Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Tell me what I want for you!"

I have always made it a rule to avoid 'dropping names'; no free advertising and no suing for defamation. So if you work this one out, it is your pure intelligence and nothing to do with my lack of tact.

I have always used the same hair dresser, (I am referring to the company, not a pocket sized assistant that I carry with me to various destinations), and I consider myself lucky that '....&...' are a worldwide company with over 400 salons, so they tend to follow me where ever I go.  But I must admit, there are a few differences to getting a hair cut in Milan compared to back in Australia.  First of all; on my first visit, I was sure that due to translation issues I was going to leave with a 'mullet' and green hair; it actually took until the third visit for me to leave with a 'mullet' and looking like Suzie Quatro, but pretty sure I requested it on that occassion; I think...according to Wikipedia; "The mullet is a hairstyle that is short at the front and sides, and long in the back.  Often ridiculed as a lowbrow and unappealing hairstyle, the mullet began to appear in popular media in the 1960s and 1970s but did not become generally well-known until the early 1980s. It continued to be popular until the mid-1990s". (Apparently, but I think this could be debateable depending on if you lived town or country.)
You have to admit, Suzie made a statement with her hair...

....and she looked awesome in her earlier days!

As I arrive, I am dressed in my very 'Un-Milan' attire of a hairdressing gown, (what no Gucci?) and ushered up the stairs to the colouring level.  As I walk the stairs I am spotted by my 'cutter' Sergio, (yes, not taking the Italian piss, that is his name), and he greets me with an over zealous "Hallo!"  Ok so he obviosly learnt his english off a german cartoon show but I appreciate his memory of my language skills and the effort to make me feel welcome in his salon.

I am seated by my colourist and he talks non-stop for a few minutes; as he comes up for oxygen I feel obliged to inform him that I do not speak Italian so have no idea what he has been saying.  "Bene" he says as he rubs my shoulders, (no sexual assault lawsuit necessary, Europeans are touchy), but I am concerned he has said "bene", as this means good, is he glad I have not understood what he has been saying to me?  Was he greeting me as the big fat cow that was keeping him from his weekend, please make my job easy and do not complain that I smell of nicotene and coffee?  Anyhow; when asked what colour I would like today, I request the colour black.  Like whispers in the school yard, my colourist and cutter are soon seen whispering in the corner, and pointing at me. "Nero, nero", I can manage to lip read Italian.  (Tried this while people watching the other night out to dinner; very unsucessfully; I forget that I am reading Italian words and not english and had all sorts of scenarios happenming involving lost puppies, affairs and purple elephants... do not quite have this skill mastered yet.  Seriously, I am living in Italy... I read hands not lips!).  I am approached by my 'cutter'.  He rubs his hands in my hair and looks at me like a daughter on her wedding day.  A deep breath out...."So".... big pause for effect..."No! Black you say!  Black is too hard!"....  There is an awkward silence shared.  You know the kind when you ask a fat lady if she is expecting a boy or a girl.  Obviously I am making the wrong decision for my future career in the public spot light, (or they have just run out of black hair dye)?  "Oh did I say balck?  I meant dark brown...  marrone... sorry must be the translation..."

I am asked what I would like to drink and when I request water, am asked if sparkling would be good.  So I sit sipping on my 1/4 litre of S.Pellegrino frizzante aqua, and writing on my sanitary napkins I collected from the bathroom.  I am very impatient and after 5 minutes of waiting for requested paper, thought I would source my own.  I ended up quite embarassed when 'new mate who colours hair the colour we say we want to colour' returned with my requested pen to see me scibbling on my second sheet of a sanitary napkin like an eccentric let loose.  I have a bad memory and like to put pen to paper.  In the words of Robin Williams  "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."  

Now time for a cut, and I am no longer willing to share an opinion, "Please make me look cool"  I am thinking but "I want to grow it, can you fix the fluffy bits!" escapes my lips.  How about "Tell me what you want from me".  Sergio, (my cutter), seems happy to oblige, or just seems happy in general.  I am apparently paying for the first 3 months worth of nappies for his first child expected next month, but I am happy with end result, quality and attention to customer service.  I am given a blow dry that lasted for 20 minutes, (seriously), every single hair was assured to show jealously of its neighbour.  But I look great now, although I will need to sleep in the sitting position and avoid sweating for 48 hours at least... I will not look like this for another 10 weeks... (next cut before holiday home to Australia... how often are you supposed to wash again?).

This is my "blue steel" pose

No comments:

Post a Comment