Extremes in CP Time

"You here already? What time's your appointment?"

Is she serious? This is not what I want to hear from my stylist. The whole reckless drive to the salon, I'd been stressing out about the mere possibility of being late.

"It was for 1:30. I'm SO sorry I'm a couple minutes late," I answer. I'm breathing heavily due to my dash from the parking lot.

My stylist leans in to whisper, "Girl, I have to finish flat-ironing that one over there." She quietly points to a matronly, dark-skinned woman sitting under the dryer reading Star Magazine. "And I'm still working on the one in my chair." Her eyes roll skyward and she gives a conspiratorial sigh, "She was a hot mess when she walked up in here. Wants me to work magic everytime. Hmmph!"

I look over her shoulder to a Friday-faced woman sitting in the hard metal chair. The woman is staring at my reflection in the mirror, an impatient grimace twisting her mouth. She glances at her watch and then back at me. Her eyes are flat, dark pools in a sea of butterscotch skin. Must be a thrill to do her hair.

I have two choices here. I can reschedule, or I can accept that this is the fate of millions of black women who want to get their hair done on a Saturday afternoon. I choose to join the ranks of my sisters.

"No worries. I brought a book along." I smile as I pull my copy of "On Beauty" by Zadie Smith out of my bag.

"Mmm hmm. I figured you can use some quiet time away from those kids." She sashays back to the styling chair to get back to work on "the hot mess".

An hour and a half later, I'm tired of reading about the Belsey and Kipps families and all their drama. I'm sick of the smell of hot irons and relaxer chemicals. I don't want to hear another song by Babyface. The truth is, I hadn't planned to spend my entire Saturday afternoon sitting and waiting to get my hair done. Whoever made that Beauty Shop movie with Queen Latifah must have been living in some fantasy-land where clients are in and out in two hours.

Finally at 3:30 I hear the magic words, "Come on back to my chair."

Sitting under the hair-dryer.
Sitting while someone else gets shampooed and conditioned.

The intricate mysteries of the salon need not be fully revealed. Let's just say...this was an extreme in CP Time. I was finally ready to go home at 6:30. Yes, five hours.

I suppose it's worth it and my stylist knows I'll be back.

"See you in two weeks, girl!"


the last noel said…
All I have to say: I'm glad I'm a guy.

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