Well, as I've been describing, I'm growing my hair out (I had waist length hair for about five years, until I had it cut into a short bob in August 2004). This has now reached the "very annoying" stage; my hair is just too short to tie back, and hangs on my neck, getting sweaty and caught in my shirt collars. Also, it looks really shaggy, because it's several different lengths where the layers are growing out. Now the sensible thing to do would be to go to the hairdressers for a trim. But, as I think I may also have mentioned before, I'm terrified of the hairdressers. I'm much too timid to get my point across, so when I get in the chair and the impossibly perky hairdresser says "So, what are we having done today?", I smile nervously and murmur, "Just a trim, thanks."
At which stage the hairdresser usually looks personally wounded at this insult to his craft. "My darling," he says, with accompanying hand gestures, "I don't do trims. You wouldn't ask Peter Costello to do the school tuckshop budget, would you? I have a vision for you. You will look gorgeous."
Then comes the scariest bit of all. He smiles and says, "Trust me.".
And all I can do is nod and then slam my eyes shut against the fear.
Moments later, I hear furious slicing, chopping and otherwise mangling of my poor hair, which never hurt anybody and certainly doesn't deserve this. On and on it goes, until finally the stylist steps back, beaming, and I gingerly put my glasses on, to view my almost-bald visage in the mirror.
"There you go dear!" exclaims the stylist. "Or do you want it a bit longer?"
I feel like crying and screaming. If I had any nerve at all, I'd leap to my feet, turn over my chair, and yell, "Yes I want it longer! But it's a bit late now! I look like an eight year old boy! YOU IMBECILE!!!.
But I'm gutless, so what I do say is, "Um, that's great, thanks very much" and pay meekly. Usually I even leave a tip.
Of course, I have had hairdressing disasters that were not due to poor communication or over-zealousness. You know you're in trouble if, towards the end of your haircut, the stylist stands back and mutters, "Oh...damn. Uh...you know, I think you've got the kind of face that would look great in hats!"
So, forgive me if I look a bit scruffy for awhile longer.