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Snow and a Haircut

 

It has been a very un-snowy winter here on Long Island so far, so when I saw a snowflake on my weather app I got very excited, except that it showed up on the day when Mom and I were scheduled to go to a new hair salon, after fifteen years of going to the same hairdresser.

The beauty supply store where we’d been going for haircuts decided to close in November. The hairdresser herself called us to let us know, and said she’d be working out of a new salon, about forty five minutes away, if we wanted to follow her. We decided, instead, to ask around for a new hairdresser, preferably someone affordable and nearby. My real preference would have been to go to the groomer where Cricket and Ellie get their hair done, but she stubbornly refuses to work with humans. Phooey.

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“You go to the groomer. I’ll stay home.”

Mom got a recommendation from a friend, whose haircut she likes (aka nice, but not overly fussy), and then proceeded to put off the inevitable for weeks, and then months. Neither one of us is all that comfortable with getting our hair done. I don’t mind the shampooing part, but then sitting in front of a mirror, without my glasses, with my hair plastered to my head, I look, at least to myself, like Mrs. Potato head. But Mom persisted and finally made the dreaded appointments.

When I saw that little snowflake on my phone, I secretly hoped that our hair appointments would have to be cancelled. So what if my hair was getting unspeakably long, and I had to chop my bangs with the doggy scissors? Whatever. Maybe I could buy one of those vacuum attachments and cut my hair with that.

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“A vacuum cleaner?!!!”

No luck. The snow faded quickly, into sleet, but the salon was still open (even though the library was closed!), and Mom wanted to get the whole thing over with, so we went out on the slippery roads. When we parked, after a ten minute ride at very slow speed, I realized that this place looked suspiciously like a real salon, instead of the makeshift arrangement I was used to.

I felt my social anxiety disorder kick in as I sat in the waiting area and listened to the chatter from the ladies getting their nails done; something about how a man shouldn’t marry a woman who loses weight for her wedding, because as soon as she gets pregnant she’s going to blow up and never lose the weight again, and boom, he’s married to a fat girl. I buried my head in my phone and did language practice on mute, wondering if Mom would mind very much if I ran out of the salon and skated home by myself, instead of waiting for my turn in the chair. I figured she’d mind, so I stayed put.

I’m comfortable with going to the doctor on my own, only dragging Mom with me when I’m nervous about a new doctor, or can’t figure out how to get somewhere, but for haircuts, I need my Mommy with me every time. I should probably consider taking Cricket’s anti-anxiety meds before going for a haircut, the way she takes a dose before going to the groomer, but I’m worried that I’m getting too comfortable borrowing things that belong to the dogs, and, the vet will probably get suspicious if we run out of the anti-anxiety medication too quickly. He might worry that I’m overdosing my dog, instead of myself.

I sat in the waiting area for forty-five minutes while Mom got her hair cut, and I managed to work my way through Spanish, French, and German, before it was my turn. The new hairdresser went to work, very carefully portioning my hair with clips, and asking me to put on my glasses and check her work at regular intervals. She didn’t do a lot of chatting, or ask personal questions. She said nice things about my hair, though, and when she was done my hair looked better than I’d expected. She might be a keeper. And she still costs less than the groomer, so that’s nice.

When we got home, the girls were too busy begging to go outside to notice any difference in my hair. It’s possible that when they look at me they always see me as Mrs. Potato head, and they don’t really mind. As long as I’m not carrying an umbrella, which makes me seem like a monster, I’m okay with them. But the snowy/sleety sidewalk they had to drag their paws through? That was a horror! They did their business, and dried their feet on any surface they could find, and then we all took some well-earned naps. Change is exhausting!

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If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out my Amazon page and consider ordering the Kindle or Paperback version (or both!) of Yeshiva Girl. And if you feel called to write a review of the book on Amazon, or anywhere else, I’d be honored.

Yeshiva Girl is about a Jewish girl on Long Island named Izzy (short for Isabel). Her father has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with one of his students, which he denies, but Izzy implicitly believes that it’s true. Izzy’s father decides to send her to an Orthodox yeshiva for tenth grade, out of the blue, as if she’s the one who needs to be fixed. Izzy, in pain, smart, funny, and looking for people she can trust, finds that religious people are much more complicated than she had expected. Some, like her father, may use religion as a place to hide, but others search for and find comfort, and community, and even enlightenment.

 

About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

80 responses »

  1. Change is scary, so I’m glad that worked out. I am enjoying your book, by the way.

    Reply
  2. I’ve cut some of my clients for over thirty years now, grown and receded together! It’s always a bit sad when long term clients go AWOL. But I’m glad that you found a new stylist as it can be quite traumatic (for both the cutter and the punter) sometimes. I reckon you know well within 2 seconds whether it’s going to work out or not!

