A Decision to be Made…Finally by Sammy
They finally got to spend a day together after weeks of one working and the other going to school. Charlie and Diane were at the mall basically window shopping. Diane bought a pair of shoes and a couple pairs of jeans. Charlie got some CDs he’s been wanting for a while. They had a great lunch together, talking and laughing like the did when they were dating.
“It’s hard to believe we’re finally married,” Charlie said.
“Yeah. Somehow I thought it would be different. I mean we live together and see much more of each other.”
“You mean when we see each other.”
“True. But it’s temporary. Once you’re done with school, we’ll have much more fun to other things.” She winks at him.
“What do you say we get going. I think I want to stop and get a haircut before we go.”
“Already Charlie? Didn’t you just get one?” Diane glides her hand over the back of his head.
“Yeah, but I have to keep it trim and neat at all times. I don’t want to have to do push ups because of my hair.”
“Maybe you should just shave it bald – then this way it will last a while.”
“I don’t think so Diane.” He smiles at her.
“Say, let’s go to the place over by Jaspers. I heard they are really good. Supposedly they have a barber in the place as well. I think I might get mine done also. It has been a while.” Diane puts her hand through her long dark tresses.
“Sure, but don’t you need an appointment?”
“That’s the good thing – no appointment. I talked to some friends of mine who went there. They said there isn’t one hairdresser that is better than the other. They all are good!”
They start walking toward the other end of the mall where the salon (Remarkables) is.
“So, what do you think you are going to have done?” Charlie asks.
Diane pauses in her tracks for a second.
“I thought this was too easy.”
“You. You’ll probably spend 30 minutes if you should change or stay the same. Then you make the decision and change your mind anyway at least 3 times.”
“Am I?” Charlie looks at her.
“Ok. I do. I have a lot to lose. I don’t want to make a decision I’d regret. You guys have it easy, simple cut – cut it short or shave it.”
“That’s because we don’t fuss.”
They get to the Remarkables. There’s a young looking man waiting for the barber and 3 ladies waiting for the works.
“Do you mind the wait?” Diane asks.
“No, it will give you time to make up your mind.”
They sign in at the reception desk and sit down on the plushy couches. Diane takes a few of the magazines and thumbs through them from different styles.
“Oh, I like that one,” Charlie says. “It would look great on you.” It’s a shoulder length cut with soft layering and bangs.
“That’s a bit much for me Charlie.” Diane holds onto a lock of her hair. Diane’s hair is mid-back length. It’s a chocolate color – shiny and healthy.
“Go for it. If you don’t like it, grow it back. It’s not like you’re stuck with it permanently. ”
“I don’t know. Maybe a longer version.”
“Ooh. How about that one!” Charlie jeers, pointing to a short jaw length bob.
“This one?” He points to what looks like a woman’s version of a crew cut, but the top is much longer.
“OK, this one?” He points to a cut that is just above the shoulders, soft long layers and “feathered” bangs. In the picture it looks great. The model has the same color hair as Diane.
“That is pretty but I don’t think I can do that – not at once. Maybe as a second step.”
“So are you thinking of the first one we saw?”
“Yeah, but longer. Maybe to here.” She points to about 3 inches below her shoulders. “This way it won’t be too dramatic.”
“Ah. Live a little Diane. I think this would look great on you. You should do it!”.
“Charlie?” calls the Receptionist.
“Yes. I’m Charlie.” He gets up and walks toward the desk. “Go with this one Diane. It would be awesome on you!” Charlie whispers in her ear, then kisses her on the lips. “It’s perfect for you!”
“Charlie, I’m Tony.” They shake hands. “What can I do for you today?”
“Are you the barber?”
“Actually, I do both. I like to tend to the gentleman first and then the ladies. This way they are in and out.”
“So, what kind of cut would you like?”
“I was thinking of something along a crewcut. Not quite like yours though. Something that will last for more than 2 weeks.”
“Are you in the military or something?”
“Actually, the Police Academy.”
“Oh. Congratulations. How about we go with…”
“That!” Charlie points to the picture on the wall. It’s a young man with a short cut that gradually gets longer toward the crown.
“Why yes, but I would go shorter than that.”
“Sounds good to me.”
Tony escorts him to his chair and drapes a cape around him.
“When was the last time you got a haircut?”
“About 3 weeks ago. My hair grows fast.”
“How long have you been married?” Tony asks as he gets the clippers from the wall.
“About a year.”
“Ahh. Newlyweds.” Tony smiles and looks back at Diane. She looks up a second, waves hello and looks back into the books.
“She can’t decide huh?”
“Yeah. She does this all the time. Can never make up her mind. I even suggested a couple new styles but I think she’s afraid.”
