, but inevitably, I have no learned patience for it and it gets cut relatively short again. Thanks for the flashback!

Becky said...

Oh my, does that bring back memories. I used to go to the beauty shop every week with my grandmother. One of the hair dressers would always do my nails so they would be pretty. She (the hair dresser) had the oddest colour red hair, obviously dyed, and smoked like a stack. What a fun thing to think about again.