Saturday, 08 May 2021

Avoiding mirrors at every turn

WHEN I lingered looking in a shop window a tad too long the other day (drooling over Christmas decs, not chocolate gift boxes, I’ll have you know) and inadvertently caught sight of myself, I gasped.

At first, I thought Ken Dodd was gasping right back at me but no such luck — it was actually me.

Shaking my head like Scooby Doo when he can’t quite believe he’s seen a scary monster (no offence, Sir Ken), I closed my mouth and tried to pat down the rat-brown, frizzy flyaways to no avail.

I decided right then and there to finally do something about it.

I’ve always hated my hair, you see, curly or straight, ever since my lovely brother pointed out that I looked like a young, chubby Bette Midler if I left it curly and a teenage Garth from Wayne’s World if I straightened it to within an inch of its life. Which, despite my sibling’s comments, I have been doing for the past 30 years.

But I’ve been on the lookout for a fab new hairdresser who knows what to do with curly hair, ever since my GHDs broke from severe overuse and I couldn’t afford to replace them.

So it was timely and handy that I found myself in beautiful Goring, country residence of the legendary George Michael (whose December Song is currently making me weep whenever I hear it), at the brilliant Albert Fields hair salon last week.

Now I love a bit of celebrity goss as much as the next person, but who the hell are the people in the trashy mags these days?

And why do they give you a cup of tea when there’s no way you can interrupt the hairdresser every few minutes to take a sip?

And then it’s so cold by the time you get to it, it’s formed a thin layer of ice on the top!

God, I sound like such a grumpy old woman. And I look like one, too.

In fact, as I sit here in the hairdressers, shocked by my wrinkles and bored to tears by the fashion, home décor and celebrity magazines, it strikes me that I am fairly galloping towards old age.

Because I’m also struck by how there never seems to be any time to just think these days.

I mean, we’re always rushing hither and thither, can’t stop, must dash, gotta go/fly/run etc — it’s enough to give you a stitch.

But now, with little else to do except studiously avoid my reflection in the hairdresser’s mirror, I stare out the window, just thinking.

And by the time I’m in the fantastic massage chair, getting the bleach rinsed out of my hair, I’ve made a mental list of things I’ve learnt in my first 50 years on earth:

If you’re a Mum, make sure you have some space in your house or flat that is just for you, out of bounds to everyone else (except maybe the dog).

Speaking of dogs, if you’re a newly Single Mum, think carefully about bringing a puppy into your no doubt already chaotic home. And by think carefully, I mean don’t do it. Yet. Let the dust settle for a few years first.

And if you do get a dog, make sure you take them out every day for at least an hour-and-a-half or you may be faced with protest poos on your kitchen floor even though the back door is wide open and they’re fully house-trained.

Getting glasses is a win — they’ll pull everything in your life into much sharper focus and make you look 100 times smarter, too.

At the first sign of hag hairs on your chinny chin chin or top lippy lip lip, don’t muck about with tweezers, get thee to a lasery clinic ASAP.

If you have young kids, don’t ever ask what they want for dinner — tell them. And ignore their cries of “Not McDonald’s Drive Thru again, Mum!”

Never, ever EVER go to the hairdressers for highlights (or any other ludicrously lengthy job) without a full face of make-up. Nope, no exceptions. Don’t even think about it.

And so, armed with these pearls of wisdom, I hope you have a very merry Christmas and a super-happy new year, free of protest poos and unwanted facial hair.

Lots of love,

Mink x

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