kimbol's hair on june 22, 2017I have a whole new look for the afternoon, courtesy of my friend (fashion colleague? partner-in-chicness?) Tim. He said, “I dunno—today everything’s gotta go higher. Check out how it shows off that sassy white streak of yours!”

The hair’s so vertical I had to pull out my copy of Silvertone and play “Dancin’ “… it’s a little wilder than Chris Isaak’s hair on the album cover, but about as tall.

I started outsourcing my hair to Tim pretty much from the day we met in July 1991. Ready for breakup-hair*, I asked for a crewcut, which he wouldn’t give me. And told me why. Then offered a few radical-difference alternate suggestions, including a perm. Which he qualified by commenting that normally he wouldn’t even try to perm hair as fine-textured as mine, but he had a new product that he thought might work without burning my scalp off.

At that moment, I became his client for life. (So far, anyway!)

Tim is an impressive artist, with the ability to assess all a client’s variables and then deliver a cut completely tailored to the client. Once I mentioned that my niece coveted my style—he made a wry face and said, “I don’t really ‘do’ standard cuts; I don’t know how she’ll be able to have it copied.” Even his ‘let’s get this hair grown out’ cuts are beautiful and flattering…like this one. My A is chagrined because she’s having to learn how to explain things to her Fort Worth hairdressers—she’s never before had to say more than, “Mr. Tim, make it different, please!”


Today, while we chatted about this and that as he worked, we touched on the period when he worked with hair shows. Tim had developed in his craft, surveyed the stylist landscape here, and saw that to challenge himself he’d need to head out of town. He went to New York City for a while, and he worked hair shows for a longer while. I was extremely sad for myself when he went to NYC, but he came back before too long, and folded the hair shows in instead. Hurray for me, though I was concerned for Tim and his art. He later told me that he felt like he’d had to spend too much energy on client personality maintenance instead of creativity, and it just wasn’t worth it to him. Coiffing us low(er)-maintenance souls made a better balance.

I came home with my fabulous hair and advanced the laundry. I pulled wet things from the washer onto the top of the dryer, untangled pants-legs, shook out blouses, tossed garments in the dryer, hung garments on the rack. And thought, wait a minute. I am the delighted, super-appreciative recipient of original works of art and style that challenge what I see in my high-fashion magazines.

Right in front of me is a lived example of what I’ve been trying to figure out: what it’s like to continually create amazing art on a comparatively small stage.

I thought I would be able to think ‘out loud’ about this coup de foudre a little more. To start incorporating it into my sense of self, to begin framing a sense of rightness for myself rather than lack. Tim seems to have made some level of peace with being amazing for mid-range prices in Austin TX. At the soles of my feet, I know this, too, is the wise course for me—that my current overall approach is well-aligned with what matters to me: God, my enlarging family, and then writing. But this thinking’s not working the way I thought.

Maybe the pancetta My Sweetie’s frying is transforming my creative juices into stomach juices. Or M’s imminent arrival is one attention-split too many. Most likely I just need to soak my feet some more, and let the realization start absorbing into my tissues.




*Breakup-hair: when you feel compelled to signal radical changes inside by generating radical change on your outside. Back then I had shoulder-length hair.

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