Friday, March 16, 2007

Friend of Melissa

Years ago, gay men and lesbian women identified themselves as a ‘friend of Dorothy’ referring to the character from The Wizard of Oz. Judy Garland, a fallen diva and favorite of drag queens. Drunk, whacked out on drugs, and miserable in her body.

We all identified.

Now? We’re a healthier group of people. Muscles and long hair, crew cuts and finger nail polish.

And we have a new friend. Melissa. A straight, fabulous, stylish hairdresser in Cambridge.

She’s the ‘wink wink’ name of all lesbians in Boston. Think I’m kidding?

She has a clientele of faithful lesbians. Myself? I’ve been having my hair cut by Melissa longer than I’ve known Jeanine. Her hair has been frizzy and blonde like Madonna’s, spiky and short, long and wavy… whatever was current, Melissa was.

Until she hit about 40 and then, she stuck with easy.

At one point, she offered to pass on her (at the time) boyfriend’s condoms for sperm donations to Jeanine and I. He’s cute, she said, and very smart.

Which is why I love her. Up for anything, rarely shocked, always ready to laugh.

She teases my hair up and says, Look! Tina Turner!

If I only had the legs…

I think she loves making us big ol’ dykes look like straight women. Although, once I said to her, I want to just take the clippers and cut it to the nub…

She held up the clippers up and said, Okay…

You wouldn’t let me look like a fool, I said.

No, but I really don’t know what your head looks like. Could be okay…

Once, when I wanted a hairstyle that the 18 year old set was sporting, and I was in my thirties, I made her promise to never let me look like a wanna be youngster. You know, I said, no comb-overs.

Gotcha. Promise, she agreed.

Every time I walk into the salon, Melissa is working on some dyke’s hair. Every time.

She offers a ‘straight gal for her lesbian pal’ clothes-buying service. She takes you out and helps you pick out clothes for important social events that you, as a lesbian, had no idea how to dress for. Weddings, bar mitzvahs, funerals.

Black high tops are really not what you should be wearing to a funeral.

We’re trying to avoid the group picture with the woman in the back row you look at and say, “Who’s the dyke?”

A friend, who also gets her hair cut by Melissa said, we need a Friend of Melissa party. I agree. And we need to anoint her with the honor as the new secret ‘wink wink’ name for all lesbians.

Dorothy, after all, as been gone a long time. Enough of the drama of misery. It’s time to give up the gingham checks and move forward to a more fashionable look. Someone who is happy in her body, laughs out loud, and loves life. Someone who reflects the healthier nature of community now.

And we can casually meet in grocery stores, restaurants, public transportation- anywhere someone catches your eye and say,

Are you a friend of Melissa’s?


Blogger Dan B (no, not Bennett, think harder) said...

Speaking of friends of Melissa's, there is an exciting and popular new group on Yahoo called THE JUDY GARLAND EXPERIENCE. The group features hours of ultra rare and unreleased audio files by Judy, great photo’s, lively discussions, and more! The membership has the most ecletic gathering of Garland fans anywhere and includes fan's old and new, Judy’s family members, friends, people who worked with her and saw her perform, directors and producers of Garland related projects, authors of Judy biographies, historians, and more! The only thing missing is you. Please stop by our little Judyville, and check it out, you may never want to leave!

12:57 PM  

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