Expat Magazine

At the Hairdresser, Discussing Children's Parties

By Sedulia @Sedulia

Screen shot 2012-06-13 at 21.13.11
This was a cute gadget, a lorgnette, so that women having a balayage or getting their hair dyed can read without having to put their glasses near their hair.

I've been letting my hair grow. But as it's long, thick and wavy, it just gets tangled, so I almost never wear it down, so what is the point? Today I decided to get it cut and as I was near the hairdresser where I usually go, I went in to ask  if I could have an appointment for later. Jacqueline, whom I've known since before she had children, said she could take me in half an hour. I had errands to run and then sat and had a coffee (in France, un café always means a small black expresso unless you specifically ask for something else) and listened to the people at the next table, supermarket workers on their break, bitch about their boss and talk about their holidays. Because even though they have a crummy job, they have fully covered health care and pensions, and looooong holidays: five weeks a year.*

Jacqueline was in good form and we shot the breeze and caught up on each other's children, photos and all. She knows all of mine, who come in to her salon, but as she lives out in the country, I have never met hers. "Do you always cut your children's hair?" I asked.

"Of course!" she said. "I have a phobie of anyone else cutting their hair. Last year they went to visit their father. Yann had beautiful wavy hair and he came back with it this long" (she held her fingers a quarter-inch apart) "and stuck up in a quiff with some sort of hair glue. Totally plouc. And Sarah had hair down her shoulders, really pretty, and she came back with it cut up to her ears. They said it was their idea, but pfffft." She made that very French moue with the lips poofed out.
I am giving a party and I asked her curiously, "Do you still give parties for Yann now that he's older?"
"J'ai horreur de ça," she said. "I never had them. I would rather have a couple of his friends for the whole weekend than a houseful of wound-up children for three hours. At the end of two hours they're all irritable and annoying. I don't like other people's children. It unbalances me." 


*At least for now. The euro crisis is about to crunch. I give it three months.

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