….And their names were Lydia, Ashley, Chantelle, Dominique…. just to name a few.
There is nothing like visiting a full service wig boutique to get a few laugh-endorphins going, especially if you go with a husband who is completely out of his element but, unfortunately, doesn’t know it.
I admit I was jumping the gun going to a wig shop before the surgery or an oncology consult or even knowing my exact chemo cocktail; but I’m a trouble shooter and planner par excellence. So, off I rode with my husband, David, who even though has a strong doctrine of “let’s-wait-until-later”was happy to humor me. At the boutique we were met by Jonathan whose family had owned the business for decades. Needless to say he had a wealth of tips to give me about what to expect when the chemo started.
- “Being your head is on the smallish side you might need a filler cap to go under the wig.” (Hopefully not a reflection of smallish amounts of gray matter.)
- “When the chemo starts and just before the hair falls out you will need to sleep with satin pillowcases.” (Oh, that sounds like a sweet touch of pampering I silently coo to myself.)
- (Wrong). Jonathan explained, “You will need the satin pillow so your sleeping head is sliding gently when you move around, preventing matting.” (MATTING?! like a poor mangy dog?! Just shave my head NOW and get me a wig!)
- “Oh no,” said Jonathan, “We have to wait until after the first infusion to see how your skin reacts, only then can we figure out which wigs feel comfortable.” (Sigh).
It was about now that I noticed David quietly roaming the shop; slipping in and out of my field of vision. He was checking out Alicia, Dominique and other Barbie wig heads sporting a variety of styles and colors; but at least he had the courtesy of introducing them to me. “Hey, Dona, how about this red head?” as David presented Ashley to me. “No, David, I am not a red head so I am not getting a red wig.” “Why not,” queried David. I ignored him to pay more attention to Jonathan who was still explaining the MATTING thingy. David returned with Dominique, “How about this one, it’s your hair color.” “No, David, I am not the Pantene shampoo girl swishing around my long silky shiny hair. I know you are trying to be helpful but it’s getting so annoooooying.”
But like Odysseus trying to resist the call of the Sirens David was drawn to the plethora of decapitated Barbie heads and their luscious locks; so, he kept bringing them to me for acceptance. By this time, I was having none of his offerings, more out of principle than actually genuinely disliking the styles. Anyway, Jonathan explained that it wasn’t a good idea to try a wig on until I was bald. Let’s face it, a wig looks different on a full head of hair than it does on a pin head bald one. So, we thanked Jonathan for his helpful tips but as we moved to the door I noticed that David still had one of the wigs in his hand. I didn’t skip a beat, “David, you need to put your girlfriend back on her head which is on the shelf.” My revenge was sweet as he blushed from the embarrassment of it all.
Post script: For those of you who know David you know that he was just trying his best to be helpful and for those of you who don’t know him, well, there is hardly a sweeter more supportive husband (and funny) to go through something like this with.