• erikaraskin

wait, what?



Having reached the end of the road with the Chia Pet look, I went to my stylist/friend and invested in a straightening process. It’s a labor intensive process (hers not mine) requiring a wash, a blow-dry, a chemical painting of some sketchy chemical or other onto my head, then another wash and another blow-dry.


It takes forever.


(For those who know me, you can imagine how well I do sitting still for that long.)


Anyway, I got into a discussion with the woman in the next chair (also tucked in for the long haul) as well as the professionals working on us.


(A legitimate conversation is much easier on the neck than straining to eavesdrop over the salon’s impressive background noise. You can actually ask, “What?”)


The four of us talked British mystery shows on AcornTV. And Idris Elba. And somehow we got to politics.


The woman with the curlers said she hates Hillary so much she has to leave the room when the candidate comes on TV. As someone who originally supported Bernie I laughingly said, “But you’re not voting for Trump, are you?”


She didn’t answer.


It got really uncomfortable. She’d seemed lovely. While it wasn’t as bad as the exchange Keith and I had with a pro-Iraq war guy in Jiffy Lube — it was awkward. Tense.


And I had one of Those Moments. When a calculation involving the psychological possibility of actually changing someone else’s mind was weighed against the probability of spontaneous combustion that comes from holding back.


(Also, my scalp was beginning to itch.)


I decided to go at it sideways.


Rather than arguing Trump’s world view and racism (Central Park 5, xenophobia etc ad nauseum) I decided to just mention some of the more bizarre things the man has said. Like how years ago he wondered about the future breast size of his newborn Tiffany. And how if she wasn’t his daughter he’d date Ivanka.


The other client just chalked those things up to "Donald being Donald."


Whatever the hell that means.


The stylists got even quieter.


But the chemicals were seeping into my head, affecting my filter and I kept at it. I brought up the recent Washington Post article about the Republican candidate that pretty much described him as a congenital ass-hat. How he’s been an arrogant bully since childhood.


She didn't care. Donald being Donald.


Eventually, with some impressive choreography, the stylists got us back to discussing British television (not their disastrous vote to leave the EU.) And I found myself liking the other woman again. Particularly after she said I looked too young to be a grandmother.


But after I paid for my seriously relaxed hair, I left the salon seriously unsettled. When seemingly fun and decent people shrug, we are in trouble.

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© erika raskin, 2019.