In most of Spain people are walking. The lifting of restrictions on exercise have opened the flood gates and most people are not following the guidelines on social distancing. It’s as though just telling people it’s OK to go outside to take some air or perform a little cardio sent a message that masks are not required on the street.
After our first foray outside Saturday morning, I realized I overdid it and had to skip yesterday’s festivities. It was Spanish Mother’s Day – Emilie sent me a lovely message in honor of the day – so the warm weather meant the evening walk time from 8-11pm saw the streets packed with the de-masked. Jeff ventured out and came home quickly.
‘It’s not safe out there. No one is observing the rules and I couldn’t find a way to stay away from other people without walking down the center of the street.’
So it’s good I didn’t go out. Jeff says if we want to safely walk in future it’s 6 am or nothing until we’re at Stage 3.
It’s been more than 8 weeks since my last haircut or color. When I was a little girl my Mom used to cut my hair. This ensured that I have a stash of school photos that will never see the light of day. You know it’s bad as a kid when you bring them home and your own parents don’t put them up. I don’t know if she was under hallucinogens in the 60’s and 70’s or if she just didn’t understand how scissors function, but some of her creations boggle the mind. And home perms? Do Not get me started on those. It’s a wonder I ever left the house in middle school.
So the moment I could have a professional cut my hair when I was growing up, I prioritized it over many other expenses. And I never looked back.
After all these weeks in quarantine and the hospital – caring little for my appearance – I’ve been looking a little raggedy. Part of feeling better and getting back on my feet is personal grooming. It’s is long past time for a clean up. So yesterday I asked Jeff to get out his sewing scissors and have a go. That tells you how desperate I was.
I know his limitations and my own. I couldn’t attempt to self-color and Jeff will only put himself in harms way to a certain point. When I asked him to give me a trim and a shape he looked more frightened than if I had pointed a gun at him and told him to empty his pockets. It took me all day to convince him that he wasn’t entering the ultimate danger zone,
‘Just cut an inch off – all over.’ I told him. ‘I’m not that picky right now.’
In the mirror I could tell he’d stopped breathing.
‘An inch all over? You really don’t want to wait? I’m sure one day soon you could have someone professional do it. You broke up with Rubin (my last hair dresser) and you cursed him and all his future offspring for 6 months after a bad haircut. And it wasn’t that bad. Will I need a lawyer after this?’
‘No’ I said. ‘I’m beyond that now and we have to wait until at least Phase 1. Thats weeks away. I’ll be too tired to be angry. I just need it cleaned up. One inch.’
He started tentatively. A little here and a little there. Eventually, he got bolder and even undercut my bob – like I like it. Then he moved on to my bangs. Everyone has a strength. Some hair dressers are good at long hair. Some at short. Jeff is great at cutting a bob – who knew? But when it comes to bangs he went to the Candy Field Beauty School of Hack and Slash. And her Masters Class Bangs – What are they good for?
If I were about 20 years younger I could rock this look. I’d just put on really white make up and black lipstick with eye liner and pretend like I wanted it like this. I’d put my bobbed hair into two pony tails and wear a black cowboy shirt with mother of pearl buttons and some black jeans and boots. Oh wait – that was more 1988. But this isn’t 1988. Now I just look like a woman who let her husband cut her bangs with kindergarten scissors in the bathroom – and that’s exactly what I am. I’m too old to pull off alternative cool.
Today, I had to go back to the hospital for more tests. We parked on the street and walked past a Peluqueria (hair salon). The shutter was up and the stylist was at the door in full PPE with face shield speaking to a customer from a distance. I wasn’t aware that starting today, the Peluquerias would be allowed to take appointments for already established customers. So, it seems, I could have had a professional attempt to turn my hair back into something that resembled me. I turned to Jeff and held up my hands – he couldn’t hear me screaming through my mask.
‘I told you we should have waited.’ His eyes were smiling. I’m pretty sure I heard something about ‘patience.’ Ugh.
So we are slowly getting back to normal. But I figure that with two weeks per phase until we get to the ‘New Normality’ at the end of June, my bangs will have time to grow out. And by the time I take my face mask off – ready to greet the world – my bangs will visible again, and wont stick straight out from my head.
I know we’ve been clapping for front line medical personnel at 8pm each night. And for grocery workers by banging pots at 9pm. But I think we should observe a moment of silence over the coming weeks for those who work in Peluquerias all over Spain. These hearty souls who will have to clean up the mess we made of ourselves over the last 8 weeks. I can see my new hair dresser Maria”s face now. And hear her mutter in Espanol ‘What the actual hell happened here?’ She will deserve combat pay and the very big tip I will be happy to give her.