The Snipping, The Drying, The Wetting, The Combing Salon

Have you ever heard of this salon?

I didn’t think so. Because unless you have a 5 1/2 year old daughter, I sincerely doubt you have experienced an in home “salon day”.

But, first, let me tell you about the last three days, and how I ended up at The Snipping, The Drying, The Wetting, The Combing Salon.

Friday was an exciting day…the Stewarts (two of the exec.producers of MOTHERLODE) hosted a party at their lovely home in the hills….a private cd release party! They moved all of their furniture out into their garage, and about two hundred people enjoyed Indian food, beers, Pom juice and great conversation, all mixed with live music provided by yours truly and her rockin’ band, Soul Purpose. I’d also like to mention the unnamed band of 14 year old boys that played on the upper interior balcony, fronted by what looked to be a teenage version of Ted Nugent. The party was loud! The party was funtastic! The laughs were spilling out onto the deck, next to the pool….which was reflecting the Texas sunset and the jubilation abounding. Danny Levin sat in on fiddle and keyboards and that is all that needs to be said because the man is a GENIUS, and it was an honor to have him by my side. Zirkel and Brad were kicking up a storm behind me….
“Mother’s LIttle Helper” set the room on fire, and we had to sing “Little Bird of Anger” to get the love a-flowin’ to bring the temperature back to below 107 degrees. I rate this night a perfect 10!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday a.m.: up at 7:00 to respond to emails…and took a phone call for a interview with a dashing, kind-hearted being named Frank Goodman. Zowie, we were having a lot of laughs and smiles. I love making a new friend. I will let you know when the interview is online so you can see what we were chatting about…then, I hopped in the car and drove to Dallas for two shows….3:15 outside the Morton Meyerson Symphony for the City Arts Festival…this was the kids stage, which, blessedly, had a white tent protecting us from the searing sun…..Sydney, Katie and another little girl whose name escapes me all jumped on stage, each receiving their own mic to hold, and I interviewed them individually:

Me: So, tell us your name?

First girl (whose name escapes me): Latidah….

Me: And what is your age and favorite animal?

First girl: I am 5 1/2 and PEACOCKS! (she had the mic up to her mouth and answered with all the gusto of a true cheerleader)

Me: And when you are taller…where would you like to go?

First girl: PARIS!!!

Me: Ah, in Paris they have many peacocks, so you will find HEAVEN!

Then we sang songs and the girls were priceless. I had to laugh off mic, I was having such a good time. The man in the sunglasses was dancing on the Hokey Pokey and looking like Dick Clark with an eternal secret…his smile was very broad. His dance moves so silly and carefree. A oddly tall police officer walked by as we were all partying away, and I called out to him from stage and he bent in half, bowing. The clapping continued as parents and children sang “Look At Me”, and then we were done and I shared hugs and kisses.

Went inside the Morton Meyerson, and changed into my clothes for the adult show. I put on lipstick and eyeliner. I sat on a soft leather bench, my back pressed against the cool airconditioned marble wall. I was reading a book when a teenage girl with a nose ring plopped down next to me and said, “Hey, party girl….what kinda music do you play?” I looked up from the pages, “Oh, folk and rock…” She shook her head up and down, very groovy like, “Hunh…, ” she responded. “Right on.” She sauntered off with two friends, a lithe boy and his willowy girlfriend draped all over him…They had the head bob, too. When I went back outside, a woman came up to me and said, “My daughter loves your clothes. I told her they are so 70’s and mama used to dress that way, too!” I gave her a hug. I hopped onto a golf cart and got whizzed over to the Tanqueray Stage.

The stage was enormous. Lisa, the stage hand, said, “Hey, I’m Lisa. Where’s your band?” We had a good laugh. I was taken back to another tent, this time with privacy flaps and an interior spread of peanuts, pretzels, m&ms and a large glass fridge stocked with beers, diet cokes and a cold water. I grabbed a drink and start tuning guitars.

Out on the stage, the sound man CRANKED my guitars. I mean cranked in the sense of beyond 11. The sun was kissing my tushie, and every other song I had to pick up the boomstand and wander about five more feet to my right. I had a very sympathetic audience: they’d all get up and scoot over out of the
glaring rays, too. Finally, about 2/3 into the set, I said, “Ok, this is ludicrous!” and grabbed the stand, walked to the edge of the platform, and dropped it over the side. Stagehands sprang to alert and ran over, sweat pouring down their faces, to move the monitors over behind me as I sat down, guitar in hand, and
landed precariously on the end of the stage, mic right at my mouth. “Now it feels like we’re in my living room! No more seperation between us, huh?” and we had a rip roarin’ good time, me sweatin’ over strings, the audience, my new family, sweatin’ in the grass.

