Friday, July 10, 2009

Annual Cut

I walked into Ollie's for my twelve noon appointment. The atmosphere was immediately lively. i sat down in a wicker love seat and picked up a copy of today's edition of the Island SandPaper. Across from me sat a man I guessed to be late 20's, early 30's in a T-shirt and denim shorts. Ollie was holding court. She'd stepped away from the head she was styling, and stood in the middle of the room, directing her voice to Linda Gale, who worked at the station across the room. Comb in one hand and shears in the other, Ollie told her story to everyone who would listem. With her Portuguese accent and flair for exageration, we all heard about Daniel's attempt to be a truck driver and getting stuck in a drivethrough window.
The manicurist was finishing up with a client, instructing her to hold her fingers apart while her nails dried. Her client was a young girl about ten years old, who quickly joined the man sitting across from me in the Tshirt and denim shorts. "Michelle, you wanna shampoo?" Ollie called. I nodded and she gestured to the sinks in the back of the shop.
I hate this part. I never remember if I'm supposed to hold the towel around my neck, I sit up too high in the reclining chairs and am never sure whether I've got my neck properly cradled along the sink. Then comes the worst part: The shampoo -ist's arm pit inches above my nose. Of course they lather twice and rinse and condition, all the while the pit is at the nose.
I sat in the chair and Ollie commented how long my hair has gotten. "It's been nearly a year since you last cut it" I told her. I pulled out a photo I'd printed that was taken of me last year, just a couple of weeks after Ollie last cut my hair, in September 2008. "This was a great cut, but I don't want it quite so short today." I told her. She chuckled and chattered and went about combing and pinning my hair.
Ollie clipped and quipped, cut and chattered. I could tell she was totally ignoring my request that it not be as short as when she cut it last year. Why did I bother? Ollie's been cutting my hair for years, and understands the waves and cowlicks in my head, and always gives me a beautiful cut. It's always what Ollie thinks looks best.
With a "finished style" I paid her - she always whispers under her breathe.." Just gimme ...x dollars..." Today it was $25.00. I grew up with the Miss Manners advise that one doesn't tip the shop owner. I haven't tipped Ollie, but it's always bothered me that she thinks me cheap. I have tipped the shampoo girl and bought a product or two in the past. Today, I tipped Ollie. It just happened that I paid cash and she was making change so I just let the change be a tip.
It's a good cut. It makes my hair look a heckuva lot healthier. I feel "perkier", not so drawn and weighted down. Considering i only do this about once a year, I'd say I sure got my money's worth!

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