Scene: In the back room where they wash your hair. Me in one chair and a middle aged woman in the chair next to me. We both have our heads back in our respective sinks. The woman washing my hair is doing the massage the temples thing and it is producing a warm sensation in my left thigh.
The woman who cuts my hair, who is Asian, walks in front of our chairs. She pauses in front of the middle aged woman. All of my dialogue is internal:
Asian Hair Stylist: (in Chinese accent) “Ohh, I love your shoe!”
Me: (with smile on my face) How nice.
Middle Aged Woman: (chipper) “Oh do you? Do you love this one too?”
Me: (practically sitting up in my chair, covered in suds) WHAT?!
Apparently, I was sitting next to one of the most unabashedly racist women in the world. So calloused she is she will make fun of an Asian woman’s accent right to her face. And not, like, when they’re caught in a traffic jam or fighting over the same discounted sweater, but in public, while the Asian woman was only trying to be nice! I’m so uncomfortable in the chair I can’t even enjoy my hair washing. There’s sweat on my brow. I can’t believe what I just heard.
The hair stylist and the woman washing my hair smile uncomfortably and chuckle a little. The stylist finally acknowledges the Middle Aged Woman:
Asian Hair Stylist: (smiling) “Awww. Did you break it?”
Me: Did she just threaten her?
Middle Aged Woman: “Yeah, the cast doesn’t come off for another few weeks.”
Apparently, the Middle Aged Woman had a cast on one foot. So when the Asian Hair Stylist commented on liking her shoe, she really meant she liked her one shoe. I almost shit my pants over nothing. The question now is, am I the racist one here? And if so, has anyone else ever become racist while having their hair washed?