Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A cut above the rest

A good man, car mechanic and hair dresser are hard to find. Lately, I am fearful of losing my man, because my car mechanic and hair dresser went MIA. It all starts with an innocent phone call to schedule an oil change, and suddenly the call is routed to a receptionist who alerts you to the disappearance. Questions of why and where are not answered as you are being reassured that all the mechanics at the shop are experts and trained to meet my needs. The personal relationship developed with the mechanic does not matter; they just want to keep your business.
The same scenario occurred a few weeks later with my hair dresser. This call knocked the wind out of me as we recently entered a new stage of our relationship; transitioning from long to short hair. This huge step means more time developing our bond through frequent haircuts, moving into a long term relationship. Her departure from the salon was especially hard as I had broken up with my long time hairdresser just a year ago. It wasn’t her, it was me; I had moved 1200 miles away 6 years prior and could not afford to fly back home every time I needed a trim. She understood the reasons for the breakup and personally recommended a woman in my “new” hometown, Paula.

At one point, I believed all hairdressers were created equally until college, when friends and acquaintances started visiting Kerri one by one, until nearly everyone in our extended circle visited her for their haircuts. She performed magic on each person, transforming their locks into masterpieces perfect for their face, their frame and their personalities. We were crushed when she moved on, and of course her former employer would not even hint to her whereabouts. Nearly a year later, she was discovered at a salon on the other side of town, word spread quickly, appointments made and many continued to see her long after we graduated.

Unable to make the trip back to Kerri, I started a string of one appointment stands and was unable to develop a long term relationship, that is, until Adrianna came into my life over 3 years after graduation. Adrianna and I remained together for over 5 years until the long distance became too difficult to bear. My experience with Kerri caused the unnatural cling to Adrianna, but the breakup was made easier by Paula.

It only took a couple of appointments before feeling comfortable enough to take the ultimate plunge with Paula; saying the words “just do whatever you want.” The results were beautiful, for weeks heads snapped at work, people unable to recognize the new and improved me. As any woman can attest, finding your hairdresser after they move is a nearly impossible task, but I was determined, it took me too long to find her and my upcoming college reunion motivated me to keep looking.

Living in a small big city is both a blessing and a curse; there are fewer degrees of separation and everyone knows everyone. Using this to my advantage, I am sad to report my mechanic Scott is now employed as a lead mechanic at a Toyota dealership, which does little good for my Jeep. Luckily, Paula went independent and has a chair at Thomas Charles Salon in Minneapolis. We were reunited today, exchanged hugs and personal phone numbers. I will not lose her again, a good hairdresser is way too hard to find.

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