The Other Woman

15 November, 2009

I’m sitting in the hairdressers reading a Tatler article on how some posh skinny woman found “The One”. He isn’t her boyfriend or husband, but her hairdresser, and according to her, every woman must change hairdressers until we find “The One”. He will not only be a hairdresser, but a psychic and have a qualification in speed counseling too. Once we find him neither our hair, or our life, will ever be the same again. He will lift us in times of despair and in his eyes we are truly beautiful. She doesn’t mention how much we tip him. I notice Nerf glance down at the page I’m scanning. He still hasn’t said a word to me. To be honest if he wasn’t the best hairdresser in the whole of Oxfordshire, then I would search for another. I’d find one who never shut up, who pryed unnecessarily into my private life, who would know my kids names and who would keep digging till she has me in tears each visit. And of course, then she would step in as my rock, and bring my joy and hope back with her encouraging salon wisdom, borrowed from the glossies. Yes, I long for a hairdresser full of twisted curiosity and fake kindness. But till then, I have no choice. No other hairdresser has ever made my hair look so, well, normal. Normal isn’t really what he does with it, he makes it look abnormal, like proper TV hair.   When I leave the salon people mutter “Maybe she’s born with it?”, and men stop their expensive sports cars to give me bunches of flowers.

The girl washing my hair is telling me all about her “blended” family. She is the second youngest of six kids. Her father brought one  child to the relationship, her mother already had three and then they had another two together. Then he left this wife and moved in with his new wife.  Hair washing girl went with her dad to live with his new wife and her two kids. That’s eight children if you’re having trouble keeping up.  Apparently, there was a lot of disharmony in his new family unit, until he did the right thing and left the evil stepmother. I love every moment of it, but I wonder what her manager would say if she knew what I’d learned in five minutes.  Anyway, we’re in luck and no one else is interested. Life really is better than fiction. Then she tells me how her mum bought itching powder for her to put in the step mother’s clothes. And you know what? She used it. To this day the stepmother has no idea that her pants, clothes and sheets were laced with itching powder. I am amazed.

I think about Mr. Ex’s woman – we’ll just call her Mrs Ex. (Although technically she’s married to her own husband). I look at the hair washing girl and I realise how different it is for me and mine. And I tell her how grateful I am to Mrs. Ex. who takes such good care of my children. It was a struggle not to slate her to my kids, to tolerate her when I was pregnant. But it’s paid off.

“The fact is, it’s Saturday. She has five children to look after and I”, I pause mid sentance and hairwash girl interrupts with a sly smile,  “And you are at the hairdressers” she says.  Sniggering like a couple of kids, she leads me back to Nerf for the silent cut.  I dont mind, I’ve had my dose of gossip and enlightenment at the salon.

I am greateful to Mrs Ex., the so-called “Other Woman”. You are the one that fills this rainy Saturday entertaining five children, changing nappies and cooking meals which will be half eaten.  You’re doing a great job, keep it up.

I am the Other Woman. The one with Tatler on her lap and TV hair.

stanwyck 2

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5 Responses to “The Other Woman”


  1. Love it!

    Will publicise your blog on mine.

    Keep up the good work.

    Love ya xx

  2. BVD Says:

    Hey loved your writing Hari

  3. Sharada Says:

    Fantastic, you really have got your own unique style of writing, glad your wisdom insights are gettting aired and shared. xxx

  4. Newdawn96 Says:

    Fabulous!!! I love it. I’m gonna read more today. And here’s a link to mine too. Great! Love to you and the kiddywinks x

  5. Hari Says:

    Thanks for your encouragement guys xxx


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