I switched hair dressers. The girl I had been seeing wore thin after just two visits. Not only did she forget about Thomas and ask me about my kids the second time I was in, but she essentially told me I looked like a fat Mom. Not in so many words, but that was the gist of it. I don't need to be told I have a "round face" repeatedly before getting seriously disgruntled.
I knew then that we'd be breaking up.
But I've since found a keeper. She's a tiny little thing in her mid 50s, I think. She used to work in the film industry (which explains the autographed Stephanie Zimbalist picture by her station - which I have to admit I found rather cool) but switched to steady salon work when she had her child.
Or, I should say, when she adopted her child.
The inevitable "so, do you have kids" question popped up about halfway into my cut. I'd already decided to tell the truth, albeit abbreviated and as "But I'm okay" as possible.
To my surprise she knew exactly what to say, and went on to tell me about her own battle with infertility and the subsequent adoption of a little girl from Russia.
Our circumstances are different, but she got it. She said she somehow doesn't quite feel like a woman. She has all the parts, but they didn't work properly so she doesn't know what it's like to be a complete and functioning woman like the mothers she talks to at the salon who all assume she carried her little girl as they did theirs.
I wanted to jump out of the chair and hug her and say "I know. Oh God, I know."
I mean, I realize I can't compare my situation with the agony of never having conceived at all, but I carried my child to term and my body failed him. It didn't do what it should have - what millions of other women's bodies do every day - and he died. That can most certainly fuck with your womanly sense of self esteem. Trust me.
What I assumed would end up being another disastrous and awkward appointment with someone who, horrified and shocked by my story, would end up putting her foot in her mouth repeatedly while I assured her she wasn't at all, turned into a very calming bonding session.
I seriously considered inviting her out for coffee but figured that would be crossing the client/stylist boundary - and could very possibly make me look like a lunatic. So I didn't.
But thank God for Debra. She happened to give me a great cut, but even if she hadn't I know I'd have gone back just the same.