Bent Words

Bent Words

February 15, 2007

I used to say that I despised flowers.

“Don’t buy me flowers. Flowers die. They get messy when you forget about them soaking in water for two months.”

I used to say this because I knew I wasn’t getting flowers – it was my rationale, my way of dealing with significant others who did not think to buy flowers when I was writhing in pain in the hospital or when my birthday crept up all-of-a-sudden-like despite my ceaseless hinting. It was how I dealt with all the girls in high school who had flowers delivered to the main office on Valentine’s Day.

“I don’t like flowers. They’re crap.”

But girls do like flowers.

I realized this when I was surprised nearly two years ago with a nosegay sitting on the middle of my kitchen table after I had minor surgery. I took 14 pictures. For proof.

So, yesterday, after receiving not even a hug or a Happy V-Day, I decided to cheer myself up with a haircut. Haircuts always make me feel better.

The guy who greeted me at Great Clips was about 275 pounds with long, wavy hair. He had a line of hair on his forehead shaved down to a quarter of an inch so it framed his face in a rather disturbing, non-stylist sort of way. His finger nails were longer than most cocaine addict’s and the tattoos strewn about his arms resembled the faded blue pictures one finds on a convicted felon. I sat down, waiting for my turn, repeating “not him, not him, not him – please don’t let him cut my hair,” while ‘casually’ reading a magazine.

“I’m ready for you, Laura,” he said.

“Oh, goody.”

I told him I just wanted a trim to fix the last girl’s layering mistake, and because I didn’t want to charge him with more than he could handle, but once he saw my mangled mess of hair, he started make ‘tisk tisk’ noises.

“This is bad. Way bad. Who cutted your hair?”

“Voluptuous blonde girl.”

“She fucking made a mess of this shit right here! Let me a fix it.”

“Ummm… I just wanted—“

“Jus sit yoself down and I’ll get it good.”


He went on to tell me about his buddy’s “preminilary hearing” and how much it “hurted” when he dislocated his shoulder while working at McDonald’s.

“Man, I hate fucking Valentine’s Day. You know how women are (‘yeah,’ I said, feeling a bit weird about that one) – they always fucking expect something. Flowers an’ shit. All that red and pink candy crap – like I’m made of fucking money. You know how much roses is?”

“No. I hate flowers.”

At the end of the day, one should not judge a felon by his tattoos. Nail Boy did a great job. And, I got a free haircut out of it since my last one was so “fucked up she must have been high on a Thursday.” Or something like that.

I hit the gas station after my salon adventure. The woman behind the counter, whom I’ve known for years, tried to get me to buy a rose.

“Judging by your expression, he didn’t even scribble a heart on a sticky note, huh?”

“Nope. But I honestly wasn’t expecting anything and, besides, I hate flowers.”

“They just die.”

“Yeah. I’ll take this one – with the Baby’s Breath.”

“Gotcha. And here’s a few Hershey Kisses to make your day, sweetie.”


“No problem, sweetheart, I know how it is. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him gargle.”

Written at 8:54 a.m.