At the beginning of February, in the middle of lockdown, I sent the hairdresser a WhatsApp asking for an appointment as soon as possible. I wrote that I hope she is doing well in spite of everything and that I have to take a new author’s photo, which is unthinkable with the currently fully grown, frayed corona feathers. The hairdresser replied that according to the current appointment situation, she would have time for me at the end of March or beginning of April, but she could put me on the waiting list if someone unexpectedly gave up their appointment. Yes, please please !!!!, I wrote. But then my hope that someone would give up their chance for a decent haircut in those weeks was very, very minimal. I looked in the mirror: There was no way it would go like this until the end of March or the beginning of April. I grabbed the scissors and carefully cut something off the side. Then on the other side. Then in front. And so on.
I think I did quite well. It’s a bit like cycling: once you can do it, you never forget it, and in my early adult years I didn’t have any money left for such nonsense as the hairdresser. I thought it didn’t look too bad; In fact, I received suspicious looks from the few people I met: Yes, hello, why did you have a hairdresser appointment in the middle of lockdown, is there something wrong with things? I said nothing, cut it myself! People said, oh yeah, now that you say it.
But now the hairdressers are officially allowed to cut hair again, and the week before last I suddenly received a WhatsApp, an appointment has become free, on Tuesday at 8:15 am, do I want that? And how I wanted it. I organized half the week around this longed-for appointment. On Monday I went for a test, on Tuesday I set an alarm clock for six, so I could go out with the dog in front of the hairdresser and get bread, then shower, then wake the teenagers with coffee for school, at eight on my bike, everything on schedule. Only Tuesday morning it had snowed so much in Vienna that even cycling was too dangerous for me, which threw up all my nice logistics: the dog only got half a walk and the children didn’t get any coffee, so I could just catch the bus in time . Don’t take any chances now! The bus came on time, thank god. And the hairdresser was surprisingly benevolent in my self-made haircut; however, I have to say that my hair is now unusually short. But with a professional cut, hallelujah.
“I looked in the mirror: There was no way it would go like this until the end of March or beginning of April.”
Doris Knecht is a columnist and writer. She lives with her family in Vienna and in the Waldviertel.