Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When Fledglings Come Back to the Nest


Alfred and I work our longest hours Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving week, which are HUGE days at the salon, because of our dearest, and longest clients that come "home for the holidays". "Fledglings" I call my clients that I have done since kids and steer them through high school- many from the local town schools, and lots of Nobles, BB&N, Windsor, Beaver, Milton,and Concord day students. Then they go off to college, away from Boston and come home for vacations. They get their hair done and we catch up on...well, everything people talk to their hairdressers about, which is pretty much everything.. We also have those that have that same scenario as above, then stay for college at Harvard, BU, Tufts, Brown or other local colleges; so add 4 more years. Then again, the same as above and add 7 more years of PHD and "post doc" time.

I have clients that have come in as children as regularly as clockwork for 10-25 YEAS. I participate through their ENTIRE education, then one day they come in and say" I'm going off to teach at Stanford and movin
g away to California...(I always completely LOSE IT) but I always get the "don't worry, I'll always be home to visit my folks, and see you". So, this is the week where some of my most beloved clients come home. For example- Dillon who's bangs I cut as a TWO year old on his mother's lap, and is now TWENTY EIGHT years old, living in NYC and playing 2nd Oboe for the American Ballet Orchestra. He is my longest and dearest "fledgling". He sends all his girlfriends in for me to "approve". I call it "running the Mohican's gauntlet", and his last- (now ex) girlfriend left with multiple tomahawks in her head. I HATED her. This all falls under the blog topic a few weeks back that was called "Living Vicariously Through our Clients." My Mom watched her favorite Exeter Day School Kindergarten students grow up; William Tuthill is now over 45. She was protective, proud, and kept a watchful parental eye on her brood. Me too.

"Fledglings" come in all shapes and sizes. I have a girl named Billie who was 8 when I started with her. She didn't say a word for 4 years. S
he was shy, skinny and awkward with stick legs, knobby knees and big wide eyes. Now She's TWENTY SEVEN, drop dead gorgeous, with long sleek legs, dark smouldering eyes, works as a writer for MTV, dates a Billionaire's son, and travels all over the world. She is my Charlotte Vale from "Now Voyager." Bette Davis has the greatest makeover in Hollywood history. In The movie, all she needs is a good shrink. In this case, all we needed was a good lipstick-a good dress-and a good hairdresser, I did her hair/makeup/styling for her high school prom which seemed to be the begining of her metamorphosis, and produced one of my most famous and well timed comic lines When her Mother came in and started to cry, I turned Billie around in the chair and pronounced "Well well, hasn't our little duckling turned into quite a Swan". Alfred still reminds me that I omitted, but implied the word "ugly" from that sentence, but she DID have (that has kept on going) a miraculous and dramatic transformation. There was a huge silent pause, then a roaring laugh that included Billie- who years later makes her appointments as "the Swan".. I still use that line occasionally.

I have worked with a guy for almost 20 years that was the geeky computer kid in high school with thick taped glasses a
nd bad skin who found accutane acne medication, contact lenses, a happy marriage, 2 kids and a job as the editor of a well known magazine. He found self confidence and self esteem a long the way. I have a lot of Harvard students that went on to become quite illustrious. A legal commentator on CNN, more Deans then I can count, a three star General, and a lot of politicians. THEY WERE BABYS !! If I gave them one haircut, or one word of encouragement along the way that helped them, then I encourage my fledglings to spread their wings and fly. Go for it. DO IT!! I'll be around to tell you how well you've done. and how good your hair looks, but until then, the world is your oyster Anybody can be or do anything they put their mind to in this world- we just had a national election that proved that.

So, This Thanksgiving, I look forward to Charlotte Vale coming in to get her hair streaked, and Dillon to come i
n to prepare me for yet another girlfriend for me to look over. (the right one is going to come along, but for heaven's sake no more anxious ex models.) I can't wait to see my Clinical psychologist coming up from Philly, or my micro financier from Yale who loans 5 dollars to a farmer in Bangladesh to buy a cow that helps the whole economy of the village. I cut her bangs to short in 6th grade (her Mother MADE ME) and she still gets skittish around it."Post Traumatic Bang Stress" (PTBS) I think about 70% of all women have a childhood bang trauma that takes a good hairdresser to help them work through that. That's what I do. Come home and see us over the Holidays to get your hair done by those of us who love you and sent you out there way back when with your chin up, your shirt tucked in, and your bangs just the right length.

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