“That’s normal. Women are like that. They want to change but are afraid. I think they need that little push to help them make up their minds.”
“Well, I told her the one cut I like would be perfect for her but she thinks it’s too drastic.”
“What did you suggest?”
“The one that is just above the shoulders…”
“And soft layers, same color hair as your wife,” Tony interrupts.
“Yes. That’s the one.”
Tony looks at Diane. “That would be a great cut for her. She does have beautiful hair. Is her hair thick?”
“Kinda. More like she’s got a lot of it.”
“I know what you mean. Her face is perfect for it. Her hair texture would determine the length and layers.”
“She’ll probably stick to what she has. It’s OK to – I like it when she puts it up. Looks very romantic.”
Tony turns on the clippers. “Ready?”
“Yep.” Charlie starts to put his head down.
“Keep your head up for me. I find it easier and less stressful on the neck of my customers.’
“OK, you’re the boss.” Charlie smiles.
Tony places the clippers on Charlie’s neck and slowly glides them upward about 3 inches, leaving a white strip behind. He makes another pass, widening the path. Diane looks up and sees what’s going on. She opens her mouth in amazement at how short Charlie’s hair was getting.
“I had a young lady here few days ago. Long flowing hair that fell past her butt. She wanted a new cut but didn’t know what. She kept emphasizing nothing short.”
“What did she get?”
“A cut similar to what I’m giving you.”
“How did you manage that?”
By now, Tony has started working on the sides, shaving them the same way as the base of his neck.
“Wow. That is short.”
“Yes. But it starts growing back right away so it stays like this for a couple days.”
“Back to the woman, what made her decide such a short cut?”
“Well, I went over a few styles for her. I told her we can go in stages and when she was ready to stop, I’d work from there. I started with mid-back, then she wanted a little more. We had cut up to her shoulders. I suggested shorter. She had a small face – petite. All that hair made her look older. I asked her if I could just do it. If she didn’t like it, the cut would be free and I’d buy her a wig.
“Nope. She thought about it and said OK. I picked up my trusty clippers here and cropped her. She was awestruck when I made the first pass and saw all that hair trickle down. She got upset, but after I did the other side she liked it. When I was done, she wanted to go even shorter!
“Wow. That’s a change.”
“You’re not kidding. She looked beautiful. I took a picture of her before and after.”
“She does look much better with short hair. Wow, her hair was long.”
“You’re all done Charlie!” Tony announces. “What do you think?”
“Looks good Tony.” He turns to Diane who gives him a thumbs up.
“It’s really short hon., but it looks great on you!” she shouts at him.
“Tony, can you do my wife’s hair? I think we can convince her together how great she would look with a new cut.”
“Well, that’s up for her to decide. I don’t do anything my clients don’t want. I can suggest it to her, but she has to decide.”
“Can I bring this book to her so she can look?”
“Be my guest.”
“Wow, that is short, Charlie.” She feels the soft stubble. “Oh and it’s soo soft!”
“Here, I brought you this to look through. It’s some of the makeovers they’ve done here.”
“You really want me to go for this don’t you?”
“Sure I do. I’m supporting your decision.”
“More like trying to make it for me.”
Diane sorts through the book, amazed at the transformations. Some are subtle, others are extreme.
“They do do good work here.”
“Diane?” calls the Receptionist.
“We’re ready for you.”
Diane’s hands all of a sudden get sweaty. Her heart starts to pound as she gets up. “Oh Charlie, I still can’t decide.”
It’s Tony, smiling from ear to ear. “Hi Diane, I’m Tony. Wow, your hair is beautiful. What are we going to be doing with it?” Tony escorts her to his workstation but manages to wink at Charlie before he follows her.
“I’ll take good care of her. Come sit over here so you can watch.” Tony whispers.
Tony has Diane sit in his chair, as Charlie did a few moments ago. He stands in front of her so he has her undivided attention. “So, are you looking for a change?”
“No, yes. Um.” Diane puts her index fingernail in her mouth as she usually does when she’s nervous.
“Can’t decide. That’s OK. Can I make some suggestions for you?”
“Please,” Diane sighs.
“I noticed you were looking through those magazines. Let’s start there. Did you find anything you liked?”
“Describe them for me.”
Diane describes the two styles she and Charlie found and one other she saw in the “makeover” book.
“Those are good styles. But not all will work with your face and hair.” Tony starts to feel her hair, running it through his fingers. “Your hair is indeed healthy, no damage anywhere. You take time in your grooming – that’s good. The texture varies – it’s thick in the back and thinner toward the front. But you do have a lot of hair.”
“So what do you suggest?”
