According to John Ed Pearce “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” Having a beauty shop as a family’s business has always been beneficial. Although my grandmother’s shop has ultimately come to include only family members as beauticians, I would go to the beauty shop every day, not only because it was a workplace for my parents, but because it was an family establishment.
Stepping into the beauty salon you would notice the light blue walls. Mirrors were spaciously hanging on the wall, accordingly to every station, so that the client could see what beauticians were doing. Each station also had a variety of hair products, including hair spray; shine serums, flat irons, and combs. Unique to the shop was the scent which was more like a burnt smell that surfaced from the flat iron stoves where the flat irons would lay. Client’s chairs were shaped as boats, black boats in particular the comfortable and bouncy chairs were made out of leather. The beautician’s had chairs as well; the chairs rolled and lifted up and down like a computer chair, so that when sitting, the beautician could see. There were mats behind each of the client’s chair to catch the hair that was cut so it would be easier for it to be swept up. In the far back of the salon, would be a seating area. The bowls where client’s hair was to be washed were there as well. There was also a locker room/break area in the back of the salon where the beauticians could place their belongings.
My home is not where I sleep and not where I genially stay at night but it is a place where I am most comfortable. When I was young and I did not like the beauty shop environment because I was forced to sit there. I was forced to stay because babysitters were hard to find at the time. However, since I was the granddaughter of the shop’s owner, I could pretty much do anything I liked which became the perks of staying. I felt special to be able to answer the phone or even make runs for the stylists. My favorite part of the day was answering the phone saying “Hi Full Control Hair Designs may I help you?” Everyone who called knew and recognized my voice, so we would begin to have personal conversations. These moments made me feel as though I was an employee. I felt special because I was apart of the salon itself.
Just like Miranda Ward version of home described in On Not Writing About Home, our actual home was not conveyed as home to us. Another similar thing I noticed between these two essays was the fact that we both related back to one specific moment in our life that reminded us of that version of home. The last thing that I notice that was in common with my essay was that the person in the story hated the place they called home but loved it too. They basically described that home is not home, its mine but not mine, and complicated yet not complicated. I feel as though it connected to me because the beauty shop is mine but not mine, it is my home but not actually my home, and of course it complicated but not so complicated to understand that this is the place where we consider home and love to be. Memories are field at this place of home.
A time I can remember was when I first got a chance to work on an actual client’s head. I became the shampoo lady. The shampoo lady gets called when the beautician needs them to shampoo the customer’s hair. As I was washing her hair, I felt a nervous, but excited sense in my stomach. What I felt was not the typical type of physical sense, but emotional; it was the sense of being where I belonged. I loved being there. It felt like home! The legacy began. I knew this would be apart of me for the rest of my life because I felt it; I felt home.
All the great things the salon had to offer and the best times I shared as a kid began just by the answering of the salon’s telephone. What was part of my life for 20 years ended when I got accepted to The University of Illinois Springfield. I now miss the burnt hair smell, the hair on the floor that needed to be swept, the ringing telephone that needed to be answered, the clients who needed there hair washed because the stylist needs help with various of clients lined up, etc. All of these memories became appealing to me. Now as I grow older, my liking to do hair, just like the other members of my family, has become an interest of mine. Now that I am in college away from home, I cannot wait to return so that I can relive the beauty shop experience again. Although I still pursue this interest where I am, the sense of being “home” is what I miss.