There are some real-life genies: Ones who can give you exactly what you want, without any effort on your part. Like my hairdresser.
I think the modern term is “stylist” but my hairdresser doesn’t style the rest of me—just the hair. But he does do magic with that hair. My hair has its own version of stubborn: Ruler-straight and baby-fine, it will not hold a curl without chemical help, and it won’t even stay put in a ponytail. Within half an hour I have strands of hair gleefully escaping whatever I tried to hold them with.
But my hairdresser makes me happy with my hair. He finds ways to cut it to take advantage of what it is. And it is shiny and gorgeously mousy brown. No, wait, he once told me it is ash brown and one of the best hair colors out there.
He’s less than two years older than me. I keep wondering what I’ll do when he retires. I’ll finally have to go find another cutter and that isn’t easy. He has employees and some of them have had the opportunity to do my ‘do when he wasn’t there. It just didn’t feel right or look right or handle right.
He seems to not want to retire any time soon, so we watch each other grow older, him losing what hair he has, and me sometimes asking how many grays I’ve acquired. He brushes that question off (heh). Which is why I’ve taken to studying what falls on the floor, looking for telltale “blond” strands. Saw a few more today, silver accents well spaced apart amidst the dark brown.
For over 35 years I’ve sat in a chair with him wielding sharp instruments near my ears, holding conversations with eye contact done via the mirror. I don’t really know him, but he knows my hair. With just a few words from me, he goes to work, and a half hour later I am turned into a goddess.