Home » Language » English » A Good Tidy-Up (To meet the parents) (Part 7)

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Having gone to bed the previous evening prior to her mum returning home, Sarah now found herself with somewhat of a dilemma. Realising that her mother had not a clue that she had had her hair set the previous afternoon, nor that she had made a further appointment with the hairdresser and would be having her hair permed later that morning, Sarah was unsure whether she should leave her hair as is, and attend the breakfast table with her hair short and curly, or if it would be fun to keep her plans a secret for just a little while longer and give her mum a nice surprise later in the day.

Sarah’s mind was made up the moment she walked into the bathroom, spied her reflection in the mirror, and realised that her neatly set hair had not stood up to the rigours of having been slept on and was now looking somewhat bedraggled and messy. Figuring it was pointless spending time trying revive her curls into something semi presentable, Sarah simply jumped in the shower and, in moments, the remains of her set had been washed away. Sarah’s plan to give her mother the most wonderful surprise had commenced.

Being now stood in front of the mirror with the towel wrapped around her head and hairdryer and brush at hand in readiness to style her hair. Sarah couldn’t help but break into a chuckle when, having removed the towel, she realised that, thanks to Maureen having cut her hair to give her a permanent side parting, there was absolutely no need to “style” her hair as it was already semi-dry and had fallen of its own accord straight back into the simple yet smart side parting Maureen had given her. Sarah was more than happy to accept this time saving bonus and merely proceeded to use the hairdryer to dry her hair rather than to “style” her hair.

Having taken no longer than 5 minutes to dry her hair into its straight, yet perfectly presentable, short layered style; Sarah’s next quandary was what to wear to the hairdressers. Sarah had originally wanted to wear the trousers with the elasticated waist together with the nice blouse and cardigan she had purchased the previous day, figuring this would be the perfect outfit as it would be practical and comfortable to have her hair done in and would give a somewhat plain and neutral appearance that would neither add to, or detract from, a neat little head of short curly hair. However, having decided that she really wanted to leave her mum unaware of her plans, Sarah soon realised that attending the breakfast without her work clothes would soon raise suspicion. After a few moments thought, the answer to this problem became obvious; Sarah would dress as she would normally for work, would leave at the normal time as if she was going to work and as this would mean she would arrive in town 30 minutes before her appointment, she would have time to pop into a washroom and quickly change.

Sarah, placed her change of clothes into a bag and went downstairs to find her mum already in the kitchen.

Sheila (Sarah’s mum), although already having seen Sarah’s short hair and gentle appearance on a number of times, still gushed in delight at seeing her daughter looking so smart and presentable; she thought it wonderful to see Sarah without the trendy long hair that had been her trademark for so many years and perfectly delightful to see her plain and innocent looking face devoid of makeup. Sheila desperately wanted to ask Sarah if she had given any more thought to giving some curls a try but, not wanting to spook her by applying too much pressure, decided that silence was probably the best strategy. Sheila, of course, although she didn’t realise it, needed no such strategy because in less than 2 hours time her daughter would be sat in the hairdressers chair!

Having eaten her breakfast and whilst finishing her coffee, Sarah decided to implement the last part of her plan; “Mum, what are your plans for today?”

Sheila, being completely oblivious to Sarah’s agenda, simply answered; “Well I’m not doing anything during the day, but I am popping over to see your Nan at tea time. Why?”

Sarah, whilst lying through her teeth, albeit for good reason, answered; “Well, I’ve got some flexi-time owing to me so I’ve decided to take the afternoon off.” Adopting a sweet and somewhat girly smile, Sarah Continued; “And I was wondering if you fancied meeting me for lunch and then going shopping with me after?”

“Ooh, that would be nice dear, I’d like that very much. So what are we going to be shopping for?”

“Well, I’ve been thinking that with my hair being this short and looking so conservative, most of my clothes no longer seem to suit me. So, I figured that perhaps I could use some new clothes to compliment my new haircut, but I don’t have a clue as to what kind of clothes will suit me now, so I was hoping that you might want to help me choose?”

