Spent today at the beauty parlor with Nan. We take her every three weeks for any combination of color, cut, or set depending on the week. My friend T is very patient with her and chats her up for the two or three hours she's in the chair.
I was watching T mix color today, pulling this bottle and that bottle - looking like a mad scientist the entire time. She's got some mad skills, that one, knowing how much of which color to blend to get just the right shade.
And she better get the right shade or Nan will let her know about it. If there's one thing I've learned about the elderly - they have no filter. They say what they want.
"I like you better in curls," Nana said quietly, looking at my straightened hair. "You always had such nice curls. They looked good."
"I know, Nan, but my curls don't want to curl anymore. They want to be straight so I'm straightening them for a bit," I explained gently.
"But I liked your curls. You were pretty. The straight hair I don't like - it's not pretty," she said firmly. A little too firmly if you ask me.
"Well, I can't have curls if the hair won't curl, Nan," I said. And smiled at her stubbornness. I think if she could have ordered my hair to curl, she would have.
A short while later.
"I like your curls," Nan said, looking at me with a sad, droopy face. "I don't know you anymore."
I laughed. "I'm still me, Nan."
"But I don't know you. I look at you and I say, 'Who is that woman?' when you come to the door," she insisted. "I don't know you in this hair."
All I can do is laugh.