How do you say, “No, I don’t want you to cut my hair, thank you.”??

This week was life-changing, to say the least. I got some great feedback with respect to my ability (or in this case, inability) to express myself in Italian.

A few weeks ago at San Cristoforo, a beautiful church where I like to attend Mass and pray the rosary with some elderly nuns, I met a 68-year-old Italian woman, Pierluisa, who was fascinated by the fact that a Californian was studying Italian in Siena. At least, that’s what I think she was struck by. Anyway, she immediately invited me to her house for lunch the following day, and since all I wanted was to talk to the locals to start improving my conversational skills, I accepted the invitation.

Pierluisa turned out to be a great friend. She introduced me to her husband, son, and daughter, and has had me over several times for dinner and good conversation.

So anyway, a few days ago, she said that I would look great with short hair, and I immediately argued that I would not. But she insisted and offered to give me a cool new hairstyle. My first thought was absolutely not. I would never cut my hair shorter than shoulder-length, but after thinking about it for a while, I decided that it might not be so bad, so I went back to Pierluisas’s house. She then proceeded to give me 3 options for my haircut. I didn’t quite understand what the different descriptions included, but it sounded like the first option was the longest length, so I went with that one. I explained as best as I could that I did not want much shorter than shoulder-length hair, she seemed to understand, so I trusted her.

What felt like an hour later of her snipping away at my hair, she handed me a mirror with a completely different person looking back at me.

That’s right, she had cut it all off. I was in shock, and the next 2 days were horribly traumatic. I was embarrassed to go to school and decided to go to a professional hairstylist to get my hair fixed (how, I had no idea). So the next morning, I went to a salon that one of my instructors had recommended and with fumbling words begged the stylist to fix my hair. Of course she was confused as to what I wanted, and I couldn’t exactly explain in Italian, as my vocabulary regarding hairstyles was still rather limited. So of course, she just sheared off another ton of my hair.

I would say that being put in difficult situations like this one is a great motivator to build up my vocabulary. My consolation is that the summer heat has now become more bearable, and showering takes about half the time it used to.