25 January 2009

Remembering to Notice

My beloved went to the hairdressers the other day. On previous such occasions, I have found myself so caught up in the normal events of homecoming - you know, getting licked to death by the dog, trying to remember where I left my slippers, asking how her morning at work went, pouring a glass of wine, sharing a packet of crisps with the dog whilst trying simultaneously to keep my slippers dry - that I passed no comment on the hair-do. Big mistake, of course, but an easy one to make because, for a man, having a haircut is no big deal; it's just something you have to do to stop your head looking like an ostrich egg in a rook's nest.

For the ladies, it's a whole different scenario, a major event that has been carefully planned and looked forward too, and with high expectations of its outcome. For them, it's part of the whole pampering thing intended to make them feel good and feel that they look good. Unfortunately, the event loses its shine if the result is not noticed. It is men who must shoulder this onerous burden of noticing and passing favourable comment; note the adjective. Unfavourable comment, such as 'The colour's a bit dark this time,' or 'She's taken a bit too much off at the back,' is neither reassuring nor welcome. No comment amounts to the same thing, or worse. Saying nothing is interpreted as, 'Your hair looks a mess but I'm not saying so because it would upset you.' Wrong. We men just haven't noticed.

This time, I had the perfect solution. While she was still at the hairdressers, I sent her a text that said, 'In case I forget to notice later, your hair looks lovely.'

Problem solved.

When she came home, she told me about the laugh she'd had at the hairdresser's over my text - and I got my reminder to comment favourably.

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