“What’s with the long hair? – I mean – I like it – ”

“I got sick of battling with hairdressers.”

He looked perplexed.

“They’re all alike.  I haven’t found one yet who is on the same wavelength . . . ha! ha!”

He didn’t seem to think that was funny.  Not much.  Only a little quiver of his lips.

“I should be able to deal with them,” she said.  “I know I should!  Do this!  Do that!”

He lifted an eyebrow – sardonically, she thought, but how was she supposed to know what he was thinking?

“Look,” she said.  “This is more than making your hairdresser your servant, getting him to do as you ask, as you describe . . . they have set procedures.  They are all taught at the same school.”

She sniffed.

“They say things like, ‘Shall we do something about this dry mess?’, and ‘Don’t try to grow it past your nostril at your age, dear!’  Intimidating, they are!  And so,” she said, sniffing again as though it really didn’t matter, “I gave them up, every-single-one-of-them.”

He was staring at her.

“It’s about your vanity, you see,” she went on.  “They get you through your vanity.  Not even that!  There is more to your vanity than meets the I you know – oh yes – ”

She wondered if he was still following her.

“Your vanity is your self-esteem, no less,” she said.  “You look in the mirror as you are about to go out – the mirror in the hall, you know – and you think – ah, yes, I look okay – or you think, ah, yes, I look stunning with all this make-up I have put on!  What artifice!  From a distance I look a sight – to behold, that is – as long as you don’t get too close or espy me side on . . . ”


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