I finished up and talked with a cameraman, some nice folks on the sidelines, a married couple, some children, a woman who has been watching me “longer than she wants to admit to either of us,” a bearded man, a homeless man, and then packed up and boarded the golf cart express, back through the booths
smelling of hot dogs and pizza and cajun food and handmade jewelry and children drawing with chalk and balloons and a couple holding hands. Down into the belly of the Morton to the parking, all the while wearing precarious heels with fake gold jewels and chatting it up with the security man with sunburned ears.

I drive to Cyndy’s house. I rest my feet for a minute. Back in the car, Cyndy, Greg and me to pick up Kurt, to whence we all dine at Matito’s. I call home to leave a message for the family. They aren’t home. They are out at a lakehouse with friends. I tell them I love them and I want to hear about their day…call me later…back to what’s happening with dinner, which is a crazy conversation about how I should have constant glitter on stage. And thigh high S & M boots.
And push up bras. Ha ha ha. I’m supposed to become an honorary Pussycat girl. Next album, I’m laughing. We start to talk about Gary Cogill. We talk about
hair. We talk about English boy bands. We talk about love and who is ordering what off the menu? The waiter ends up with a $30 tip off of a $62 bill. We decide he deserves it and leave without a care. We take Kurt back home. Greg comes back with us to Cyndy’s, he plays with Lily, the crazy toodle of madcap hair and liquid eyes, barking and growling as he withholds her teddy bear. Cyndy and I decide we are tired. It is only 10:15. Greg leaves to kisses and Cyndy and I trudge up the stairs, recapping the evening, and wash our faces, now smeared black with eyeliner/mascara. Pajamas on, we hit the hay. ZZZZZzzzzzz.
I wake up, 3 ish….I am hot. I kick the covers off. I fall back into sleep.

Today I drive home after a morning of looking at fashion books (St. Laurent, Tom Ford, Dior…) and Cyndy showing me a collection of fantastic shoes.
I love Cyndy. She is my “fiance”…that is what we call each other. I met Cyndy and Greg through a wild hairstylist named Josef back in 1990. Cyndy and Greg styled me for “Shortstop”, and we have been tight friends ever since. The only time I ever saw anyone dance in chaps was at a gay bar in Dallas with these two. Chaps was all the fellow had on. Ooh! He could shake it. My goodness. Standing on a pedestal the entire time, too.

My drive home was nice. I stopped and bought bras at an outlet mall. I stopped at Cracker Barrell and read the paper while I ate chicken and rice and green beans and carrots. I decided I would listen to fifteen minutes of a station at a time, and then switch to whatever my search landed upon. I heard KAAM, which I used to love when I lived in Big D (DJ….Andy McCullum? Big guy? Super nice, great taste in spins….)…so I’m heading south with Nat King Cole singing “Mona Lisa” and a big swing band playing “S’Marvelous” and then I am reminded of a time in college….

I was in Denton, going to art school, and I got hired at this little place….can’t think of the name of it….but it was a pool hall, and all the waitresses dressed like they were fresh out of “Flashdance”—torn sweatshirts exposing shoulder blades—and I would set up my P.A. (an amp with my voc mic and my guitar running through it!) and I would sing while college kids got drunk and shot pool. One night, I decided to be artsy, so I brought my tiny turntable with a LP of George Burns, and I cranked it up and sang duets with him all night. It was a blast. I finally took a break, and when I came back, there was a note attached to the mic stand. It read:


So, I did. And there, taped to the floor of the stage, was a love note with a phone number from this guy who was rather handsome. He liked what I was doing. He thought I was funny.

This reminds me of another time….During that same era of college, I received an anonymous package one day on my doorstep. It was a box the size of
a pillbox, wrapped with a little, sparkly bow. The whole she-bang was taped to a normal sized greeting card in a blue envelope. When I opened the card, I read:


When I opened the box, out spilled a small, silver James Avery charm of an angel. I thought I knew who the secret admirer was, but just to be sure, I decided I would have a spelling test with the possible boys….

The first boy I asked to spell “angel” on a piece of paper looked at me like I was a clown sitting on top of a fruitcake.

“Just do it, “I said.

He scribbled “angel” on a piece of paper and shoved it across the table at me. Nope. Wasn’t him. I could tell by the annoyed face before he’d even comitted to the paper.

