It seems that the more "female" the activity is, the more female I feel, and the happier I am.
One of my favorite things to do is to go to the salon. Oh, it makes me feel so feminine and beautiful. And the girls at Salon Atelier in Eastchester, New York are so friendly and helpful. I'm always lifted into an exuberant happy feeling from the moment I arrive, lasting throughout the appointment.
I've tried, unsuccessfully, to blow-dry my own hair, but it always comes out the same: a wiry, frizzy mess.
This past Saturday afternoon, I was in a rush. I had a "roots, wash and blow" appointment and didn't want to be late. The rushing seems to be about the only thing left over from my "other" life. But I'm working on it; ladies should float, not rush!
I parked near the salon. But I needed change for the parking meter, so I leaned back inside the car. Bam! I hit the top of my head on the car door opening. I wear a small hairpeiece on the front of my head [to provide me bangs and thicken up that portion of my hair], and felt the front clip pull on my real hair. Rats, I can't afford to lose any hairs.
I took a deep breathe, remembered where I was headed, and quickly calmed down and returned to my good cheer.
There was a woman of about 40 years old standing there, probably waiting for a ride. "Love your cut and auburn color," I said, "Who did it?" She answered" Melanie," with a smile that indicated to me that I had just made her day. Melanie was one of the co-owners (along with Maria).
So I walked into the salon and Grace, an upbeat haircutter, says "Hi Fran! Then Noel (a Pink-looking adorable young woman who was on my Crisis Help radio show a few weeks ago talking about her appearance on "What Not to Wear") also offered greetings.
Maria offered me a smock, but hard as I tried to slip my left arm into it, I got stuck. "I guess I'm not really ready for you" laughed Maria. "That's very okay," I assured her, "Even I'm not ready for me!" She chuckled and walked me back to the hair color section, me smiling the whole time from all the nice greetings I'd been receiving by all the girls.
I was offered coffee and a cookie -- and of course I accepted. Veronica came by to ask if I wanted anything, and a few minutes later Grace asked me too. Nothing like feeling liked!
Quina greeted me with her great smile. She has been my excellent hair stylist for years, and is also one of the sexiest woman in Eastchester, if not all of Westchester county!
When I asked if I should remove my hair-piece, I also let Quina know about my head-banger-event. And because of that, she decided not to color that small section where I sustained the cut. So while Quina left to mix the color, Veronica attended to my cut with some creames, and then applied the freshly mixed color to the rest of my head. Veronica is always made-up beautifully, well-kept and even better looking than the Kardashian girls; she is also full of sweetness, with finesse and class. Plus she is a loving mother of a 4-year-old active boy.
Sitting in the chair last month, I got lost in my own look - long slender legs, crossed and showing from beneath a cute loose fitting black dress. My face was fresh, skin clear, lipstick just so, warm brown eyes -- with just enough black mascara and eyeliner for a day look. I watched myself in the mirror and thought I was a fairly attractive woman (Hey! I'd date me!). Sitting there getting my hair blown dry by a beautiful blond woman, and chit-chatting about our lives, was just perfect -- a dream come true for me. Finally, I'm a full-time female!
This day, Melanie did the blow-dry. She is smart, caring and gorgeous! So she and I caught up on each other's lives, including how it has been for me to be living as a women each and every day.
The two hours at Salon Atelier carried my uplifted spirits throughout the weekend, including seeing some old friends on Memorial Day for a barbeque. The more I looked at myself in the mirror, the better I felt.
Usually after a salon visit I don't wash my hair for two to three days after a blow-dry, in an attempt to sustain the improved appearance as long as possible. But on Tuesday morning I showered and washed my hair. I tried my best to blow-dry and style the hair like Melanie showed me on Saturday. But, it turned out looking wiry again.
Then, when I went outside into the rain, and even with an umbrella, the wiry bob turned into an another unruly mess. I'd have to try to get it right tomorrow. Today I had errands to attend to.
After leaving the hospital where I was visiting my mother, I entered the fourth floor elevator, conscious of my frizz. Into the elevator walked a fellow about my age who looked familiar. Suddenly it came to me: he is the cousin of two of my oldest friends. The four of us had known each other since we were eight, or perhas a little younger, and we did everything together. Then you go your separate ways and lose touch and I hadn't seen them in about 25 years.
Understandingly he did not recognize me. So after stepping in, he turned to face the doors, with his back to me. I was about to tap him on the shoulder and introduce the new Me. On second thought, I pulled my hand back. My first thought was "My hair's a mess! Let the opportunity go, and perhaps I'll see him again."
As the elevator doors opened and Johnnie walked through the lobby and out onto the street, I followed ten feet behind him. My opportunity had passed, and I reflected on how I had let my vanity affect me so, for better or worse.
At that moment I realized, that if my new feminine vanity had that kind of sway over me, and knowing that I can't go to the salon everyday, then I had better learn how to blow dry my own hair!
I'll keep you updated on how I do.
Some footage at the salon. You can see other clips on YouTube.com under Salon Atelier