“Your hair would have much more bounce and fullness if it was no longer than shoulder length.” Diane takes a deep breath – almost a gasp. He takes her hair and winds it into a ponytail, showing her facial features. “Your face, on the other hand, is a different story. With your features, you can easily sport a short look.” Diane’s eyes get wide.
“I see that’s not what you want. But do you understand and see what I mean?”
“Yes I do. I don’t want to go short. Not right away anyway. I’d rather do it in stages.”
“That’s a good idea – this way you are comfortable with your transformation.” Tony glances at Charlie. Diane doesn’t know he’s sitting behind her.
“Let’s get you washed up and you can think about it.”
Tony takes her to the sinks and washes her luxurious hair. He takes his time, giving her a scalp message.
“Are you enjoying married life?”
“Yes. It’s wonderful. Really doesn’t feel that different except we see more of each other.”
“That’s great you are enjoying it. Marriage is wonderful. No more impressing one another. You can be real. Honest.”
“Yeah. Exactly. I notice we support each other more emotionally. So much we learn day to day.”
“All part of being newlyweds. You’re all done here. Let me get some extra towels here and we can get started.”
The words Diane was dreading. As she walked back to Tony’s station, Charlie ducked away so she couldn’t see him. She felt a nauseous feeling in her stomach. She felt anxious yet despair.
“Have you decided yet, Diane?” Tony asked her as he reached for his comb. She could just look at him in the mirror.
“I’m not sure Tony. Part of me wants to go for that sexy look Charlie liked but the other says I’ll regret it.”
“Maybe this will help.” Tony picks up her hair and clips it about where it will hang. It looks like it was cut.
“What do you think?” Diane examines herself in the mirror. “It does look sexy,” she thinks to herself. “Charlie did like it. It would make him happy and I would have to spend less time on my hair.”
“Do it Tony. But quick, before I change my mind.”
“Oh no. You have to be positive this is what you want. I don’t want you hating me.”
“I’m…” Diane looks into and beyond the mirror and sees Charlie sitting behind her, smiling with a huge grin. “…absolutely positive.” Diane smiles.
“OK, here we go.”
Tony takes down the temporary style and divides her hair into two sections. He holds one section just below shoulder length and cuts it. Diane closes her eyes tight, heart racing. “Can’t back out now.” The length slips away at each cut. He takes the other section and does the same. Now her hair is all shoulder length in an almost perfect blunt line.
“Open your eyes Diane.”
She looks at herself in the mirror. It’s gone – all that beautiful hair is gone. She doesn’t know if she should cry or smile. She cracks a smile as a few tears form.
“This will look great on you Diane. I know you are upset. It’s OK. I understand completely if you want to cry.”
Diane begins to shed a few tears. Charlie starts to get up but Tony motions him to sit down again.
“Can I continue Diane? If you don’t like the cut, you don’t have to pay for it. It will grow out again. Think of the wonderful transformations you will have in that process.” That made her feel better again and she began to smile.
“Now Diane, I’m going to be cutting the length about 3 inches shorter than it is now. OK?’
“Go ahead Tony.”
Again, Tony makes smaller sections and cuts her hair so it barely touches her shoulders. He then cuts soft layers all around. He takes a thick section at the sides and slices down them with a razor – creating a soft angle. Finally, he cuts her bangs with a jagged edge to give them an uneven look. He combs and lifts sections to make sure he is happy with how it falls and that it is even.
“How are we holding up Diane?”
“I love how it looks Tony. It feels really weird – very light. I guess no more updos for awhile though.”
“Sure you can. You can do a twist or chiffon. You can even braid it.”
“I guess. Will take getting used to.”
Tony blow dries and styles her hair, scrunching as he goes along to give it fullness and body. When he’s done, he shows her her new look.
“It looks fabulous Tony. I’m glad you guys helped me!”
“Come out Charlie. I know you are there.”
“Diane you do look great! I knew it would – my sexy lady.” Diane starts to blush a little.
The other hairdressers also compliment Diane on her decision.
“Before I let you go Diane, I just want to clean up the back a bit. Let me show you first.” He turns the chair around and hands her a mirror so she can see the back.
“You have a very low neckline. I’d like to shave the back area here to neaten it up. Is that OK?”
“Is it! That always annoyed me. Be my guest.”
Tony got his clippers and turned them on. Diane jumped.
“Sorry, should’ve warned you. I normally don’t ask this but I need you to put your head down as far as it will go. You’ll feel a slight tickle and a cold breeze. Don’t be alarmed.”
Diane does as told and Tony gently clips away the stray hairs at the neckline. Diane at first shudders and then can’t help but laugh and giggle.
“It feels so weird. I wonder what it feels like going over your head?”
“All in due time, my love,” Charlie whispers to her.