The next guy I asked, I was pretty sure it was him. His name was Bill. He was tall, with freckles, and black hair, curly. Sweet as punch. He said, “You want me to spell “angel”?” and I thought he looked nervous.

“Uh-huh,” I said.

“Uh…ok….” He took the pencil and put it to his lips, thinking for a second. He wrote something down. I reached over and took the paper and saw “ANGLE”.

“YOU gave me that present, didn’t you?”

He turned red….So did I. You know, catching the admirer was so Trixie Belden of me, I forgot to figure out an escape plan for either one of us. He was shy, and doing something sweet, and I was bold, but suddenly feeling like a mermaid out of water.

Anyhoo, those memories just appeared. Funny how life can fill up, and you think to yourself, “I’ll never forget THIS moment as LONG AS I LIVE!!!” and then time trips on and your brain gets inundated with experiences…and those very moments you were just pondering become the encyclopedia of life…but something, some odd thing, can trigger an incident you DID stash away in the back of your mind…and it pops out…BOO!…and you get to say, “Ah….yes! I forgot about that!” and you get to rush back, momentarily, to the sights and sounds of that very distinct moment, and there is a bit of sadness, a twinge of regret….If only….And then, whoosh…it is whisked back away, and you have to squeeze your eyes tight to smell the smells and picture the feel of the weather or the temperature of the room you were standing in…no, don’t go away….ah….it is gone.

Colognes are good for this sort of thing. I can smell Grey Flannel and I am instantly with a lover who died over 16 years back. Men, you should always wear cologne. Women…stop wearing perfume. It stinks. But oils are ok. Except back off on the patchouli already.

So, I’m driving home from Dallas. I switch to another station….it is called B106…and it is RAP. The kind of rap where they are zapping out bad words so the song has these little holes of sound where the “f” word or “b” word used to be. And, it’s wierd, but all the rap songs I’ve been listening to lately, gosh…all they talk about it sex and/or getting busted for having drugs (“Tryin’ to catch me ridin’ dirty”). Sex, sex, sex and man…it is GRAPHIC sex. Now, mind you, I don’t mind talking about sex, but when you are in the middle of no where, not even to Waco, and your choice of stations is either hard core rap (“Before you go down….lemme shave my chop-chop”) or country stations (“Forever and ever…amen!”)…well, there is a weird seperatism that is growing ever larger in this country. And has anyone else noticed this? It seems that all the rap stations have white male DJS, who are talking slang and trying not to sound like the 38 year old dudes from Dallas/Ft. Worth that they are. It seems so pretentious. Why not let geniune rappers run those stations? It’s just plain BIZARRE.

I remember a few months back, zipping around stations, listening to an occasional farming show mixed in with some Cajunto music, there was one station I found, nestled waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down at the end…it was a Muslim station, which, I thought, would be a nice tandem to all the Christian rock I had been checking out. But….to be honest….it was rather frightening. Now, when I think of Muslims, I think about people praying five times a day, washing their hands, heads and feet before they bow down to the floor….I think of the Muslims I have known who are wonderful parents, educated, kind
and forthright people. This station had a bit of the scare going on for me. I was glad they were on the air…I want there to be balance and freedom of speech, but the two men talking, in English and Arabic (?) were angry at the United States, they weren’t being over the top, but they had an edge in their ideaology that made me nervous. They were mad. I have never found that station again. But I wondered: Where were they broadcasting from? Could I have driven to the station and sat in as a guest? What would they have done if I just drove up and knocked on the door and said “Yo. Visitor a -callin’! Let’s chat, my friends…”
Would I have gained…an art major making music and bringing up two girls in a confused country?

Who knows.

So, today…I get home…and iolana and Anna Mae are playing here at the house. They decide they want to set up a shop, a hair styling salon type shop.
They run into Lily’s room. I can not come in until they tell me everything is ready. I head to the bedroom to unpack and seperate sweaty performance clothes from pajamas and make-up and cds and Mastercard slips and 1/4″ cables….

Little feet come padding down the hallway, “It’s ready! Come on!”

Lily’s room has been transformed into The Aforementioned Salon. This is how it got it’s name:

Me: Anna Mae, what is the name of your salon?

Anna Mae: My name is not Anna Mae.

Me: Oops! Excuse me, ma’am. What is your name?

Anna Mae: Katie.

Me: Miss Katie, what is the name of your salon…?

Anna Mae/Katie: Oh….it is….called…..the….the Snipping, The Drying, The Wetting, The Combing.

Me: I really like that name. I will really try to remember it.

