'New look' still has same crazy appearance

May 06, 2003|by TIM ROWLAND

Brace yourself, the girls at the hair salon tell me I need a new picture. This is because I have a "new look," which in my opinion is precisely why I do not need a new picture.

Given my druthers, I'd prefer to remain in disguise. This helps prevent people from coming up on the street and announcing "I know you, you write that column in the newspaper. I never read it."

For years I went to a barber shop, where haircuts were $3. And if the barber shop charged $20 and the barbers called themselves "stylists" and painted the walls of the shop in salmon and teal, I'd probably be going there still.

But marriage happened.

Naturally, the Fashion Plate in High Heels determined it was time for me to go to a stylist, and being the forceful, strong presence of the household I stood tall and said, "Yes, dear."


She's always doing stuff like that, and to be honest I don't mind. I used to take great pride in clothes shopping, but she takes greater pride, so I handed the reins to her and it has been something of a relief.

The other night we were going out to dinner and I dressed up just fine, to my way of thinking. I was sitting at the computer downloading some porn and she came up and looked me over.

Her gaze narrowed and her eyes hardened a bit. I got looked over head to toe and felt much in the way I suspect a steer feels when a rancher is judging him by the pound.

She's nice enough about it, though. "Is your heart set on wearing that jacket?" I said no, but of course that was just the beginning. Through interrogation, Andrea learned that neither was my "heart set" on my slacks, tie, shirt and shoes. And if we hadn't been running late, I think she'd have had a go at the underwear I'd picked.

Consequently, I've devolved into sort of a Homer Simpson character. Marge is in the hospital and Homer comes downstairs for breakfast in his underwear and his young daughter asks "Does mom dress you?" and he says. "I don't know. I guess. Or one of her friends."

So anyway, Andrea had set me up with her hairdresser, Cindy. I liked her immediately and she does great work. However, when Andrea and Cindy get together they tend to come up with schemes that make Lucy and Ethel conspiracies look about as complicated as the Teletubbies.

They (Andrea and Cindy, not the Teletubbies) came up with a new, more modern look for me, and by modern I mean straight out of the '50s in a snazzy kind of way. I always wanted a crewcut, so I was very pleased, with one little exception: I now have to use a hair "product." I don't know why.

For this, Andrea purchased some stuff that comes in a tube and is almost exactly like axle grease, although it doesn't smell as good. The finished result is sort of Early American Skateboard, and if that were the end of the story I'd be happy. But now I'm being leaned on heavily for a new photo to show off the do, which everyone seems to view as a great improvement.

Perhaps you've noticed though that the camera is not my friend.

I've argued that the problem is not going to be the haircut, it's going to be what's underneath the haircut. I always come off looking kind of - how do I put this gently - insane. It's the giddily fiendish appearance of one who has just completed a spree of arson, carjacking and stuffing an old lady in a mailbox. Without any postage.

So I may get a new photo or, recognizing the futility, I may not waste the flash cube. Just try to remember, pretty isn't why I'm here.

Like the fishmonger on the Upper East Side told the grandmother when she said she didn't like the looks of his codfish:

"Lady, for looks you don't buy codfish, for looks you buy goldfish."

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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