I like to think that two of my dear friends got married this year because Fernando at the Rack Room in Austin made me buy a pair of pink boots. I’d worn the boots for Simchat Torah in another city. The future bride’s friend had noticed the girl in the boots and had asked to future bride to accompany him to talk to me, and when I saw future bride in synagogue in DC, I remembered her, invited her to my house for dinner, where she met future groom.
Sometimes shoes (and hair) are important.
That’s what I told myself as I attempted my second haircut accompanied by the baby. Why the hell not? It has been a bad two weeks. My only two credit cards have both reported several hundred dollars of charges that I did not make. The apartment building overcharged me rent by a third. The University here is two and a half months late in paying me. Babydaddy is angry with me because I insist on claiming my daughter as a dependent for income tax purposes. I decided to get a haircut.
I chose the salon because they let me breastfeed in their garden once on a hot, crowded day. They said the expensive fee will get you a cut, wash, styling, and “good vibes.” Baby was pretty good in my lap, in a high chair from a cafe across the street, sticking her hands in the fish aquarium, and eating a chunk of bread from the restaurant next door. The stylist blew soap bubbles for her, too.
It was much better than the first haircut. Then I had to tip everyone in the building because my screaming child would not be distracted or comforted. Apparently she was terrified of the blow dryer. (Huh, I thought, I guess I don’t blow dry my hair anymore). I fled with half my head wet and half styled, that time.
This time the stylist worked calmly for an hour; baby would just have to understand that here was an artist at work. The cut was astounding. It’s totally impractical for motherhood—I have to lift my wispy, in-my-eyes bangs to find baby’s pacifier or socks because I can't see what's on the floor. But I’ll wear it in all its glory for at least 12 hours before I pull it back in a ponytail. It's going be a waste not to go out tonight and show it off.
Though I’ve not worked out in, oh, about two years, and I was wearing no make up and a black t-shirt covered in babygoo, I strode down the street after the haircut, feeling like the queen of Sheba, turning heads right and left. Though my girl was tucked neatly in the ergo, for the first time since she was born, no one noticed her at all.