Monday, July 26, 2010


I come from a family of people who assume that anybody can be a hairdresser, all they need is a scissors. And that of course includes ourselves. Now deep down we know how wrong we are. We realise that we are not the michaelangelos of haircutting and yet, nothing delights us more than taking up the scissors and thinking to ourselves, ah sure, how hard can it be, before making the worst hair mistake of our lives...for the twelfth time. 

As a young lass even, I fell foul to the desire of my brother to explore his possible future salon-worthy talents, and his decision that he'd give it a trim so he could get some of it to use in a game. In our game my hair was 'golden thread' and he was the maker of it. So of course I let him go ahead with it, where else were we gonna get our golden thread from, and sure, all a hairdresser does is cut bits of your hair off so whats the difference. The difference as I later found out after a lopsided jagged trim that had to be corrected with an emergency hair appointment to 'please god just fix the girl's hair' was that our family just wasn't born to cut hair.

Years later, my older sister would trim her own fringe (a feature of her hair that she put there in the first place against the advice of the hairdresser), my eldest sister would trim her own hair badly coz she's a hippy and doesn't go to the hairdresser (I made that part up, I think she's just scroungey and didn't want to pay for a cut) and if that pair of idiots could get away with it, why couldn't I?? And so I gave myself 'a bit of an auld trim'. Now, I have what one would call curly hair. In fact, my hair is so curly it could be referred to as almost afro like. So what I didn't take into account, although it probably wouldn't have made much difference to how I cut it, was the spring factor- where my hair bounces up after a bit is cut off it so it looks shorter than it is. The result was a slanted, diagonal, truly terrible trim, but sure it saved a bit of money! And a little while later, when I straightened my hair and saw the true extent of the disaster, you'd think that would have deterred me from cutting a fringe, but oh no, not only did I cut the fringe, I forgot how much shorter it would be when curly again.... I'll let your imagination do the work here... I went for a trim not long after that.. the hairdresser paused before asking, 'where did you get your hair cut last?' 'Ah, sure I gave it a bit of a trim myself' I replied, proud as punch. 'And did you do the fringe as well?' (bear in mind it had grown out a bit by this stage, to a respectable length at least) 'I did!' She looked at me for a minute before carefully saying, 'You realise your hair is very lopsided and I'll have to take a few inches off it to even it out?' 'Ah right, that's fine' 'Don't cut your own hair again'. 'No bother'. And I haven't....really....although I do still cut my fringe..carefully...and badly...

Anyway, given our family's (mostly mine) lack of talent when it comes to hairdressing, when I arrived home from college one weekend to be greeted by a horrified sister with the words, 'Da gave the dog a haircut', I should have been more worried. In fact, I should have been worried full stop!!! Instead I said, 'did he? That's good, we've been saying for ages it needed one!' and wandered away without another thought. Two days later when I finally spotted the dog I almost died. 'DA!!!! What the fuck did you do to the dog????!!!! A sheepish looking father entered the room...'well, your mother wanted me to get the dog groomed coz it's coat was getting a bit long', 'so you butchered the poor thing instead????' 'wellllll, i decided to brush it first to get rid of the tangles, y'know, and sure, I couldn't even get the brush through for the knots, so I decided to trim it a bit to make it easier, and once I'd cut out the tangles, I decided to even it out a bit, and once I'd started, I spose I got a bit carried away.....' 'A BIT???? THE OTHER DOGS'LL LAUGH AT IT!!! It looks diseeeeeased!!' my Da, about to head back out the door to the living room and his paper, paused in the doorway and gave a proud little chuckle, 'sure, at least this way we won't need to pay to get it groomed will we?'

As the bald-spotted, patchy, scruffy looking dog slinked back by the door to wherever it was hiding from the laughter of the dogs next door, I closed the curtain and pretended it was dead....

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