Saturday, November 20, 2010

Marine Ball 2010

The hair, people. The hair.

I was a few minutes late to my marathon hair appointment because my husband was at work and I needed to wait for him to come home and take me to the appointment. Yes, that makes us officially old: it's the first time he's ever had to drop me off at my all-day hair appointment.

I walked up those creepy stairs and into Salmon's hair salon, which was... gone. He was sitting by himself, in the middle of a completely torn down apartment, smoking a cigarette. For a minute I thought I might have walked into a really scary episode of 24. But no: it turns out he is renovating his salon and we had to walk down the street to his friend's salon for my appointment.

Along the way, we tried to chat, but his English isn't great and my Arabic... isn't. During my last Arabic class, though, the teacher had told us that our stylists would ask what color our dresses were, so we learned colors. When Salmon asked me something that seemed to have the word "dress" in it, I proudly responded in Arabic "my dress is golden!"

"What?" he said, confused. Apparently he hadn't been asking about the dress after all. After determining that we had no idea what we were saying to one another, but that my dress was definitely golden, we continued our walk in silence.

I learned two things about Jordanian hair salons yesterday. First: everyone smokes. Everyone. Salmon went through at least 6 cigarettes during my appointment, which thankfully only lasted two and a half HOURS. The lady next to me, with the false eyelashes out to here and make-up to match, could not stop blowing smoke in my direction.

People, please. After you spend all that time and money on your hair, do you really want to walk out smelling like an ashtray? Yuck.

The second thing I learned? You are not going to get an American-style up-do, even if you show pictures and explain, in detail, before they start.

I thought Salmon and I both agreed that we would have something simple, a messy bun in the back, maybe, with no high hair on top. But I don't think they know how to do it any other way. He was teasing and combing and spraying and teasing again until my hair was gigantic. "Not too high," I kept telling him, but he was in the zone. He had three assistants stepping in, each with his own curling iron. He dumped a can and a half of hairspray into my hair. All the while a thick fog of cigarette smoke mixed with the hairspray to create a haze, through which I peered into the mirror, hoping against hope he knew what he was doing.

He knew what he was doing, all right. He was building a ski ramp on my head.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present: the Marine Ball up-do/Hot Wheels ramp that was my hair yesterday:

The back view:

The side view:

I thought I was going to cry. Really, I know there are worse problems to have in this world, but at the time, I honestly couldn't think of any. My hair was a ski jump. A hairsprayed helmet that smelled like cheap tobacco. And I was almost $100 poorer for it.

I think this was the lowest point in the life of my hair, with the possible exception of the time I decided to save money by dying my own hair in a hotel room, resulting in an orange head of hair that one hairdresser then chopped down to the roots before another one came in and dyed it back to its original color, leaving me with the same boring hair color, but with significantly less hair, and less money, too.

But I digress.

I caught a cab home and called Bart from the front yard. "Let me in," I believe I said, "but don't you DARE laugh at me."

He opened the door and, diplomat that he is, said only "Why didn't you have him do it the way you had it last year?" Before I could ask him if my new up-do made my butt look fat, the puppy came around the corner and started barking at the giant cigarette in the doorway - me. The baby started to cry. And Shay said "You canNOT leave the house looking like that, mom."

At least it was unanimous. I was a train wreck. But what to do?

Bart left for work (another emergency), leaving me alone with my foot-high nightmare.

I contemplated washing my hair and starting over, but there wouldn't be enough time to get all of the hair goo out. So I settled for removing about 60 bobby pins and a couple of rubber bands, then shaking my head around to try to undo the up-do.

There was enough hairspray in there that I was then able to salvage the hair somewhat by pulling it back in my usual ponytail and sticking a few of the pins in it to make it look like a bun.

I made Shay take some pictures so I could see if it was presentable. Here it is: the final hairstyle.

Now today, I will have to spend some serious time with a tub of coconut oil, trying to de-tangle this rat's nest on my head.

