Despite the salon’s name, Cool Cuts, we scheduled hair appointments. Emily raved about the stylist she had when she was here last year. I was due for a trim, I was on vacation, why not?
We entered the salon, clientele jockeying for space in the small waiting area. Air kisses from the receptionist greeted us. He sashayed Emily off to the second floor and motioned for me to sit on a trendy ottoman. “Quieres cafe?” I smiled, shook my head no and began to read People, or its equivalent, in Spanish.
“Low-ree?” I glanced up. A barrage of unintelligible words greeted me. I smiled and followed. He sat me down in the chair, the kind that reclines to allow you to have your hear washed while sitting down. He arranged me just so, wrapping towels around my sweater. The water hit my head full force. “Ay! Que frio!” He stopped the steady stream of water long enough to offer an explanation I didn’t understand. He stopped speaking, I simply smiled and nodded.
It was then it hit me.
I didn’t know the proper Spanish vocabulary to explain how I wanted my hair cut. I could ask how to get to the library, instruct a taxi driver where to turn, order delicious food in a restaurant, but give guidance to a hair stylist? Hm.
With my peripheral vision, I glanced around. Emily, my translation savior, was no where to be seen. I racked my vocabulary. I could do this.
The hairwasher escorted me to the stylist. He, too, gave me a great shower of air kisses. “Buenos tardes! Que tal?” I smiled, offered my standard, “Bien, y tu?” and that’s where communication stopped, more or less. He made several comments, asked me several questions. I smiled, nodded, then when he finished, motioned to my hair. “El largo, lo mismo.” (the length, the same) “El mejor bella possible, por favor.” (the prettiest possible, please)
He looked at me, somewhat dumbstruck. Then picked up his scissors and began snipping, yanking, shaving, shearing. It wasn’t quite what I envisioned, but I wasn’t dissatisfied.
As I was admiring his work, Emily returned from upstairs. We looked at each other and burst out laughing. Our haircuts, despite our instructions, were identical. Specialty of the house.