Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Polly's Choice

Oh, I'm just soooo parisienne, aren't I? I'm such an habituee of my neighborhood coiffeur, Sergio Bossi, that I no longer need to ask, "Vous avez le temps pour un brushing?". When I pop my head in the door, they smile and can always accommodate my impromptu request. "Vous avez le temps pour un brushing?" just rolls off my tongue, even if I cheat on Sergio and go to Jean-Claude Biguine for variety.

In NYC last week, I needed to have my hair look decent before a big event. So without the little nanosecond of communication angst I have before conversing with most Parisian shop owners, it was going to be a breeze chatting with the hair stylist. After all, we speak the same language, right? So at 9 am on Saturday I popped my head into a little hair salon on Amsterdam Ave. The handsome 30-something guy at the desk greeted me.

"Hi," I said in my most sophisticatedly-cool-I-live-in-Paris-but-am-visiting-NYC way. "Do you have time for a blow...."

Okay, English words failed me and I thankfully stopped my self in time. I could only wave my hands. And gesture at my hair. And think of Kevin Kline saying to Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice, "It's seersucker."

2 comments:

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Found your blog from petiteanglaise.com, and I really enjoy your writing. I'm often paralyzed with anxiety when I have to explain myself to French shopkeepers, especially hairdressers! I'm almost grateful I have a strong enough American accent that no one wonders why I have trouble expressing myself. Not that I'm sure I ever knew how to explain myself to a hairdresser, even back in the States.

Polly said...

The irony was, of course, that I ended up having my hair blown dry in NYC by a lady who spoke only Spanish. More of a linguistic challenge than in Paris!

I've finally learned all the right French terms, anyway -- all the vocab you don't learn in school such as "lisse", "du volume" "balayage" "meches" etc. Simply finding a good hairdresser who doesn't put you in the poorhouse is a challenge.

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