The ladies stood impatiently. So many things to do; so little time.
They cast furtive glances here and there, up and down the long line as if body language would move the line faster.
I didn’t see what the fuss was all about. I liked long hair and didn’t see any reason why each client was in such a rush for trimming this or slashing that. What’s wrong with a few long curls anyway?
But they didn’t see it that way. The big spring dance was just a few days away, and there was a particular social protocol that demanded swift and daring action.
I was merely a disinterested passerby, but curiosity got the better of me, and so I approached one of the ladies with an honest question. “Why?”
“Why?” she retorted rolling her eyes at the other women in line as if I was some social outcast. Her face contorted into utter disdain for the question as if the obvious needed no further small talk.
I couldn’t resist having a little fun. I kept up my questioning pretending to be some expert. “Women should never cut their hair short,” I said. “It’s the length that creates a certain mystery.” (I was picturing Goldilocks with her head stuck out of some castle window high above a flowered valley praying for a dashing prince to come along).
Suddenly the line shifted, and the stylist summoned her. She left me standing there like I was mere chaff in the wind.
My eyes wandered to the lady just leaving. She had a small pocket mirror out and was preening her cleanly shaven scalp. Her smile of deep satisfaction said it all.
I didn’t see it. Such a shame I muttered.
David R. Denny