Salons are one of the best places to be on weekends. And I’m not talking about the ladies alone, but also the guys because the hair salon is where it all ‘goes down’. It’s as if everyone goes through the week with their emotions and thoughts bottled up waiting patiently for a trip to the salon on Saturday to pour out their hearts to friends or sometimes total strangers.
As I have come to learn, the salon is actually a place people go to get answers to their problems – maybe not all the time but most times a conversation with the guys or girls about a troubling family issue, a quarrel with a wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend, or anything, just anything about life always ends with one advice or the other. And of course there’s the gossip too; that, we cannot do without – regardless of the genders.
And like everyone else, I looked forward to my wash days.
On this rather hot Saturday afternoon, as my hairstylist, Easy (as we affectionately call her) turned on her air conditioning system, we had a discussion on the Afcon and the Black Star’s upcoming game against Tunisia (which we lost, sadly). The ladies seemed to have grown tired of hoping for good outcomes.
“Personally, I’m done with them. I’ve not watched any of the games and I won’t be watching any. I don’t even want to hear anything about them. I’ve had it,” Grace lamented as her pedicure was being done.
Bernice didn’t even want to hear the words football and Black Stars in the same sentence. The continuous decline in performance has gotten to her so much that she has barred her husband from watching or speaking about the Stars.
The anger, which had built up since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when Asamoah Gyan missed that crucial penalty, sending Ghana packing in the quarter-finals.
“I fainted,” she said as we all gaped in awe at the revelation. She continued “I was so heartbroken. When I eventually gained consciousness I cried my eyes out. It was just too much and that was when I decided never to watch any Black Stars game.”
Easy still had some hope, maybe a little. “I still watch, I feel compelled to watch because it’s about Ghana, you know. I can’t pretend “well, I watch the games but with the knowledge that anything can happen. Otherwise, I may just end up in the coffin.”
That drew some laughter from all three of us.
Just then, a beautiful, tall lady and a gentleman walked in. A regular, patron of Easy’s Hair Parlor, Naa always wears this ‘my life is perfect’ smile. She has the most beautiful dentition I’ve ever seen and you cannot help but love her personality.
She’d usually come to the salon alone or with her sister. This time, she was with a man. Grace gave me a wink at the sight of him, I passed on the look to Bernice who then, being the ‘wild’ one among us, said “oh hello Mr…
“Call me Ken,” his voice was deep and as he said the words, the room turned and the ladies could only stare as the rather tall gentleman walked to his car.
“Welcome Ken, what are you fixing today,” Bernice asked, leaving the rest of us in fits of laughter.
“Nothing today,” he said as he laughed, “maybe next time,” he added.
With that, he dropped Naa’s other handbag – which usually contains one wonder product or the other – gave her a peck, said goodbye and walked out.
That scene cannot be left undiscussed by the ladies, as you already know. So Naa had it coming. But the group was incomplete without Aunty Ama as she loves to be called. She walked in just as Ken pulled out of the driveway.
And as she entered, our dearest Bernice broke the news, “ah ah ah, Aunty Ama, why didn’t you come earlier? You just missed something wonderful, Naa’s boyfriend was here and you needed to see the PDA that just went on. Oh, you have missed,”
By this time, as if she had missed 10 years of her life without knowing, Aunty Ama had her hands in her head. “oh, oh, oh,” she said explaining that had she not stopped to have a conversation at one of the shops before the salon, she would not have missed the rather romantic scene.
Naa, who had by this time, laughed so much and was turning red due to her fair complexion, lifted her hand in surrender.
“I’ll bring him here the next time I come to the salon…that’s if he is still my boyfriend by then,” she said to everyone’s surprise.
“What do you mean by that,” Grace asked
“I don’t think he really loves me. I think he is rather infatuated,” a now gloomy-looking Naa said. She continued “see, we’ve only done three months of the relationship and things are going well. I am constantly thinking about him and I’m happy anytime I’m around him and he feels same, or so I think but I feel something is off on his side.”
For a minute, no one said a word. Not because they didn’t hear what she said or surprised but like everyone else, I just didn’t know what to say to that kind of revelation.
Aunty Ama saved us. She’s the oldest among us so we tend to defer to her when issues beyond our age-grade come up.
“Well, it is entirely possible that it is infatuation…”
“Oh, how,” Grace chipped in.
“Relax, let me explain,” Aunty Ama replied and continued, “in order to get to the bottom of this matter we need to understand the difference between love and infatuation. So what is love? It usually tends to be a warm affection, passion or commitment to another person.
“Infatuation, on the other hand, leans towards an obsessively strong feeling for someone. So while love is deep and has a sense of commitment, infatuation is shallower…people sometimes call it the honeymoon feeling.”
“Break it down, break it down,” Bernice said. “Because this is a fresh relationship so it is entirely possible that what she feels is love that has yet to manifest, no?” she asked.
“Correct,” Aunty Ama quipped.
The thing about fresh relationships is that, while the feelings of excitement and euphoria may be genuine, it is sometimes accompanied by lust, Aunty Ama explained. And this sometimes makes you feel great but insecure at the same time because things are new.
But with love there is a bond, she continued. Love tends to be something cultivated over a long period of time. The time when you’re really getting to know somebody and beginning to building affection, creating some form of emotional safety and starting to demonstrate some form of vulnerability with them.
When you love someone, you know personal details about them…their most intimate personalities and I don’t mean favourite sex position. Real love opens you up, making you able to demonstrate some vulnerability when you’re around that person.
So, Naa is right to feel what Ken is only infatuated. However, love and infatuation are not mutually exclusive so it is possible he loves her entirely but at a certain point, there might be some degree of infatuation.
“Wait, o so what you’re saying is that Ken is in love with her but he may also be feeling some level of infatuation because the relationship is new,” I queried.
“Yes,” Aunty Ama responded. Three months is too short a time for you to expect things to be like a two-year-old relationship. They will get there eventually but it will take a lot of work from both of them to get to that level.
I really don’t think Ken is in to play with you. From what the ladies have described, he appears to be someone who isn’t shy of showing how he feels about you in public. And any man who flaunts their woman in public, especially among women, in my view is the real deal.
Love grows, you should give it time. Don’t be ready to dash out because of how you feel. While it is true that our instincts can’t be wrong, I think it is important to give a fresh relationship time to grow. Otherwise, no one will get married, Aunty Ama added with a smile.
Essentially, she went on, you have a huge role to play in how your far your relationship goes. You can decide to keep it at a honeymoon period for the period that it lasts, but if you want love, then you need to invest a lot of time, energy, money – sometimes – and nurturing. Like a baby, you should nurture your relationship.
Communication is key in this process and you should know when to compromise. Just as he has gone out of his way to bring you to the salon – I’m sure he’ll come and pick you when you’re done, she asked Naa – you should be prepared to go an extra mile for him too.
Overall, however, your sense of commitment to the relationship will create the connection needed for love. So don’t let situations from these few months fool you. Give it your best shot. Like I always say, if you give your best in a relationship that does not go the way you want, you feel some sense of fulfillment because regardless of the outcome, you know it was your best. You can only learn from it, Aunty Ama concluded.
Satisfied with the answer, Bernice pulled Naa closer for more gist, “you need to tell me where you found this one. I need to get me [myself] one,” she said as all laughed.