Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

Shining, Streaming, Long, Beautiful Hair

Shining, Streaming, Long, Beautiful Hair

Photograph via Flickr by utauta

Editor’s note: Once a week, Laura Morton will use personal history to put a Craigslist ad into perspective.

The Story

My mother always cut my hair. I don’t have any memory of my first trip to a salon for a haircut, unless you count college. And because I always wore it long and cut it straight, I never understood what anyone meant by a bad haircut or a good one. It was hair. It looked fine. Just get on with it.

Then I went to my sister’s salon in SoHo. She loved her hairdresser and swore that her stylist was the only person to cut hair in all of New York, so I called to make an appointment. The receptionist informed me that Bitsy wasn’t available for over a month because of travels or something, but Mitchell was just as talented and could do whatever I wanted.

I made an appointment.

My hair was no longer long and straight. It was kind of short, and I wanted to grow it out, but I wanted it to look nice in the process. I had this idea of a kind of punk rock look, something that would have an edge to it but would also seem effortless. I brought in a few pictures and my own pathetic descriptions and set out for the salon.

Side note: I’m pale. The only natural pigment I have is a pink hue when I have an allergic reaction to something or my skin dries out from the change of weather. But really, I’m just pale. And since about the age of seventeen, the makeup I’ve chosen has been my standard dark brown mascara. It’s simple, but it keeps my eyes from looking like two dark circles on a sheet of white.

On this day, for a reason I can’t remember, I chose to forgo my traditional eye makeup and, instead, don an olive green eyeliner. No mascara. Just the eyeliner.

I arrived at the salon, which instantly made me feel flawed and undeserving. Mitchell sat me down and continued a conversation with a girl on the floor who seemed to be either just waking up or about to fall asleep. He glanced at the pictures I brought and nodded assuredly at my description, pulled my hair, swooshed it around a few times, and brought me to the sink.

He continued to talk to Sleepy Girl, name-dropping like I’ve never heard before: Hope Davis, Parker Posey, Mark Ruffalo, Stanley Tucci, Edie Falco, Claire Danes, pretty much the entire cast of Six Feet Under, and Macauley Culkin, names that apparently meant something. I quickly understood that these two were casual friends with people who were very famous and much cooler than I would ever be.

He began to cut, and I began to regret the olive green eyeliner. He cut strange angles. Once, I asked what he was doing. He told me to just wait until the end.

I waited. I watched.

And then he turned me around to blow dry the new creation that was my haircut.

He handed me a mirror and turned me to face the new me.

He had cut psychotically short bangs that barely even covered my widow’s peak, left long hanging sections resembling dog ears to hang over my ears, and shaved the underside of the back, leaving a straight “shelf.” In a word, it was hideous.

The combination of the eyeliner and the haircut made me look ill.

I paid and left in a daze, because that’s what I do: I hold it in until I get a chance to tell people about it years later.

But I did see my sister, who, no matter what the situation is, refuses to admit when I’m looking ugly, fat, crazy, or tired. When she saw me, her first reaction was, “You look gorgeous! Like a combination of Amelia Earhart and Carrington.”

This was not a compliment.

Have you ever seen Carrington?

The Ad

north jersey craigslist > for sale / wanted > collectibles – by owner

1910 model t painting – $200 (belleville nj)

painting of a 1910 model T car painted by carrington on canves
call xxx-xxx-xxxx see pics for more details

The Response

Yes, okay, Carrington was talented and an amazing painter, but she had one ugly-ass haircut.