They say never do anything at the last moment before you travel or have an important event. I was once at a Spa in Chicago and there was a woman there getting a facial the morning before her afternoon wedding. She came out looking like she’d been beaten up and was crying. She hadn’t told them before the treatment that she was going be be photographed that same day. It was bad.
A few years ago, Jeff decided to go on a dirt bike ride with his friends a few days before we were leaving on a trip to Europe. He ended up in a trauma unit and it put a crimp in our plans. He’s wizer now. I know this because he did nothing right before we moved to Valencia at the end of February. He didn’t want to tempt fate again. But I think his caution has worn off.
We had both made hair appointments so that we’d be ready to go before we left for September. Mine was right when they got back from their long summer holidays. Jeff’s was Tuesday. The last thing he needed to do before we flew away. He wanted me to go with him but I figured he’s a big boy. Anna knows him now and he doesn’t need me to help translate what he wants.
He was gone a long time. Two hours is too long for a men’s haircut. Usually, if she does all the manscaping she normally does it’s about 30 minutes tops. But that day? I knew something was up. Finally I heard the door open and then the bathroom door close. Hmmm… I wonder…
Jeff is an adventurous sort. He’s been going grey rather rapidly over the last year or so and he’s been showing me photos of what he thinks his hair will look like when it’s totally grey. I dyed his hair blonde one Halloween in our kitchen in Newcastle – to match his costume. He didn’t love it, so I wasn’t concerned he would head down that path again. Then he came out of the bathroom.
He was running his hands through it and looking at me sheepishly.
‘Is it purple? Can you see it?’ he asked me, like the mirrors in the salon, the windows in every shop, the mirror in our bathroom and his own eyes might have been deceiving him. I was stunned.
Yup – it was purple. Kind of old lady purple-rinse purple. I was speechless.
‘Yes, it’s purple.’ I confirmed.
‘I knew it. They did my hair just like the lady behind me.’
I shook my head. ‘How old was the lady behind you?’
Yup – purple old lady hair. Time for some intervention. It’s not like I’ve never screwed up my hair before but this was a little extreme. You could sort of see the grey he was going for below the purple.
‘I was trying for a more silver.’ he assured me. ‘I don’t think I said I wanted purple.’
Ah, the dangers of not studying your Spanish. Karma. But I had no time to gloat. We were in full on emergency measure now.
‘Get in the shower and wash it 10 times with those left over crappy hotel shampoos we have in the bathroom. It hasn’t had time to set in yet and you can strip some of it out if you do it now.’ I advised.
‘Can’t you just fix it? We can get some dye and put it back.’ He looked so naively hopeful I hated to burst his bubble.
‘No we can’t. Do you remember your colors in Kindergarten? Mixing them isn’t good. Yeah, these people actually go to school to learn what colors layer on and chemically react to other colors. You’re purple now. We could make you green and not even know how we did it. Go in there and shampoo with the cheap stuff. And don’t come out for a long time. Use HOT water.’
He did as he was told and then came out. Well the good news is, it wasn’t purple anymore. It was just light baby blue. And more of the grey was showing through – like I think he wanted.
‘Is it better?’ he asked me hopefully. ‘It’s better, right?’
I sighed. ‘Yes, it’s better. You’ll now only get pulled out of the security line in the airport about half the time. And you look less like a serial killer.’ It was getting dark by then. ‘But you sort of glow in the dark.’
He went back in the bathroom. After shampooing it over and over, it’s now Anderson Cooper white. It actually looks kind of good on him. We’re trying it out on the population of Paris first. Though he might be scaring people since he looks a little like the albino monk in the DiVinci Code. I can’t wait to see the reaction of our friends and family back in the US. But he’s lucky – at least it’s not purple anymore.