“Just a blow dry and a trim today then, toots?” Shanna, my hairdresser, asked me as she rubbed my damp hair with a towel.
I nodded, “yeah, just take away any stray ends, cheers.” I looked at my reflection in the mirrored wall in front of me and felt myself relax. A girl deserves a pamper every now and again, and where better to go than the hairdressers, where stylists can touch up your roots at the same time as letting you in on any gossip that may have passed over your head. I doubt I'll be lucky enough to find a good stylist in Versailles who
a) can fill me in on the latest scandal in the village
b) loves Coronation Street as much as I do
(although I haven't given up hope just yet) and so this is why I found myself in the hairdressers today, despite having had my hair done not so long ago - as the French say, je profite.
As Shanna blasted my hair with the dryer I flicked through Vogue, sighing over the haute couture fashion that I will never be able to afford. The ding-a-ling-a-ling of the little bell above the door alerted us to the fact that an elderly lady – a regular client – had appeared for her weekly appointment. I smiled hello, making eye contact with her in the mirror’s reflection.
She was a strange mixture of old and young; an intriguing melange of classic and modern portrayed by her clothes. A silk, cream blouse had been teamed up with a full length denim skirt with embroidery that skimmed the tip-toes of her pointy, patent boots. Her pure white hair was scraped back tightly, giving her an instant face-lift, and was twisted on the very top of her head into a bun. She moved across the room in slow, awkward movements, hunched over a walking stick, a gnarled hand grasping onto the handle.
Shanna interrupted my observations as she shouted loudly over the noise of the hair dryer, “hiya Mrs M, how are you doing? Why dontcha sit yourself down and Tania will be out in a minute.”
Mrs M. cupped a hand around her ear and shouted piercingly, “WHAT’S THAT, DEAR?”
Shanna turned off the hair dryer momentarily and said “TAKE. A. SEAT.” pronouncing each syllable loudly and clearly. The old lady nodded politely as she sat down, slowly and awkwardly, in the chair next to mine, struggling to find a suitable place to prop her walking stick.
“Hello Mrs M. How are you doing this week?” Tania, the owner, bounded out of the back room of the salon where she had been eating her lunch. She had crumbs on her t-shirt.
Mrs M. turned to look at her, before adjusting her hearing aid. “WHAT?”
“Oh hello, dear,” Mrs M. replied. “There’s no need to shout.”
Shanna and I exchanged furtive smiles as Tania brushed away the crumbs on her bosom and grinned at her client’s reflection. “So, what can we do for you today? Just the usual, is it?”
The elderly woman nodded, the bun on the top of her head bouncing slightly. “Yes, just the usual, a wash and a … a …”
“A blow dry?” suggested Tania.
“Yes, a blow job.”
The little old lady’s face was poker straight as she met the horrified gaze of Tania in the mirror.
“A wash and a blow job would be lovely, dear.”It gives an entirely new meaning to the phrase; a slip of the tongue.