The Joy of Simple Pleasures: Rediscovering Comfort at a Family Hairdresser

The long nails are trimmed sharply, and the knuckles are hard, scraping the scalp in a ball of foam, and the whole body feels comfortable when scratched. Yes, I just want this kind of long-lost feeling. I can’t find it for a long time. I found it in an inconspicuous family hairdressing salon hidden in the courtyard of ordinary people.

Chronic eczema blooms between the palms and fingers. I had to go out to wash people’s hair as a result of previous work pressure and overwork. I have tried many brightly decorated chain beauty parlors, and the process is full of ritual. When I sit down, I ask tea or coffee. The belongings are locked in the exclusive cabinet, and the key ring is tied to the hand. The remote control is provided, the LCD TV is embedded in the mirror, and it looks like a useless decoration, and the guests keep their heads down and swipe their phones. I always put on a robe to prevent my clothes from getting wet, and massage my shoulders and neck before washing my hair. I always refuse. Too much unnecessary labor makes the hands of the shampoo boy/little sister soft and unable to scratch the itchy spot. I put a moisture-proof patch on my forehead when flushing. In fact, I don’t have any makeup that is afraid of water on my face, but the really important flushing is hastily passed. Finally, I asked me symbolically what else needs to be strengthened? I shouted in my heart: It’s not enough, everything needs to be strengthened, as long as I think of their endless chores and meager wages, I swallow my complaints and wash my inflamed and swollen hands again after returning home. It’s better to change to another one next time. The next one is buzzing in my ears selling skin care and hair care products. It’s not quiet. The next one is still fluffy cotton candy fingers. I stared at the laborers in the mirror and couldn’t open my mouth. He, who touches the water every day, may have a pair of festering hands like me.

With an itchy scalp, I walked to the family hairdressing salon. The door was full of recycled debris, and the lights inside were dim, but there were bursts of laughter. It was obviously a local social hub. After poking my head around a few times, I finally mustered up the courage to walk in. The shop in the front and the house in the back, the work space and the living space are superimposed, and the two generations of mother and daughter run the business together. My mother helped me wash my hair, and after washing, my daughter took over and helped me dry it. The daughter’s daughter and granddaughter’s toys were scattered all over the floor, along with diapers and a baby walker. Sometimes both the mother and the daughter are busy, and the guests who perm their hair will help take care of the children and feed them one bite at a time. The flow of people came and went, the hair dryer roared all day long, and the girls raised by the bustle and fertilization were not afraid of life, and talked to me in babbling. The subtle model of economic symbiosis is about to die out in the new world of rapidly developing capitalism. No massage, no sales promotion, the sharp fingers of the family hairdresser made me cry out, turned over my auricles and scrubbed them carefully when flushing, so like my mother who washed my hair and cleaned my ears when I was a child, and that big The noon water that the washbasin has been exposed to the sun first, after taking a shower, the smell of the sun is all over the body.

When I showed up on weekday afternoons, I didn’t look like a housewife or a nine-to-five office worker, which made a room full of women in the hairdressing salon curious about me. Seeing that I was always reading a book, everyone began to guess what my profession was. A said that I was a teacher, and B said that I was a university professor. I said neither, so what is it? The mother-in-law and mother-in-law are talking all over the place, and I can’t answer it. An amateur anthropologist, I thought, crouching in the family salon, browsing this afternoon’s play.

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