Fathers take their sons to the barber shop. Mothers take their daughters to the beauty shop. Or at least they did when I was a kid.
I got a haircut this afternoon, an event that always makes me think of the beauty shop visits of my childhood. My mother would take me along while she got her color treatment or a set, and I would get a perm (or, for a brief period in junior high, a Dorothy Hammill bob). It took all morning, involved sitting under a giant conehead-shaped dryer, and smelled like flea dip. In the weeks that followed, in order to look presentable at all, I had to spend half an hour every morning in front of the mirror with the curling iron and a round brush.
These days I do as little with my hair as possible, a fact I'm reluctant to admit to the women who cut my hair. I feel like something of a gender traitor merely washing and combing. If they ask me if I blow dry, I sometimes lie and say yes.
But after eight years of short locks, I'm thinking of growing my hair a little longer. My cut this afternoon was really just a trim, a slight shaping to avoid the "That Girl" flip that tends to develop if left unchecked. I'm not interested in the hours of drying time I endured in my twenties, but something around the shoulders would not be amiss. For a change.