‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I just cheated on my hairstylist. It was an emergency situation and I only tell you about it because of how it turned out. How it turned out has nothing to do with my hair.

It being an emergency situation, I went to the puppy mill of hair salons: Supercuts. I am not proud of this. I rely on my Aveda salon to nourish my inner snob and find no comfort in a salon which boasts a $12.95! haircut.


Since there was a wait when I arrived, I brought in my book (A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn). The wait is actually a perk, because how often do I get to sit and read? With no one asking me when I'm going to be done?

All too soon, a young woman calls my name. As I dive for my bookmark she remarks, "great book."

"It's kind of making me want to throw up right now," I reply. It's the genocide I'm refering to, not the writing. The writing is ridiculously great.

"I know what you mean," she says. "Noam Chomsky makes me feel that way."

I tell her about the reference to "the past's fugitive moments of compassion," and ask her if Zinn eventually gets to those fugitive moments. Not so much, is her answer. I tell her about the Live from the 92nd Street Y lecture series because I thought I remembered Chomsky being somehow involved. I was wrong, but we ended up talking about it anyway, as well as the other high def broadcast from New York, the Metropolitan Opera.

"Are they doing Wagner?" asks one of the other stylists. When I tell him no, he responds in a Well Why Even Bother sort of way. I make a mental note to look at his tatoos more closely, as perhaps they tell the entire story of Lohengrin as an R. Crumb style illustration. It's possible.

I tell my own stylist exactly how much of an emergency hair cut I'd like and then we chat some more about how bereft of intellectual stimulation our sandy spit of land is. We discuss the lure of college towns. We are quiet for a moment, day dreaming of life in a college town. And then we both realize that there is a conversation about the Elgin Marbles going on at the haircutting station across the room. They go from the Elgin Marbles to the town of Bath and chat about the early technology of the Romans.

Honestly? I had no idea it was that kind of salon.

Supercuts, you have raised the bar. I don't know what my hair looks like because I came right straight home and started typing. Either way, I'd call it the best $12.95 I've spent in a long time.

(I know I am prone to exaggeration, but I am not making one iota of this up.)

later that week:

I can find nothing wrong with my cut. And I think they should make t-shirts that say: Our stylists are smarter than your stylists. Just a thought.


Sturdy Girl said...

Ok, from a fellow snob, this is a fantastic story. And also? I believe you. I really do.

Dana's Brain said...

Wow, whoda thunk it? I live in a constant state of "am I going to cheat on my stylist?" I probably won't because now that I've taken to doing the root color myself, (seriously, I have to do it every 3 weeks to keep the gray at bay), I don't see him that much.

But that is a pretty fascinating story of Supercuts!

JAbel said...

Howard Zinn rings a bell for some reason but not sure why right now.Now if you wanted to really get a flame war going in the old NYTimes book forums you just had to mention Chomskys name and watch the fight break out.I think only Karen Armstrong evoked more emotion pro or con in the golden days of those forums.

TwoBusy said...

At my Supercuts, they don't even make eye contact — never mind discuss the fine arts. I think you found a mutant outpost.

Debbie said...

So you cheated and feel good about it! Yes, that has happened to me. I am wanting to cheat right now but just looking for the right stylist to dally with.

muddyroots said...

I went to a hair stylist once. She was the cousin of my girlfriend at the time, and it was in New York. Not the city, mind you, buy close enough that I was expecting something of a Fran Drescher (sp?) experience. I wound up spending almost $100 and smelling like things that would require a containment team if spilled (laced with something sweet, flowers maybe?). The thing that got me is I really looked pretty much the same afterwards. She sent me home with a bag of "product" and directions on its use. Why would someone pay so much money for something that required so much attention after the fact?
I went out the next day and bought some Braun clippers.

Marilee said...

Ya think that's why my DH likes Supercuts? nah, prolly it is the $9.95 price with coupon. My daughter discovered Aveda while trying to fix a color mess she had gotten into. Sadly, not all Aveda salons are created equal and she had to go to one in Boston to fix what was done at one near home.

Part of beauty school should be teaching stylists how long 1" really is, and that not everyone looks good in a bob. . . but that's another rant!

Susan said...

Mutant outpost!