by Melinda Gallo

New hairdresser

After we moved, I had thought of going back to my old parrucchiere (hairdresser), but I figured that a change would be good for me. I liked my parrucchiere because he was very nice to me. We used to talk about traveling and restaurants every time we saw each other. The only issue I had with him was that he never told me his name. I only found out his name through a friend of mine who sees him as well. I just thought he could've introduced himself to me, but after seeing him for almost two years, I realized it was probably my fault for not asking him.

After so much time had passed, I felt almost silly asking him what his name was. Everyone else who has worked on my hair, like the guy who washes it, I asked their name the first time we met. I don't think it should be up to me to do so, but I guess it's just not something people do of their own accord in the salon where I was going.

I walked around downtown on Thursday and tried to think of where I wanted to go. I went to one shop downtown, which I seen advertisements for. I looked through the big windows and saw only one woman waiting on a couch. There was a guy standing at the counter with the receptionist.

I didn't get a great feeling, but I thought that maybe I'm just a little hesitant in changing parrucchiere.

I walked up to the counter and told the girl that I wanted a haircut. She looked at me without smiling and then flipped through her book. She asked me when I wanted to come in and I told her either tomorrow or Saturday. She asked me if 5:15PM would be OK and as the guy stood next to me stared at me, I hesitated a moment and then said, "Sì, a me va bene." (Yes, that's fine for me.) She asked me my name and handed me a bigliettino da visita (business card) with the time and date on it.

I walked out of the parrucchiere (hair salon) and felt that I had made a huge mistake. I didn't feel very welcome there, but I hoped that maybe the parrucchiere would be nicer.

I went shopping the next day with Simone and asked him if he knew the parrucchiere. He told me not to go there. I felt almost relieved as now I knew I wasn't being paranoid. He told me to go to another place that I had heard of as well. "O puoi andare in un'altro posto dove tutte le fiorentine "chic" vanno?" (Or you can go to another place where all the chic Florentines go?), he said winking at me.

?The problem was going to be getting an appointment for Saturday. I wanted my hair to be cut for our party on Sunday.

I called another place that Simone told me about and made an appointment for Saturday morning.

When I walked in today, I realized that I had been here before many years ago when I was living in Italy back in 1997-1999. When I saw my parrucchiere, I realized he was the same guy I had the last time I was there. He didn't recognize me, so I didn't say anything.

He introduced himself to me and asked me what I wanted. I told him that I wanted something different because I'm tired of what I have. He asked me what things I didn't like about my hair and I told him that it gets a little puffy in the humidity. He told me what he wanted to do and I thought it was a great idea, something a little asymmetrical.

"Parli bene l'italiano." (You speak Italian well.), the parrucchiere said to me after a few minutes of silence. "Grazie," I responded. "Ma è normale perché il tuo marito è italiano." (But, it's normal because your husband is Italian.), he said. I was a little taken aback by the compliment that he so easily took away from me. "Il mio marito è americano anche lui." (My husband is also American.), I said. "Ma lavori con italiani allora." (But you work with Italians then.), he insisted. "No, lavoro per conto mio e quasi tutti i miei clienti sono americani." (No, I work for myself and almost all of my clients are American.)

He immediately changed the subject and told me that he would love to go to California. He said that now he has a two-year-old daughter, he can no longer travel much. "Costa tanto e è molto difficile con la bambina." (It costs a lot and it's very difficult with the baby.), he told me.

I was very pleased with what my parrucchiere did for me, so I'm sure I'll be going back to see him. We ended up laughing a lot together while many of the other people were rather quiet. My new parrucchiere is a nice guy and quite funny too. We got along quite well, and now that I know his name, I feel a little more comfortable too.

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