When I’m in a dressing room and they turn off the sassy overhead music, I am forced to confront the raw soundtrack of my actual reality and face the fact that I’m thrashing about in a tiny room like King Kong, knocking things over, staggering around with sweaters stuck on my head, hurling hangers to the floor like tiny airplanes off the Empire State Building.
Every once in a while a dubious gift slides over from my neighbor’s stall: giant dust bunny, half a hanger, someone else’s bra. My foot—the one with the sock on—is stuck in my purse, which is how I have managed to stub my toe on car keys and draw blood. A plastic price tag dangles pitifully from my teeth. And worst of all, I’m still grooving even though the music is gone, still doing the mom dance, trying desperately to hang on to cool as the salesgirl clickety clacks toward my door. Knock knock knock knock knock!
“Is everything OK in there? Can I get you anything?”
“Do you have these pants in a size valium?
“You mean medium?”
I got my first big girl haircut! As the Persian breed goes, I’m very hairy. At the same time, I’m unwilling to do any maintenance beyond occasional brushing. I do not own a hair dryer or any other modern contraption. I grow the hair wild and wooly down to my Dimples of Venus (yes, you should Google that) and then every year or two I march into the cheapest Supercuts and cry, “Off with my hair! Slice it up to the nipples.”
But this time I went to a friend who is an actual hair artist, I got a little overexcited, and I did what you are not supposed to do: I brought in a picture of my celebrity crush, Kate McKinnon from SNL, and asked her to make me look like EXACTLY LIKE HER. My friend is a kind person, so she gently pointed out that we do not share the same hair color or bone structure, and I had already stated that I wanted it longer than the picture, but she was happy to layer it and do something similar. Then the long pause. Long. Her eyes were fixed just below my chin.
“Is everything ok?” I asked.
“I’m just trying to figure out where your nipples are.”
Now, no hairdresser had ever cared enough to be that precise so I had never dealt with the question, but I suppose my friend really wanted to make a good first impression and give me what I was asking for and that’s how we ended up in this strange back and forth where I realized that even I did not know exactly where my nipples were unless I felt around a bit. It was a momentary existential crisis. Does anyone truly know where their nipples are? I mean, could you describe the coordinates to a stranger using only memory and spatial intelligence?
Anyway, as you can see from the pics below, we figured it out. Kate and I are basically twins now and I’m hooked on fancy haircuts.
Cashier: Ok ma'am. Your total is $152.45. Will you be purchasing bags today?
Cashier: Did you bring your own?
Me: Nope. I will definitely be needing help to my car.
Me: My vision is an army of shirtless bagger boys, each proffering a single item to my vehicle. Also, I don't remember where I parked. Did I mention that I'm a valued member of your Preferred Club?
I identify the most desirable thing on my plate, gather it into a pile, chase it around for a while until one of us gets tired, then give it the good old caveman stab. If this is Paleo, I'm in.
Here is a sample of my work:
Stephanie = Estephanie
I'm full, don't serve me anything else = wah wah wah (incomprehensible Charlie Brown teacher talk)
This is Gary, my boss. = This is Gary-sweetie, my boss. I want to give him my liver.
I'm backed up to the Cloud = I'm constipated to the heavens and beyond!
I pricked the tip of my index finger this morning just as I was heading out the door, and as the blood gushed forth I considered calling in to work: "Hi, I'm going to be a little late. There's this European fairy tale and, long story short, I need to sleep in for 100 years and be awakened by a prince's kiss. Them's the rules!"
I had a dream that I could purchase a variety of items from a wide selection of stores-- the world at my fingertips-- with one caveat: everything will come with an industrial strength sticky price tag in the most awkward middle-of-the-forehead place, impenetrable to vinegar, hot water baths, steel wool, auto degreaser, and all other remedies recommended by the ladies on the internet.
I'm awake now and full of questions. Did some hot Greek cashier reject Zeus? Is that why all shoppers are now cursed for eternity?
My name is Nasreen. I write micro essays, one-liners, and other small things. Most of them were funny at some point, at least to me.