I went to my regular beauty parlor last month, for a haircut. As I waited at the reception for my regular stylist to be free, a couple walked in.
They were a pair, but not married.. I could figure. She was pretty, with a cute round face, large almond eyes, and wavy hair which reached her waist. The guy was nondescript, except that he had bulging arms, accentuated with a tight t-shirt, highlighting that he was a gym regular. She clung to his arm, like her feet couldn’t carry her, on their own.
Inside the lobby, she detached from him and came and sat next to me, while he walked over to the receptionist to talk.
“Oh..OK..he wants some service, and she has accompanied him”, I thought.
The receptionist listened to him, nodding her head as he spoke, and then walked inside. The guy strutted and seated himself next to the girl.
In a minute or two, the receptionist came out with a beautician. She walked over to the couple and started inspecting the girl’s hair, length, texture, asking questions about their requirements. Every time the stylist asked a question, the guy answered and the girl nodded. Sometimes, her eyes showed disagreement, but her head nodded. If I had not seen them talking to each other, and had not heard her voice, I would have assumed that the girl was speech-impaired.
Rosie, my stylist, came out finally and I walked in to have my hair cut.
After around fifteen minutes, the girl came in, and her stylist seated her diagonally opposite me. As the stylist started working on her, I could see that she was getting her hair cut and straightened.
What made me feel sad was the look on her face, as she sat there. She looked miserable and heart-broken as her locks fell under the sniping scissors. After cutting her hair to just below her shoulder blades, the stylist asked her if she was happy with the length, or if she wanted it further shortened.
She got up from her chair, and went running out to the reception.Though I couldn’t hear them through the glass doors, I could see them very clearly. It looked like she was asking “him” if he was happy with the length or wanted it further shortened. The chauvinistic ass critically surveyed her and said something. She returned, and then meekly asked the stylist to shorten her hair further.
All through the time I sat there getting my hair cut, styled and set, she kept going out and coming in getting his seal of approval through the cutting and straightening process. And every time she looked at the mirror, staring at her reflection, it seemed she positively hated what was being done to her hair.
My stylist finished with me, and I came home. But, I kept thinking of that couple… especially the girl.
She was modern, educated, looked sophisticated. She “looked” – independent. And she was beautiful. But what made her feel so insecure and unwanted, that she had no will to stand-up for herself?
I did not feel angry with her, nor did I think she was stupid. I understood the mental trap she was in. In the past, when I was still in my painful marriage (which I have spoken about in my old posts), the fear of emotional and physical censure and harassment was so much that I would not shake a finger without permission. I did not then know how it was to live for myself.
These people were not yet married, and she had already submitted herself to a life of a doormat. She was already tiring, dying a little death every time she gave up a part of herself that she loved. Before she knew, she would just be a shell, her soul all empty leaving behind only an abyss of darkness and unending ache and longing.
I really hope it does not end-up like that for her. I hope she tires soon , reaches the breaking point and decides to reclaim her life.
I hope the looking glass reveals to her what she really is and she realizes that she is perfect and enough on her own, without the approval of a man.
I hope she gets a chance to live her life, long before she loses the will and strength to claim what is hers.