I look around the room. Fingernail polish bottles are in tidy rows on a small table, and lipsticks are in a bowl. A basket holds blush and eyeshadow.
I am guided to the sofa, which is now sporting a giant satin pink and green blanket that looks like a hungry frog.

iolana (who is pointing at me with one hand and the sofa, with the other hand): You may start here.

Anna Mae/Katie (turning to iolana and pointing to the bathroom): No, she goes over there….

(Much whispering ensues between the salon owners. I wait patiently as they figure out the day’s agenda.)

iolana (back to me): Yes, this is where you start. With your massage, please.

(I lay on the sofa, face down, very uncomfortable. I can not breathe. My feet are sticking up over the end. I look like a giant “L”)

Anna Mae/Katie: Put your face on this pillow, please.

Me: Um…is this common practice?

The Girls: Yes. Do this now, please.

(I lift my face and now suffocate myself on a pillow. I turn my head ever so slightly…ah. Air!)

Small hands are pummeling and squishing my back. One of my feet is being pinched and tickled.

Me: So…(slightly muffled voice)…have you had this salon long, ladies?

iolana: Twenty years.

Me: Wow…you two seem so young….

iolana: She bought it. She had to fire a lady. I work here now.

Me: I see….thank you for the massage. I think that is enough.

Small hands grab my ancient one and pull me over the side. I fall on the floor briefly. They help me up.

Me: Ha ha! I was so relaxed, I fell right off the table, see?

The Girls: (Looking at one another, then to me.) Ok! To the water!

I am guided to Lily’s restroom, where a chair has been set up in front of a free standing porcelain sink. A purple towel is situated on top of the side of the sink, a place for me to rest my head.

iolana: What flavor shampoo, ma’am?

Me: (trying not to laugh.) Oh, that green bottle looks good.

Thankfully, I don’t have to eat or drink the shampoo. They actually sit me down in the chair, my legs bent over the side of the tub, my feet inside the tub, my head back, hair draped into the sink. I hear the running of water.

My hair is washed and my feet are washed simulataneously. Anna Mae decides my feet need washing. So she scrubs them with apple shampoo, while iolana washes my hair with bubblegum shampoo. Anna Mae finishes patting my feet dry, and comes to inspect iolana’s work.

Anna Mae/Katie: Oh, try this. They like this. You scratch their heads.

iolana: Oh, ok!

Now my hair is being washed with little fingernails scratching my head. It’s very calming, although the water is freezing, but after a long drive with loud music and
too many billboards, this is such a peaceful end to my day!

The rinsing complete (after many exchanges of the one cup), I am told to sit up so they can brush my hair. They have two brushes.

Anna Mae/Katie: Do you want straight hair, like me? Straight hair is friendly.

Me: That sounds good. I like being friendly!

Lastly, I am taken out to the fingernail salon, and asked to choose two colors. They both paint a hand and a foot. I get sparkles, constant glitter!, sprinkled on my forearms. LIpgloss is applied to my lips. Do I want blush? No, I say. Eye shadows? No…I have visions of another salon day where I said yes and I ended up looking like the cake in MacArthur Park. Without the rain but looking very melty somehow….Blues and greens and yellows and pinks….actually, more like Raging Bull….two nice shiners…these girls could work for Hollywood on prize fighter films….

My time at the salon is over. I am handing out pretend money and promising to tell other moms in the neighborhood about the quality services at TS, TD, TW, TC Salon. Oh, by the way, if YOU want to make an appointment with Katie (and Sara, iolana’s salon name, by the way), here’s their number. I asked for it on the way out.


I’m sure it’s an international number. But call now. It looked like it was going to be pretty booked up for months and months!!!

3 Comments on “The Snipping, The Drying, The Wetting, The Combing Salon”

  • DeAnna


    OH, Sara! That entry took me back to when my own (nearly grown) daughters were little! They would give us “performances” complete with seating and tickets! They were quite inspired by the Spice Girls and would get the kids next door involved. I wish we had taken pictures or had a video cam. Now, they are approaching 19 & 16 and have left behind those days, but I still hold those memories close- you will, too, as Lily & iolana grow..

  • David Love


    Wow! 1st off, the blog is great! 2nd, I’m an Austin musician (with my own groovy blog) who teaches guitar lessons, and that 14 year old Ted Nugent is one of my students! (as is two of the Stewart kids) He sent me an email asking who Ted Nugent was, and if he should be offended!! Awesome. Keep up the good work. I made it to the party, but extremely late (I had a gig until 11) and so I missed you, but I hope to catch you soon!


  • Gene


    Oh, I LOVE that salon! They’re so… creative! Ask for the Blue Hair Special next time!

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