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A problem, and a few ‘solutions’

My favorite, my Liza Minnelli hat

This blog is mostly for women, but I’m sure men have Bad Hair Days too. My ‘hat’ solution could be used by men and women alike.

I have had many different hair styles and colors over the years, but today I had a Bad Hair Day. It all started yesterday when I decided to have a ‘body perm’. This is a method of giving your hair a lift without actually making it curly.

Well in the the beauty parlor it looked great, but when I got home and decided to wash my hair, that is when my troubles started. First of all the permanent solution stripped my hair of most of its burgundy color and now my hair was mostly pinkish/orange. Second of all, the slight curl wasn’t slight at all.

It looked like I had a curly mop on top of my head. It is Sunday and I am very impatient. The only solution, get out my sharpest scissors and cut off some of the curls. (It just occurred to me that even though it is Sunday, nowadays, lots of beauty parlors are open.)

I called the operator who did this and told her that I had washed it and what should I do. She said,”Oh, you weren’t supposed to wash it for 24 hours, now all the curl will come out”. Good.

I can cut the front pretty well myself, but the back is another story. So, what to do? Luckily I have quite a hat collection.

I gathered up six of my hats and started trying them on. Not bad. I think my favorite one is the black sequined fedora. I call it my Liza Minnelli hat, as it looks like something she would wear. (Not too appropriate for going to the market in Honolulu, though)

Whenever I think of Liza, I think of New York. I have a funny hair story/nightmare to share that took place in New York City. The year was 1980 and I was in New York City for a few days on my way to London.

The latest thing in hair adornment was something called cellophane. This was a transparent glaze that was put on your hair to give it a nice colorful sheen. I went into a very famous hair salon and had this done. The color I chose was a burgundy, which reminded me of Gallo hearty burgundy wine.

That night I met a very charming man at the Oyster Bar at the Plaza Hotel. He and his friends invited me to join them for the Broadway musical, Brown Sugar. They had an extra ticket, as this man’s wife had died after he bought the tickets. (Now how is that for a great ‘pick up’ line?) But it was actually true.

A limo whisked us to the theatre and picked us up and back to the Plaza Hotel.Then it was dinner at the Palm Court and due to a terrible rainstorm (really), I wound up spending the night in his $1000 penthouse suite at the Plaza. (Quite an adventure and a great story to tell my grandchildren some day).

The suite was white on white, very elegant with a living room area, a Louise XIV writing desk and two twin beds. The view was spectacular, overlooking Central Park.

He was the president of some life insurance company and the perfect gentleman. He gave me a pair of his monogramed pajamas from Pratesi to wear.

As he was leaving for a meeting in the morning, he said for me to order room service and he would be back around three and later could we go to dinner. Dinner was to be with the friends from the night before at a very well known Italian restaurant. (There were nine courses, all brought out without ordering)

My plan was to shop for a warm coat, as I was coming from Hawaii and flying to London the next day. I decided to shower and wash my hair before I left for Bloomingdales.

I got in the tub/shower and turned on the spray. Immediately the cellophane hair color splashed all over the beautiful tiled walls, ceiling, the white linen shower curtain, and was dripping down my body. It looked like a scene from Psycho.

I got out of the shower and dripped red dye all over the pristine white bathmat and floor. I grabbed a towel to wrap around me and in one second it too was splotched in red.

Oh good, a hair dryer. No, that just sprayed the red mist on my hair around. Luckily there was a telephone in the bathroom and I called housekeeping. I said there had been an accident and could they send someone to help me.

I didn’t know how I was going to answer the door without tracking red footprints across the huge expanse of thick white carpet but before I turned around, the maid had arrived.

Long story short: She cleaned up the mess, replaced the shower curtain and I never told the nice gentleman the story of my day. When he returned, he talked me into checking out of my hotel and staying in his suite for the weekend.

No it wasn’t like Pretty Woman, but it’s as close as I ever got to that. (And the good news is that all the color that washed off my hair was excess and the rest stayed on. Beautiful.)

He was a very recent widower and just enjoyed my company. (Really). On Sunday morning we had room service breakfast, read the New York Times together and then went downstairs to watch the finish of the New York marathon. Then he had his limo driver drive me to the airport and he insisted that he accompany me. Then I was off to London for the next stop on my trip around the world.

As I entered the Pan American Clipper Club first class lounge, a very attractive man offered me a seat. He looked to be at least ten years younger than me. Turns out Danielle was an artist returning to London for a commission to paint someone’s horse. We later wound up ‘doing’ London together and I even got to visit the stables of a fabulous horse farm in the Cotswalls. (Must have been the hair).

I know this sounds like the plot of a movie but it is all true. It’s been twenty five years and I can still see this whole episode as though it were yesterday. And I’ll say it again, “It must have been the hair”.