    Great read, as ever.

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  3. thecraftingsenior

    My sympathies! I hate going to the salon so much that I used to cut it myself. It worked pretty well with curly hair. But since my neuro issues got worse, I’m letting it grow out to one length and someone trims it for me in my home. Those two are just too cute! Take care, Rachel. Mary 😊❤

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    • Thank you! I wish Cricket or Ellie could cut my hair for me. I think they’d do a great job.

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    • My hairdresser (who I adore) always thinks I am having a spa day when I go to get my hair cut. Truth is, it seems more like a chore. Never mind that I have to go back to work with people wondering where the heck I have been for two hours. He takes his time. I wouldn’t think of going to somebody else though.

      I would love to have it done in my home. Sounds like more of a spa day to me so enjoy and be well!

      Reply
  4. I’ve been with my same hairdresser for 16 years so when he decides to retire, I will be devastated!

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  5. I just love what Cricket and Ellie have to say — they are right on the money! And of course they don’t think you look like Mrs. Potatohead — they think you look like a fairy princess and a super-model and cheese all rolled into one, because that’s how much they love you. 🙂

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  6. See Cricket, Rachel has a new groomer
    Rachel has a new groomer
    Rachel has a new groomer
    Rachel has a new groomer

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  7. I haven’t been able to go to a salon in over 30 years because of my allergies. If you ever do decide to take care of your own hair, let’s just say that braids make things very easy….

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  8. Hate having to change hairdresser – so stressful. I also prefer to chill in the salon rather than chat.

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  9. Sympathy on the hairdresser front. A year or so ago one of mine had the gall to have a baby so I had to look elsewhere. Now I get it cut very short so it lasts a long time.

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  10. Best thing about my dogs: they never care what you look like at all.

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  11. Great read. You have my sympathy. I hate getting my hair cut. I would go bald but that would involve too much maintenance.

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  12. Before I started to cut my own hair, by running clippers over it, I used the same barber for close to 30 years. Even when I moved away to the other side of London, I would make the long trip across, to keep using the same guy. We more or less grew up together, and were friends as much as barber and customer. I would make coffee in his small kitchen, and let others go into the chair before me, while we chatted.
    Once I no longer had enough hair left to justify the travelling, I really missed that regular social interaction, and my Turkish friend.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Reply
  13. I cut my own hair now as being long, it’s quite straight forward……. brush forward, comb through, attack. I used to go every 6 weeks when I was working, then it got too expensive (£43 for a cut and blow dry pre 2000) so I had someone come ot the house. She was terrific, then moved away. We found someone else, who as it turned out married my nephew and they emigrated to the USA. Is it something we said????????
    Last hair cut I had was my birthday three years ago, £26 for a cut but no dry.
    I treated my Mum when we visited after selling the cottage. They fitted me in too (this was 2014) and this was the first professeional cut for about 10 years. I love the shampooing, massage, and pummelling of the head. I hate the tweaking, mousse, and refuse to have hairspray!

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  14. No picture of the new cut???

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  15. My hair needs cutting (I like to wear it REALLY short), but I think I’m in a new play and may need to keep growing it. Damn! But my favorite thing, which I’ve only done twice so far, is participate in a St. Baldrick’s Day event. I beg people for donations for cancer research, then get my head shaved. I LOVE being bald! And I feel so sophisticated when it is super short when it first starts to grow back.

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  16. That’s great you found someone who will cut your hair without talking too much. I see getting my hair cut as an errand (not a social visit!) so I just want to get it over with as soon as possible. I had to quit going to a hairdresser even though I liked how she did my hair because she would sometimes spend really long periods of time just standing there talking, not even working on my hair at all; the whole time I would sit there feeling more antsy and frustrated by the moment and ready to run out the door!

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  17. I hear you on the dog groomer as hairstylist thing. Our vet and her staff are so much more pleasant to interact with than people doctors and their crews. Vets give their patients pets and snacks and even sit down on the floor with them just to build rapport. What’s not to like?

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  18. Our dog groomer is also
    More expensive than my stylist! I’m glad you found a good replacement stylist. I always tip
    More if they don’t talk a lot….

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  19. Charlee: “Two bits!”
    Chaplin: “You are so weird, Charlee.”

    Reply
  20. I LOVE haircut day! I go once a month. I figure it’s a chance to relax and let someone else do the work. I don’t look at myself in the mirror, though. I keep my eyes averted and pretend I’m gorgeous. I also like it when my hairdresser gives me a nice scalp massage after washing my hair. Does this mean I’m decadent? I guess it means I like comfort. I guess it’s good that I enjoy that day because I have a beagle, so I have no groomer option.

