I usually try to maintain a strict no-child bubble. As in, no children may come within about two feet of me. They very rarely respect this, because children have zero special awareness and are just continually bumping into my legs and whatever else, but the important thing is that I have standards. They’re never actually met, but the standard is indeed there.

And then last night I was offered up to babysit, so thanks MUM. I live independently and Mum doesn’t know my schedule, but Ian and Sandra needed someone to look after Jacqui, so sure, I’m available! I’ll cancel everything! Jacqui is an aspiring hairdresser, as it turns out. I asked what she wanted to do once I got there, and she said that she was available for hair appointments in South Melbourne, because that’s where she’d opened her salon, right next to the school. I had no use for any of that information, but sure.

I was the only person in the house, so naturally, I became the hair salon client. And I don’t even have much hair to work with, so I already felt pretty stupid. Plus, having Jacqui work on my hair was a clear and constant violation of my bubble. Couldn’t even sit on a chair, either, since that was too high for her. I just sat on the floor while a relatively unqualified hairdresser ‘cut’ my hair with safety scissors. Thankfully that was all pretend, aside from one curl near my ear.

Though in terms of hair salon person banter, it definitely wasn’t too bad. Clearly the girl had been to a hairdresser and heard what they said, so we talked about what I did for work, where I’m going on my holidays, and then how I manage to keep my hair so soft (papaya). She called me ‘darl’ a few times as well. Very authentic.

Okay, so it wasn’t the worst experience. I didn’t even have to do anything. And if I ever DO make a hair appointment with a South Melbourne hair salon, I’ll have all my conversation topics prepared, surely. I don’t know what scares me more: babysitting or small talk with strangers.

-Lewis

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