5/14/2018
Chemistry

This is ideally framed awkwardly, yes.

I'm writing this entry - with a notebook and pen - at a beauty salon. I've watched Shalla get some sort of dry shampoo, I think; I'm now watching her get a back massage from an assistant before the stylist gets to her hair.

She's been looking for a haircut for a week now. You know, the whole thing about getting a new look. The last time she got a haircut was around a year and a half ago. I remember people asking me about her new do when I shared a photo from a gig we attended. They tell me it suits her. But I digress.

Yes, I am with her at the salon. The last time she got that haircut, I wasn't, but this time I am. There is this cliché about how men wait awkwardly at beauty salons while their wives and girlfriends have their hair done. I guess that's why wi-fi is now a prerequisite: the magazines (or whatever's left of them) are always of little interest to us - fashion magazines rarely being written for a wider audience - and we can't look bored even if we really are.

Well, I have earphones on. I have British radio on. I am writing on a notebook while pondering the smell of chemicals and how it's oddly comforting even if it will kill you at some point, and how this salon, located at the basement level of a mall, doesn't feel well-ventilated. But, at the same time, I'm here. I'm not waiting awkwardly. I'm enjoying this even, arguably: watching my girlfriend's hair get cut and dried and all that, watching everybody else's hair get cut and dried and all that, even the smell of those chemicals. But not the hair extensions that hang on one corner of the salon. The assurance of "100% human hair" makes my hairs stand.

With our inability to do grand things like other couples do, we spend most weekends window-shopping. Again, this cliché about how men find this boring. All right, it can be, especially when you've been carrying shopping bags all day and your feet are tired. But there are conversations that can be had in those little moments, and almost six years on they're still revealing. (Either that, or I still suck at paying attention.) The person you are, the person you fall in love with, they change over time. It's rediscovery, continuous rediscovery, only you don't get the shock you get the first time. It's an unspoken contract, and you just have to find the thrill in it.

"What matters is whether I think I'm pretty or not," she'd sometimes tell me, a reminder that my "it looks good on you, hun" doesn't hold as much sway as I'd like to think. Thus, this haircut. Thus, us shopping for a dress, and me really looking aimless as she heads to the fitting room, because I can't even wait outside the booth. Thus, our later conversation about glasses. All we can do is be supportive.

Still, why are you at the parlor? It's her me time. Give her that!

I would, but we only really have each other to be awkward and uneasy and bored and mundane with. Maybe I'm overstating my role here, but she likely won't ask anyone else about how her hair parts and how her foreheads looks. I think it's a couple thing. I think it's our couple thing.

And your responses...

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