We were supposed to leave for the Ball at 5:30. Bart didn't get home from work until 5, at which time I got in the car with Shay and raced to drop him off for a sleepover. I got home again at 5:20, with just enough time to zip into a dress, toss on some heels, give some quick instructions to the sitter, help Bart find some cuff links, take the baby seats out of the van and go.

But we made it to the Ball. And you'd never know, looking at our smiling faces, that just a few minutes before we got there, we were running around frantically, me smelling of cigarettes and Bart reeling from stress.


Walking to China said... [Reply]

You look so pretty and relaxed!
The people in our hair place in China smoke too. It's disgusting but they do cut hair well.

Linsey said... [Reply]

Nice salvage job. The end result is lovely.

Z. Marie said... [Reply]

I love the hair -- post-rescue, I mean. Some of my friends here were going to get theirs done for the ball, but I declined. I figured if I could fix my own hair for my wedding, I could do it for lesser events. I'm sorry your $100 didn't buy the hairdo you'd envisioned.

A said... [Reply]

I think you might have beat my bear story...

Diplo_Daddy said... [Reply]

I'm a former US Marine and truly enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks.

Daniela Swider said... [Reply]

Sorry you didn't get the up-do you envisioned but it did make for a wonderful post and I loved the way you ultimately looked. I say skip the hair dresser next time and do it all yourself - less stress and easier on your wallet.

A Daring Adventure said... [Reply]

Look at you and your gorgeous self!

Love the dress! Love the hair! And Bart looks so handsome in his tux! You guys even have matching fabric types!

So does this mean that you're not going back to talented Salmon? Or that he just isn't going to be getting you for any more formal events?

And does this mean that we need to buy James a tux? You know how heavily I lean on you for answers to supremely important questions like these...

MaryjoO said... [Reply]

very cute hair actually and I'm sure you had to wash your hair before you could go to bed that night though!

I keep seeing Marine Ball photos on Facebook ... lots of memories! Were you at the one in Armenia where I had two different shoes on? We had a guest, and I put my "heels" on at the last moment in a dark bedroom. When I looked down at my feet later I laughed so hard my mascara ran. And I did NOT go and change! We have great photos of people taking photos of my two different shoes (and yes, hubby was the Ambo....)
many many hugs. We are up in the mountains right now in the middle of all weekend snow!

Almost American said... [Reply]

Wow - you did a fantastic job of transforming that hairstyle!

Connie said... [Reply]

I hate the smoke too, and really appreciate arriving in the US to the scent of.. well... NOT tobacco! (And I actually enjoy the smell of good tobacco, but there's a line easilt crossed.) Salmon must have used up all his magic with your hair on the first visit :( It actually looks like he started doing something very elaborate with the sides, but then ... stopped and sprayed the rest flat! Perhaps his muse passed out from all the hairspray and smoke fumes and he didn't know what else to do?? Excellent rescue!! Lovely photo of you and Bart too, I hope you had a wonderful evening!!

Catherine said... [Reply]

I went through a similar situation here in the US, my first year back from MSG duty and the first time I was invited to my now husband's MC Ball and could wear a dress. I spend $100.00 as well and had makeup done too, all of which I washed off and ended up re-doing my hair as well, when I got back to the barracks... You see, it could happen anywhere! :) You looked great in your post fix-up photo.

wereposa said... [Reply]

Talented salmon is now tainted salmon.

Great save on the do!

Kami said... [Reply]

Oh, I could feel the tension rising! Nothing like wasting time in the hopes of looking awesome! But Donna, you really are a miracle worker. You looked beautiful in the end! (Did you at least give the kids a chance to try to hot wheels ramp out before you fixed it?)

Becky said... [Reply]

Nice rescue! That is crazy though. Glad it turned out okay. You looked great.

Sara said... [Reply]

Oh the hair! They style you took to the ball looks great! Good job saving it!

Jill said... [Reply]

Lady you salvaged that craptastic
'do like no other could! You look GREAT!

Hope you had a fun time! We didn't have Marines at our last post - thus no Marine Ball. :(

Please. Write your own stuff.