In these difficult economic times, I have been forced to find the joy of doing some things for myself again. For now, gone are the days of going to the salon to get my hair done. I am doing it myself. I have now found a new appreciation for those who work at my dry cleaners, because I am now the queen of the iron. Recession proof businesses have been hit by the recession because there are many of us that have joined the ranks of the do it yourself crown, and I raise my hand to proudly join.
However, if I think about it, it is really going back to where I started. We all seem to think that we always had someone else to do our everyday personal maintenance for us. As if we always had someone to do our hair. Don’t we remember the days of washing, curling, and yes, some of us have even permed and colored our own hair. In the days before we had Vidal Sassoon and Paul Mitchell there was Prell shampoo and VO-5. We have given ourselves mayonnaise conditioners and colored our hair with Tropical Punch Kool-Aid. Those of us with thicker hair remember the days of sitting between our mother’s legs and having our scalp oiled with blue Ultra Sheen. There was the hot comb on the kitchen stove getting our hair pressed and then having to sit still so that our edges wouldn’t turn back. These were the days before we could afford to have a standing appointment with the beautician.
There were days before we took our suits and dresses to the dry cleaners every week. Dry cleaning was for special occasions, the rest of the time we used a can of extra strength Niagara spray starch and a Sunbeam iron. Dry cleaners were for Sunday best only, not every day work wear. We creased our own pants and blue jeans.
As a side note, my brother Reggie is the undisputed King of the Iron. I mean this man can iron anything, and I do mean anything. From suits to women’s silk blouses with ruffles, nothing hinders this man from having that garment wrinkle free. I hear he is passing along this art, and it is an art, to his daughters. I somehow feel comforted by this to know that there will be members of my family in the future that will know how to use an iron.
So I have taken to doing my own hair recently. I simply can’t afford to do it myself. It has taken me more than a week to retighten all these little bitty locs in my head, but something amazing happened in the process. I began to get a feeling of accomplishment. I mean, I have been paying someone for more than five years to do my hair, and I am now doing it myself. Yes it is time consuming, and yes I am very slow at doing it, but I am doing it.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to the store, bought a can of spray starch, and spent the day ironing my clothes. And if I do say so myself, I was able to put a mean crease in my pants, and my tops are wrinkle free. This again gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment. I still look good. I still present myself in a professional manner. I can go to social and religious functions and look clean and fresh.
Don’t get me wrong, one day I will be back at the salon and the dry cleaners. I will have the joy of having my head massaged and my clothes in a plastic bag. But if that never happens again, I know that I can do all those things and more myself…