I’m Beginning to Think You’re Smarter Than I Am

I go into the salon and tell them I have an appointment with Melanie. They say Melanie’s not here, but don’t worry, we have a guy named Roy who takes care of all our walk-ins. And I say fine, whatever, but then it turns out Roy isn’t there either. He should be back in 15 minutes. I go out to get some coffee.

When I get back, everyone is looking at me strangely. More accurately, everyone is going to great lengths to avoid looking at me. I try to figure out what’s changed in the 15 minutes I’ve been gone. I realize I’m completely naked.

You’ve figured out that this is a dream, haven’t you? Well, I haven’t. I’m still standing there, naked, in the salon, thinking this is all really happening. I should know better. Once, I noticed that the interior and exterior of my car were different styles and knew I was in a dream. But sudden unexplained public nudity (or even killing someone for no particular reason) isn’t a big enough hint.

I’m horribly embarrassed. Luckily, I have a suitcase with me. The clothes are at the very bottom, and I have to dig through all the battery chargers, coffee mugs, and egg beaters before I find something to wear.

More clues that this is a dream:

  • I don’t normally pack an egg beater in my suitcase. Maybe this dream is trying to tell me I should.
  • In the real world, I probably would have grabbed one of those smocks they always have in hair salons. But this wasn’t the real world. It was more like the kind of dystopian alternate universe you sometimes see in movies, where everything seems like it’s exactly the same as in our world, but then it turns out that in this horrifying version of reality, the idea of putting on a smock before getting your hair cut never really caught on.
  • My clothes had disappeared some time in the last 15 minutes. I had no memory of this. Wouldn’t you find that kind of alarming? I didn’t. I wasn’t even vaguely curious about what had happened.

Eventually, I get dressed. Roy still hasn’t appeared. But my friend Steve is there. He’s a software developer who works as a stylist on the weekends. He agrees to do my hair. Right after he starts, Roy shows up. He’s mad. Roy and Steve argue like a couple of used-car salesmen fighting over a particularly gullible customer. Roy wins. He takes over. He’s a little gruff. I begin to regret not confirming my appointment with Melanie before coming in.

In the end, my hair looks terrible. I usually get highlights, but now my hair is all exactly the same color, a sort of shoe-polish brown. “Shoe-polish” also describes the texture — instead of moving freely, my hair is arranged in random sticky clumps. I don’t say anything to Roy, though, because this is the kind of dystopian dream world in which you don’t get to see your hair until after you’ve left the salon and gone home.

I had this dream last Monday. I had a real hair appointment yesterday. It went much better than the one in the dream.

22 thoughts on “I’m Beginning to Think You’re Smarter Than I Am

  1. I had a dream the other night that my ex’s new girlfriend was a Jekyll/Hyde-like character who would turn into a monster known as “The Chameleon.”

    I knew it was a dream because she’s pretty much a full-time Chameleon.

    1. Doesn’t your ex have some Jekyll/Hyde qualities herself? I wonder how that works. I mean, when they’re together, is one of them always Jekyll to the other’s Hyde? Or do they sync up so they’re both either Jekyll-ing or Hyde-ing simultaneously?

  2. I have dreams like this too. My clothes also seem to disappear really quickly – like magic.

    Usually I have the hairdresser dreams just before going to a hairdresser. I’m a little scared of them! ;-) They always seem so disdainful and judgemental.

    1. I’ve had that experience in the past, but the one I go to now is really nice and friendly. Even in my dream, she was completely blameless.

  3. “I don’t normally pack an egg beater in my suitcase. Maybe this dream is trying to tell me I should.”

    Or maybe you could stop eating wild mushroom you picked from the forest ;)

    1. Some day I may change my profile picture to a shot of me in the process of getting highlights (you know, at the point where I’m almost literally wearing a tinfoil hat).

    1. I don’t know — the shorter it is, the more likely it is you’ll nick something, right? Like an ear?

  4. I should hope your real life hair appt went better than the dream one! It would be a sad day, indeed, if you came out looking worse than you did after Roy’s treatment. ;)

    1. I think it looks better than it did in the dream. But no one said anything at work today, which is a bad sign…

    1. You really need to work on that. Try to focus on things that make you worried or anxious as you drift off to sleep.

  5. What a nightmare! Sticky shoe polish hair!

    I often have nightmares about people hacking my hair off. My husband says I have a problem with vanity and should stop worrying about my hair.

    But then one time I went to a new hairdresser and she DID cut off half my hair and I was devastated because nightmares can come true.

    I’m glad yours didn’t.

    1. It didn’t come true for me. But about halfway through my appointment, some woman came in thinking she had an appointment with Melanie. It turned out her appointment was for the following week. So this woman is living my nightmare.

      (Well, actually, she’s not, because Melanie said she’d fit her in after me. But I didn’t stick around to see what happened.)

    1. I told her about the dream, but it was a little weird, because I felt like I had to use the word “dream” in every sentence in case someone overheard me and thought I was complaining about an actual salon experience.

    1. Do you ever do that thing where you decide you’re carrying too much stuff in your purse, so you get a tiny purse so you can’t put too much stuff in it? I don’t have room for an egg beater. I don’t even have room for an egg.

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