Working Blind


You know when you go to the eye doctor and get your eyes checked and they dilate your eyes? I just hate to have that done because when they do mine the reversal drops don’t work and it always takes about 3 hours at least for my eyes to get back to normal.

About 10 years ago when I was working in my beauty salon, I had an appointment to have my eyes checked at 4:00 in the afternoon. The doctor dilated my eyes for the very first time at that appointment.  I knew I was in real trouble when I was ready to leave and couldn’t see the lines on the check when I needed to pay my bill. I had to have one of the girls at the desk write my check and then I tried to sign it. I am not sure if I was on the line or how my signature looked, but they took the check and it did go through the bank.

My husband was out of town so I had to drive myself home that afternoon. It wasn’t too bad as long as I was looking down the road; I could see perfect about a half mile down the road. The 6 mile drive wasn’t too bad, but there was one little problem.

My only problem was the fact I couldn’t see the speedometer to know how fast I was going and only knew it was in the right gear because the car was moving in the right direction.

If I had been stopped by a cop and he had asked the age old question, “Do you know how fast you were going?” I would have had to say “No sir I don’t know how fast I was going.” I would probably have been ticketed for being smart with him. But it would have been the truth, because the whole dash was one huge blur.

When I arrived home a little after 5:00 I knew I had two ladies coming, Maryann at 5:15 and Goldie at 5:30. They were both scheduled for a frost and a haircut. At that point I was not sure how I was going to manage to do either the frost or the haircut.

I had worked on these two women for many years and I always told them I could do their hair in my sleep because they both wanted their hair the same every week. This appointment was going to test that theory I decided.

Maryann arrived at 5:15 and the second she walked to the chair and looked me in the eye, she started to laugh. She said that all she could see was black and none of the blue that surrounded it. She said I looked like and owl. I told her it wasn’t funny because I couldn’t see up close. I asked her if she was sure she wanted me to do the frost and she said she was sure.

I put the cap on her head and dug around in the drawer until I could feel the crochet hook that I needed to use. When I turned around and looked at her head, I realized that I not only couldn’t see the blue circle around each hole in the cap but I couldn’t see the little hole I needed pull the hair through.

I started to move the hook over the cap and found if I moved it slowly it would fall into one of the holes and then I could pull the hair out. I couldn’t see how much hair I had on the hook either. Once I had all the hair pulled through the cap that I thought I needed, by feel alone, I mixed up the bleach.

Mixing the bleach was not as hard as it could have been because I had a little scoop and could just put the two scoops of the dry bleach in the bowl and then I had a shot glass that I measured the peroxide with, so I didn’t need to see well to do that. Then once it was mixed up I rubbed it all over the cap, hoping I got all the hair covered, I put a plastic cap over her hair and put her under the dryer.

About that time Goldie arrived. I was standing by the door when she came in because the dryer I had just put Maryann under sat right near the door. When I looked up and smiled at her she gasped, “What the heck happened to you?”

I told her I had been to the eye doctor and they had dilated my eyes and that I was having trouble seeing up close. She glanced at Maryann under the dryer and then back at me. She could smell the bleach and knew we were doing a frost on Maryann.

Goldie decided if I had managed to get Maryann that far, she would give it a try, so we started on her frost. It was the same routine because I still couldn’t see much up close. I had to slide the hook slowly over the cap until it fell into a hole and then quickly pulled the hair out. Once she was ready for the dryer, Maryann was ready to be washed.

I took Maryann back to the sink to wash the bleach off. I took the cap off and began to wash her hair. It was hard to tell if I had all the bleach off and had to go by feel alone.

Now I had to try and cut her hair, but luckily my eye sight had returned a little, I could actually see her ears, which I had to cut around because she wore it really short on the sides. Somehow I managed to do the haircut without her losing an ear. I don’t think Maryann had a clue how lucky she was to still have both ears.

Once we had the hair cut finished and I had the rollers in her hair, I took her back to the hairdryer and Goldie was ready to be washed. One more shampoo that I might as well have done with my eyes closed.

I always used the curling iron on Goldie and it was pure trust or poor judgment on her part to let me near her head with the hot iron, but she had faith in me. When I finished with her hair she looked in the mirror and with a chuckle she said it was the prettiest frost I had ever done on her hair and she loved it.

Now it was time to comb Maryann and when I was finished with her she was amazed with her frost and thought it was also the best frost I had ever done. We laughed many times in the next few years over the fact that I was working blind that night and what great frosts they thought I had given them. I guess I found out I could do them in my sleep. To contact Sandy: [email protected]


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