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  21. You’re a brave buckaroo for trying a new hairdresser and I’m so glad it turned out well. Next time might be much easier. I, too, put off getting my hair cut. I also dislike sitting without my glasses because I feel so vulnerable.

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  22. I have horribly horrible hair – and it’s totally unfair because EVERY SINGLE PERSON in my family except for me has this amazing, thick, beautiful hair. I hate getting haircuts because every time my hair, worthless as it is, gets to looking half way where I think it’s not the worst hair ever, I need a trim and I come out looking like Ishkabibble. I have no clue who Ishkabibble was, but my mother would often look at my hair and pronounce that I looked exactly like him. Your picture does not show a woman who looks like Ishkabibble so I think you have little to fear from getting a new haircut – I’m sure you look amazing. 🙂

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  23. Loved it, and am loving your book, I am highlighting stuff and can’t wait to review it. From page 2 I was already attached to the characters, and I am completely immersed. Brava Rachel! 🙂

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  24. It was a SLOW drive and it only took ten minutes? Yeah, I would do that instead of driving 45 minutes to get a hair cut. 🙂 And I am so glad that you liked your hair after she was done! That helps a lot!

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  25. You make me feel so much less alone for not always being comfortable in social situations! And this was hilarious to read too!!!! New girl is looking more confident in pics too I notice. Thank you for the pleasurable read!

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  26. It IS nerve wracking to have to go to a new hair stylist though once you’ve found one that you can trust. I’m glad she did a good job.

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  27. The important thing to remember about dogs is they don’t look at you with their eyes, they look with their noses. So when your moppets look at you they see breakfast, dinner and treats, also that nice stuff you put on your hands (nice by definition because your hands feel good), and wherever your shoes have been.

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  28. Anchors To Windward

    Hello to you, and pardon my intrusion. I have enjoyed very much perusing your blog this morning! I’m under no illusions, I think the title of my post had almost everything to do with your visit 🙂 but whatever the reason, it is indeed my pleasure to make your acquaintance. Now a question for you if I may? I too started using Duolingo last Thursday, and get this – I use it for Hebrew & Spanish, but that wasn’t a question, it was more of an introductory statement. Anyway, here’s the question…Did you create a profile for the app? I’m always so leery and wary of creating profiles. I don’t wish my email to become inundated with advertisements and spam, but it would be nice to store and review my progress. I was just curious if the app would behave itself and be kind to me and my phone instead of annoying me with messages? Your thoughts would be appreciated. I apologize for the length of my comment, thanks for indulging me. Have a memorable day.

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  29. I’m glad that worked out. 🙂

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  30. Hi Rachel ! I hope that the LI weather is still un-snowy but I’ve seen reports that it’s been quite cold (from my family) so I hope you and the puppies are staying warm. I’m a LI girl too – Wantagh 🙂 and reading your post and seeing your beautiful puppies makes me homesick. Thank you for sharing! Hugs!

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  31. I know exactly how you feel and you expressed yourself beautifully. I am so glad your hair came out ok and that it all worked out. I too would rather go to a doctors appointment than a haircut:-)

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  32. Rachel, well done for going through with the haircut. Anxiety is such a weird and seemingly random thing. So many people have an achilles heel and could be anything and I’ve found even really confident people aren’t immune. I found out a friend of mine has a severe phobia of frogs and I’ve had a severe phobia of false teeth since I was a child.
    Tonight, I went to a talk at the high school. Our son is 15 now and has only 3 years left of school and this was more of a pep talk than anything specific. They mentioned this anachronism PERMAH developed by Martin Seligman and it looked really good. I’ve already started following this up.
    My current anxiety/stressor is trying to write a book about a ship collision my great grandfather was in and after complaining about not being able to get the word length down on other projects, I’m struggling to see how I’m going to get 80,000 words. Clearly, I need to break it down and just start writing but I keep shooting myself in the foot.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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  33. I’m the same with getting my hair cut! I’ve been to hairdressing training salons a few times, which is where a (hopefully final-year) student gets let loose on your head & you get a free cut out of it. It usually works out really well, as they take their time, cutting it really carefully & the teacher comes round & corrects any mistakes – I end up with some sort of short bob anyway as my hair’s dead straight. The only time I had a problem was when I got a perm one time whilst in my first term at uni. The student accidentally left the solution on for too long & some of the hair broke off near the roots. Luckily It was still quite long & covered up but a bit scary!

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  34. If ever there is a heaven I know where I will find Cricket!

    Reply

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