Monday, August 13, 2012

Parlez Vous l'Hair?

Did I ever tell you about the time I tried to get highlights and a haircut in a very small town in France? Many things moved me to hilarity during the time that I lived in France, but few things also made me cry. After all, our hair is so dear to us, so important, especially to those of us who were born with that special hair color known as, "dirty blond." A worse color is not known to man or womankind (and they certainly don't have that terrible color in France, mais non!). Neither blond nor brown, those of us cursed with this color are forced to walk the earth spending the lion share of our income on a good highlight artist or form a true and real addiction to box color. I've done both. I guess I was naive when it came time to book an appointment with the local hair salon. My friend Claude assured me that her stylist was the best in town and promptly booked me an appointment. I told her what I needed but I definitely didn't have the right words in French. What I wanted was highlights and a blunt bob. What I got was bleached white hair and a Dutch Boy bowl cut that included having my entire hair line shaved off. It was hideous. My neck was so naked that I had to wear turtlenecks AND scarves for the next two months. In hindsight, it probably was a cute short haircut, but it felt like I'd been scalped. And my hair line has never grown back right. It grows so far over towards my ears that one of my nephews was once driven to say, "Eeeeww, you have a hairy neck." Words that every 40-something spinster lives to hear. Turns out that the word for "highlights" is same as "fish net" in French. How the hell was I supposed to know that? That's the problem with French - words can mean many different things. Ridiculously hard. Needless to say, when it was time for my annual pap smear, I made Claude go with me to the doctor's office. After all, if fish nets and highlights were the same, what the hell would the word for speculum be???

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