These words were music to Sheila’s ears and the chance to help her daughter to dress conservatively was an opportunity not to be missed. So, with great enthusiasm, Sheila relied; “That would be lovely and I’d be very happy to help. Lunch will be my treat, shall we meet at Espresso at say 12.30?”

Sarah, being relieved that her mum had taken the bait, smiled and replied; “Yes, that would be great, I’ll see you then; thank you”. Having kissed her mum goodbye, Sarah gathered her bags and left the house as if she were going to work.

The journey into town was uneventful and, surprisingly, Sarah had given very little thought to her hair or what was to become of it. The time was now 8.45 and Sarah now found herself stood outside Hatchers Department Store, waiting for them to open so that she could use the washroom to change her clothes.

By 9.05, Sarah had changed and was now looking at the reflection of the very plain but presentably dressed young woman smiling back at her. Although Sarah would never have dreamt of wearing such clothes a week ago, she now found herself feeling quite comfortable with her new appearance and confident that this was the perfect outfit in which to present her soon to be, short curly hair to the world.

As Maureen’s salon was less than 5 minutes away, meaning there was 20 minutes to spare, Sarah decided to pop into Hatchers coffee shop for a quick coffee and to enjoy a few moments of peace and reflection before her dramatic change.

It wasn’t until this moment that Sarah began to really think about what was about to happen to her hair and to her appearance and, for the first time, she found herself feeling more than a little nervous. Sarah tried to calm herself down with the thought that her hair would be far more presentable and certainly more practical once it was tightly curled and about how both Steve and her mother had said how much they would like to see her curly. However, the nerves and the butterflies just would not go away and Sarah found herself hoping that she would have the resolve to go through with it.

To take her mind off her nervousness, Sarah decided that she would like to eat the scrummy cake that she had seen at the counter after all. She concluded that although the old trendy Sarah was right to deprive herself of unnecessary calories as it was important to preserve her figure; the new Sarah, with her plain appearance, modest clothes and prim hairstyle, was not going to be considered anything more than a sweet and gentle plain Jane and, therefore, had absolutely no need to strive for the trim figure that all the trendy girls were starving themselves to achieve. Having become comfortable with her more curvy figure, Sarah purchased the cake, sat down and took great pleasure in devouring it.

The pleasure of eating the cake was all that Sarah needed to distract her from the feelings of nervousness and uncertainty and helped her to consider the situation with far greater clarity. Sarah reflected on the conversation she’d had with Maureen and her request to Maureen that if she arrived at 9.30, then this meant that she definitely wanted the perm and that Maureen should just get on with it with no questions asked. Sarah concluded that if Maureen w
ere to stick to this agreement, then there was no need to worry about going through with it, as all she had to do was walk through the salon door and Maureen would take control from there.

The atmosphere in the hairdressers at 9.10 was peaceful and as there were no customers Maureen and her colleague Audrey were studying the appointment book to see how busy they were going to be.

“This is a new name. Who is Sarah Eavis?” asked Audrey inquisitively.

“Oh there’s a story behind that one” chuckled Maureen.

“Well go on then; spill the beans”

“Well, it was about 10 minutes before closing time on Monday and I had this girl rush in all of a panic and desperate for me to do her hair.”

“Why the panic?”

“She was meeting her boyfriend’s parents that night and she didn’t think they would approve of her appearance and was desperate for me to do her hair there and then. I didn’t have the heart to say no”

“So what was wrong with her appearance? What did she look like?”

“Well for a modern young girl, I guess there wasn’t a whole lot wrong with her appearance; she was just your normal trendy young girl, you know the type; long fussy hair, short skirt, too much makeup. I think the problem was more that the boyfriend’s parents were your more modest and conservative type and she was fearful that she wouldn’t fit in.”

“So what did you do?”

“Well, as a result of having got herself into such a state, she wasn’t entirely clear with what she wanted, and her request could have been taken one of two ways; either she wanted a trim and a basic tidy-up or that she wanted a cut and a proper tidy-up”

“And?”

