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.