I’ve been searching the internet for a language course.
I’ve tried Rosetta Stone, Berlitz, Pimsleur, even LiveMocha (whatever that is) – but they didn’t have what I was seeking.
Then I thought I might need a more technical course, since I’m looking for a business language, so I tried LincolnTech, and DeVry. I even found one called UTI, which is usually a urinary tract infection, but Google offered it, so I checked.
I am desperate to gain fluency in a crucial language:
I have never been able to speak Hairdresser.
My first haircut experience was traumatic, and it wasn’t even with a professional hairdresser. It was my Dad. I was four years old (I didn’t have any hair until then) and although I was a very verbal four-year-old, I didn’t seem to have a way to tell my father that he was cutting off my earlobe until it was too late. Did you know that earlobes bleed profusely?
My mother decided right about then that I needed a professional. My older sisters had long thick beautiful hair, and they went to a fancy hairdresser named Frank. With my wisps, my mother took me to the barber. There was no speaking to him. He said, “Sit Still” and took out the electric clippers. If I didn’t wiggle I got a lollipop. If I did, I got bangs that were sloped like the Matterhorn.
By the time I was ten, I was insisting on a hairdresser for girls. Frank cost twice as much as Elviro, but my mother finally gave in.
And to my surprise, Frank spoke a different language. It sounded like English, but when I answered him back, he didn’t seem to understand. I told him I wanted long gorgeous hair like Claudia, but I got the same haircut that Elviro the barber had given me.
It’s a look I call “orphan hair”
But I kept trying.
But the language barrier kept me looking like that until I was thirty or so.
I did learn a few tiny Hairdresser phrases, but it must have been my accent, because they didn’t translate well.
– “Just a trim” translates to: “3 inches”
– “Neaten the nape” translates to: “3 inches”
– “I’d like to grow it out” translates to: “3 inches”
– “Half an inch” translates to: “2 7/8 inches”
So I started to bring pictures. But mysteriously, no hairdresser can look at a picture and see what I see.
If I bring a picture with layers:
A hairdresser sees:
If I bring in a photo for nice highlights:
A hairdresser may see
And if I have a photo of a fantastic bob:
The hairdresser sees:
My current hairdresser is quite good. She listens to me, and nods her head and pretends to understand what I am saying.
My hair looks quite nice, considering she is working with the same hair as you see in the picture above.
But I think that’s because I just let her do what she wants, and I don’t try to communicate.
This week I was sitting with a good trashy magazine waiting for my color to ‘set’. But I was really watching the hairdresser across the way cut a little girl’s hair.
This little girl was about the age I was in my ‘keira’ photo. Her father had brought her in. But he called his wife and put her on the phone with the hairdresser so she could describe what she wanted. I heard the hairdresser repeat, “Shorter in the back, like a stacked bob. Sure. That will be really cute.”
Then the hairdresser proceeded to cut this tyke’s hair a full two inches shorter… in the FRONT! The back hung down exactly the same way it did when the little girl walked in.
I was chuckling to myself about what the mom’s reaction would be when she saw her little girl and realized that language barriers are worse by phone.
Then my color was done and it was time for my cut. I’ve been trying to let my grow a bit (you could call it my one last stab at youth), so while we talked about movies, music, and men, I mentioned to my hairdresser that I wanted the tiniest bit of a trim and a neatening at the bottom. And that I wanted a nice straight line from front to back. Not longer. Not shorter. Even.
“Sure,” she said.
But I forgot that I don’t speak Hairdresser