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Sunday, November 24, 2002

Butch-Femme Hairdressing
I got a snip at the lesbian hairdressers yesterday. Recently, one of the three stylists moved on to hipper pastures, so they rearranged the place, erecting walls to make a massage studio inside the salon, and cutting (ha ha) the number of stations from three to two.

It’s a very nice remodeling and all, but it has messed up the mix of the place. There used to be a butch hairdresser, a femme hairdresser, and a New Age hairdresser, and they were working a sort of “three faces of lesbianism” angle. You could pretty much tell who was waiting for whom, since broadly speaking a client whom a random panel of five lesbians would grade on the butch side of the scale would almost certainly go sit in the butch stylists’ chair, and the woman exuding a whiff of patchouli and wearing turquoise earrings would be most likely to head off with the New Ager. You could even tell if there were half-done folks sitting around waiting for the next stage in their transformation: Folks getting a perm are more likely to be with the New Ager, while women getting a novelty color job (i.e., not your standard blond highlights) were with the femme stylist.

Now the femme has gone.

I’m not sure why this bothers me so. I’ve always rejected the world of role-playing, so maybe it’s just that I liked the femme hairdresser. She always seemed a bit ditsy in an amusing way—she once went on vacation to Mexico and brought home a street dog that she found there. She brought the dog into the salon, but he wasn’t very socialized, and he ended up digging through the bathroom trash and bringing used tampons into the salon.

I buck the system, because even though I don’t fit her profile, I get my hair cut by the New Ager, since she has cut R’s hair for years. I used to pine for a snip from the butch hairdresser, and I got my chance one time when my stylist was on vacation. I was shocked to discover that I walked out with pretty much the same haircut as I always got from NA. This either says something very deep about role-playing or nothing at all.