Surrounded by all the important implements an elite Hollywood hairstylist needs, Bernadette (known to her customers as Detta) welcomes her newest client. “Good morning, dahling!” she gushes. Famous Hollywood actresses like it when you gush to them. The customer circles the chair before taking her seat. She says nothing in reply to Detta, but that is all right. This stylist has learned that sometimes her clients don’t like to talk, so Detta has learned to fill the silence.
“Oh, what lovely locks you have, Mrs. Washington,” she sighs. “And such thick hair. Yes, I can see that it would feel heavy and hot this time of year. I’ll give you a darling short style for the summer.”
Detta sets to work, brushing, trimming, shaping. Thick curls fall to the floor, and Mrs. Washington looks happier each moment, though she still never speaks a word.
“Quite a summer for movies, isn’t it?” Detta asks politely. Hollywood actresses like it when you talk about their trade. “Although there are far too many sequels for my taste. Oh, that’s not to say they won’t be wonderful. I just like to see new ideas in the theaters.
“Now that action movie – Reckless, I think it’s called – looks quite exciting, but I think they should have chosen you for the lead, my dear, instead of What’s-Her-Name. You are so much more athletic and stunning.” Detta spies a hint of a smile on Mrs. Washington’s face. Hollywood stars like to be flattered.
Detta’s skill is tested on this client, however, and make no mistake. So much hair, some of it tightly curled and some of it wiry – well, it is just good that this hairdresser has years of specialized training and knows how to make the moppiest hair look perfectly coiffed.
A few more snips, and another brushing, and the hair is done. “Shall we move on to the manicure?” Detta asks sweetly.
She wields the tools with precision, trimming Mrs. Washington’s nails to the perfect length and buffing them to a shine. Mrs. Washington does not like polish, so Detta’s task is short.
“Well, dahling, are you satisfied with your new look?” the stylist asks as she steps back from her client. Mrs. Washington stands and smiles. Then she shakes her entire body and bounds away from the salon.
“Thanks for trimming the dog, Bernadette,” Mama calls from the kitchen. “I know Martha Washington will feel better without all that fur for the summer. Did you trim her nails, too?”
“Yes, Mama!” Bernadette answers, sweeping up the dog hair and nail clippings. As she scoops it all into the trash can, she feels the satisfaction of knowing that she, Detta Smart, stylist to the stars, has another happy client.