So the New Year passed without incident. John and I celebrated with an Indian feast at Punjabi. He ordered his usual Rogan Josh (but was disappointed) and I ordered Paneer Kadhi. For the appetizer, we had a potato cheese dish–forget the name. Overall, the meal was quite satisfying. Somewhat on the spicy side, but we weren’t complaining. After all, this was the only restaurant serving free water (usually it’s hot tea and it’s not free). And it was a nice break from Chinese food (which I still don’t like much). The restaurant was busy. I made a double-take seeing so many non-Chinese in one place. I guess China is a popular work destination for a lot of South Asians.
On New Year’s day, John decided to commence the Program for Physical Transformation. Sounds more dramatic than it really is. I guess middle age is starting to hit us, and we’re feeling a certain need to spruce up the ol’ married couple image. 🙂 So the day began with a new hairstyle at the salon downstairs. For weeks, we’d been eyeing different joints, trying to see who had the most business and who had the most fashionable stylists. In the end, we just wanted convenience. So we went in late morning, carrying these pictures of Brad Pitt from Oceans Eleven–he’s got this really cool, short, spiky, sexy look. I know, that man could never really look unsexy, but hey even he has better hair days. So we hand over the pictures and John decides to do the whole shabang–coloring and all. So we pick out these hair swatches– a standard dirty blonde and then silvery blonde highlights. As the cutting begins, I remind his stylist (who has a Snoop Dogg hairstyle) that we’re just interested in an image boost. We’re not looking to go clubbing and K-TVing: we still want to look professional, right? Snoop Dogg assures me it’ll look fine.
I got my hair cut too–nothing life-altering. Still long but with layers. I got into a minor tiff with my stylist who kept implying that I was a liar. First, he suggested I color my hair. I declined. Then he kept insisting that I had gotten my hair colored before, he started lifting certain portions of my hair which are naturally lighter (dark brown instead of black) and saying, “you have these sections that are different colors and you say you’ve never colored your hair.” Was this dude for real? Yeah, I have lighter sections, so what. My hair’s not colored. So he starts shaking his head. I started getting really red-faced and irritated. Finally, I said, “You can believe me or not believe me, that’s your problem. I’ve never colored my hair.” That shut him up. I spent the rest of my cut in silence. I watched John get the foils put in and color brushed on.
So the outcome for John was well… unexpected. Yellow, not blonde. The cut was nice… but the color was so unnatural. I told the manager it looked like they melted a yellow crayon into his hair. They said washing would whiten and lighten it up a bit. If we were still unsatisfied, they’d do it over. It’s really blatant in daylight but tolerable indoors. John said he doesn’t want to go back–they might make it worse. We’ll see.