Yesterday, I drove almost two hours to Knight’s Landing to get my hair done. I’m not a vain woman. I’ve actually left salon chairs in anguish because I felt uncomfortable in the spotlight. I cringe when I think of bad cuts and awful color that I’ve endured because I wouldn’t speak out. I just don’t feel worthy of the kind of primping and pampering that most women take for granted as their due.
So when I find a hair stylist who makes my hair look good and my heart sing, she’s worth a two-hour drive.
Believe me when I tell you that I dearly long to accept my own value. Plenty of women friends have urged me to see myself through their eyes. But the combination of whatever turn my psyche took along the way and the American social culture with its predefined notion of physical virtue stymies any hope in that regard. When my body weighed next to nothing, I still found myself ugly and unlovable. In weightier times, I accepted that fat prohibited affection. Through all of the roller-coaster poundage levels, the annoying limp, tired sagging, and gnarled limps announced stark differences that a good hair cut would never overcome.
I don’t know if men experience such angst over their bodies. I assume my own special issues compound the situation. I realize that I should be over all this by sixty-five. Yet here I stand: Still wishing, as the character Brenda in the sit-com Rhoda once declaimed, that someday, somewhere, someone would think that I am pretty.
My current stylist could also be considered a friend. I met her three years ago in Lodi. I had steeled myself and scheduled a pedicure, which for me serves the necessary purpose of footcare which I cannot accomplish for myself. The technician grimaced when she saw my crippled toes. She actually backed away She elaborately applied gel to her own hands, then donned gloves. I should have left. Instead, I endured her rough ministrations. You see, as a person with fairly severe spasticity, tending to my own feet poses genuine difficulty.
Afterwards, I asked the receptionist about available stylists who might be qualified for a bit of facial work. The lady introduced me to Christina Sandoval Sorensen, who settled me in her chair and cheerily asked how my pedicure had gone. I’m sure the resultant tears must have shocked her. In whispered tones, I described the pedicurist’s behavior. Christina hugged me; then set about giving me a marvelous treatment — shaped eyebrows, face-wax, a soothing neck massage. Afterwards, she refused payment. I left her chair in wildly better spirits than I had assumed it. She’s been my hair stylist ever since; and I call her “friend” as well.
Christina and her husband left the Delta last year for Knight’s Landing, but they are moving back. I’m thrilled. I can’t wait to sit on the dock and share a drink with her; to eat a meal at the local haunt; and to brave the river in her lovely boat.
Christina’s not the only hair stylist to become a friend. Kelley Blond in Kansas City, who did a marvelous job with my color and kept me in stitches of the merry-making kind, occupies a special place in my bruised and battered heart. My #journeytojoy still looms before me; but these two special women have taken me across troubled waters from time to time. Yes, they charge for their services though not as much as the hour of therapy that I sometimes feel their ministrations provide. And I leave their care with tamed curls, without grey roots, and smiling. What more could I ask?
It’s the sixth day of the ninetieth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
Christina Sandoval Sorenson does business as Cloud 9 Hair and Make-up, currently situated in Knight’s Landing but soon returning to Lodi. Kelley Marie Blond owns Lady Luck Hair Parlour and Spa in Kansas City, which used to be on Washington. DM her on FB for updated location and availability.