Well, I took the uncertainty to be a wonderful opportunity to give a young woman a damn good tidy-up, interpreted her garbling to mean that she wanted a cut rather than a trim, and I cut the lot off!”

“No, you didn’t?”

“I did, all off, long to short in less than 10 minutes. It was the quickest and most enjoyable haircut I’ve done in months.”

“Oh my word! So what style did you give her?”

“Just a plain and simple short layered cut; the same as we give the teenage schoolgirls whose mothers want them toned down and smartened up so they’ll have no distractions for their final exams”

“You didn’t do that to her? How did she look by the time you’d finished?

“I did, it was exactly the same cut as I gave Mrs Wilson’s daughter last week. By the time we’d finished she looked very neat and tidy and she no longer had the worry about the parents disapproving of her appearance; yes, she looked very presentable.”

“Ooooh you minx Maureen. So how did she react to ending up with a plain and simple short haircut when she might have only wanted just a trim?”

“Well, she did become somewhat quiet and reserved, but she didn’t complain or even suggest that I’d cut her hair too short, I just think she was a little surprised at how different she looked with her hair short. She was definitely the type of girl who needed the long hair to make her look pretty and, to be quite honest, without it, well, let’s just say I think she realised she was no longer going to be receiving wolf whistles.”

“Oh my word. It sounds like you gave her a real good tidy-up”.

“Oh yes. She entered as little Miss Trendy and left as little Miss Neat and Tidy, but I think it did her good and it didn’t stop her coming back.”

“So why is she coming back so soon?”

“Apparently, her family were over the moon to see her in short hair and wanted to see her curly. So, yesterday she came in for a shampoo and set and whilst we were doing that we discussed the possibility of me perming her.”

“How exciting, I can’t remember the last time we had a younger woman in for a perm and especially one wanting a perm on short hair. I am a little surprised she wants it done the very next day after having it set though?”

“Well, she was unsure as to whether she should have it done before an important family function this weekend and as Mrs Giles had cancelled her perm appointment, I told Sarah that if she arrived at 9.30 today I’d perm her hair for her, but if she didn’t arrive then I’d know she didn’t want to become properly curly. I hope you don’t mind me booking the time out on a “possibility”, but I really quite fancy taking this young lady all the way to a nice conservative style and I didn’t want to push her.”

“No, I don’t mind at all. As I said earlier, I can’t remember the last time we sent a youngster home short and curly and it would be quite nice to see it happen. You are going to have to be a little careful with what you say to her if she does arrive though, because you don’t want to frighten her away by suggesting something too severe”.

“We’ve already discussed the style and Sarah has told me that if she does arrive this morning, it is because she wants a nice no nonsense little bubblecut and that is exactly what I am to do without question?”

“A bubblecut, are you serious?”

“Yes absolutely, if she has it done she wants to go the whole hog, poodle tight curls, cropped-nice and short, uniform length all over; a proper traditional little bubblecut”.

“Oh my word, that’s going to be an incredibly big change for her, are you going to maybe soften it down a little for her so that she’s left with a few styling choices;” maybe leave her a little fringe?

“If I do that then I’ll be letting her down, she’s told me that if she arrives it will be for a no nonsense bubblecut and that is exactly what I intend to give her and if that means me taking off her fringe and leaving her with no styling choices other than to wear her hair short and curly, then so be it”

Having made her position perfectly clear, it was clear to Audrey that, should this young lady arrive at 9.30, Maureen was in no mood to compromise and the young lady would be sent home again with an extremely presentable appearance due to having been given a hairstyle that was very plain, very short and very curly.

In some ways, it was a shame that Sarah could not have been party to the conversation between the two hairdressers because, as she walked down the street towards the salon, she was almost sick with nerves. The nerves were not as a result of the thought of becoming curly; the nerves were all about whether she would have the courage of her conviction in the event of Maureen treating her gently and perhaps giving her an easy opt-out.

As Sarah approached the salon her apprehension increased and her walking pace began to slow. She was almost at a snails pace as she finally arrived at the door and, with her heart racing at an incredible pace, she instinctively ran her fingers through her soft straight hair for one last time before opening the door.

To be continued…

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