Monday, June 22, 2015

A Little (Apparently) Means A Lot

My hair after Angela cut it this year

 “I felt defenseless when my hair got short all of a sudden. As if somebody had thrown me into a crowd all naked.”   ― Haruki Murakami

Well, I did it again.  It's been five weeks since I had my hair cut, and when I woke up the other morning, my hair was suddenly too long.  I thought about having it cut before Mike arrived, but I waited a day so he'd recognize me.

If you've read the blog before, you might remember that I've had a run of miscommunication with Italian hair stylists.  The first year, I was unsure of how to say "Cut just a little" in Italian.  I don't remember exactly what I said, but I pointed to someone else's hair and said what I thought was "Cut just a little."  My hair went from this:

 to this:

That time wasn't really so much of a problem except that I had a hard time getting used to the shorter hair and trying to deal with it. again  I never could get the back to stick out like that again, and I really tried.  I sprayed and yanked as much as the stylist did, but my hair always looked like I stuck a blond bird's nest on it. I gave up eventually and just tried to look normal.

I did keep my hair shorter, though, and by the time I returned to Bologna last year, I was used to short, layered hair again.  Of course, if you remember, I eventually had to have my hair cut, and the gal in Bologna who cut it (Angela), snipped it a little more than I liked at first.  I went from hair like this:

 to this:

 It took me a few days to like the way my hair turned out after Angela scalped me cut it last year. I spent the good part of a week pulling on my bangs to lengthen them—an exercise in futility, of course.  Hair grows at its own pace, and mine decided it was going to grow slowly last year. 

For eight months, I kept my hair (except my bangs) almost as short as Angela cut it, but I decided in March that I wanted it a bit longer.  Having hair that's just a bit longer presents its own problem, as I mentioned, in that overnight, it' becomes too long and will not behave....especially if you have cornsilk for hair and if the humidity is high.

That's where I found myself about 10 days ago.  When I did my hair in the morning, it looked okay, but by the time we had been outside 10 minutes, it started swaying in the wind and flattening itself against my scalp. My bangs were in my eyes.  I moussed and sprayed the bangs. I tucked the sides behind my ears. I even tried to cut them both a bit.  I fluffed my hair every time I thought about it.  I gave up.

My hair 13 days ago
As I walked to the train station to meet Mike on Friday afternoon, I stopped by Angela's shop and asked for an appointment.

"When do you want to come in?" she asked me.

"I don't care. Monday?  Tuesday?" I figured I could wait another few days.

"I'm closed Monday, and you can't wait until Tuesday," she said and fluffed my hair with her hand.  "You need a haircut. Come tomorrow afternoon at 16:30." If I hadn't agreed that I needed a haircut, I might have been insulted, but she was right.

I showed up at 16:30 on Saturday to find Angela, her own black hair set on three-inch rollers, juggling two older Italian women. While one sat under a dryer, the other talked non-stop as Angela set her hair.  She, too, moved to a dryer, and Angela looked at me.

"Paula, are you ready?"  I thought that I had perhaps heard her incorrectly, so I just nodded and got up.
"Where are you from again, Paula?" she asked me. 

"I'm Cristina," I said to her.  Oops.

"Oh, yes. Yes. Paula is after you."  She chatted about heaven knows what as she washed my hair and led me to the chair.  "You just want a cut today?"

"Yes," I assured her, "I want just a cut. Cut just a little...this much." I indicated about a half-inch with my fingers.

"Just a centimeter is all?" She grabbed a comb and scissors from the table.  (Side note: For the record, a centimeter is about .40 inch or less than half of an inch.)

"Yes. Yes.  Just a centimeter," I confirmed.

"Okay," she replied.  "Just a centimeter."  She snipped, and about an inch of my hair fell onto my lap.  I sighed.

So, my hair is a lot shorter than I intended, but I have to say that I actually like it this year.  The woman may not know her centimeters, but she does know how to cut for someone's bone structure.

As she dried my hair, I asked her if she could do the highlights for me before I leave Bologna in a few weeks.  She ran her fingers through my hair and looked at the roots.

"Yes," she assured me.  "You can't wait too long.  Come next week."

I'll be there right on time.

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