Daily Archives: September 10, 2008

That’s Lice

A late August visit to the salon was the bomb.

Fortunately for me, and for an anxious 14-year old just back from camp in Canada, LA based Hair Fairies has a New York outlet and they were able to schedule an appointment within an hour of my plea for help. Another enterprise, one that makes regular visits to the teen’s school for head checks, wasn’t able to confirm an appointment time when I called just before 9 a.m. today or again at 10. So, a googling I went to find the competition. And whew, Hair Fairies rose to the top of the list.

The morning after we arrived home, the early-to-rise glamour girl crawled into my bed, leaned her head against the fabric headboard and proceeded to watch videos on her laptop. I did my best to refrain from cringing over the prospect of little white bugs crawling from her head to my bed. I was touched, frankly, by her wanting to be with me after weeks apart. Besides, the worst thing I could do, I think, would be to show my anxiety and turn her away. If the bugs were in our house, they were in our house, my bed or not. Freaking out about the unknown wouldn’t serve me or my daughter.

I did know that there are professionals who can check and offset the problem. And while people do, it’s not necessary to throw out all of your furniture, stuffed animals, children’s toys and have every lick of clothing sent to the cleaners. You may, but there are cleaning techniques and even companies that will do the cleaning/delousing for you. The bugs can only live off the head for 24 to 48 hours. So remain calm.

My fairy princess sat in her barber shop throne while the dedicated technician, clad in royal blue scrubs, a navy blue bandana around her head and gold earrings with Timothy written in script from one end of the hoop to the other, manually checked the teen’s hair and scalp. She separated the strands, fine tooth combing section by section first dry, then wet, from top to bottom, under and over, in search of head lice. At each interval, dry, wet and a third looksee with nit zapping cream, V-Marie stated her findings or lack thereof. “Didn’t find anything yet,” she said.

Meanwhile, I checked out the salon scene. Hannah Montana played on a flat screen across the room, colorful kids playthings neatly arranged throughout included a kitchen corner, drawing table, game boy DS, a noticeable lack of fabric and teeny curly headed fairies hanging down from the tops of each of the four window frames overlooking Avenue of the Americas.

Other than stylist/technician, Marie, and the salon manager, my daughter and I were the only people in the shop. Good for the general public, I thought, not good for business.

And then, “Nothing,” said V-Marie with a smile. She completed the wet stage of her comb-through examination of the near waist-length Botticelli like curls of my growing girl.

And as to why head lice seem to have gone mainstream, ie fancy sleep away camps, private schools, kids, teens and adults get them, it’s anyone’s guess. Perhaps they’ve developed a resistance to the pesticides that people use to rid themselves of the white bugs and eggs. No matter, they exist and deal with the prospect we did.

Caring for her, about her, is as simple as saying it’s my job. I would do anything for my children. No matter what. The way a mom stands by her wretching child, holding her hair, gently stroking her back as she heaves into the toilet. Gross, yes, but of no import. What matters is trying to offer some sense of humility in an otherwise unpleasant time.

And so it was with the bugs. But unlike throw up or emotional pain, I called someone to our rescue and fortunately for this household, no bugs, no nits. Whew. A giant sigh of relief and once again, thanks to the hair fairies, the monsters step aside for the princess.

Last-Minute Spectacle

Tonight I saw Elvis. Costello, that is. I was given last-minute free tickets to a taping of Spectacle, Elvis Costello’s musicians showcase/talk show for the Sundance Channel (which you know would never produce a typical “talk show”). I grabbed my Virgin Records friend and we hopped the 3 train up to the Apollo Theater to catch Elvis with special guests, Jakob Dylan (the Wallfowers; son of Bob), Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) and She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and Matt Ward). For the Spectacle back up band, the most amazing father/daughter drummers: Pete and Tennessee Thomas.

From our front row seats, we caught close up views of some very awesome guitar playing. Each performer sang a song on which Elvis played guitar and then sat down for a chat with Costello, who not only asked insightful questions, but did all the research on each performer and their background on his own — no show researcher, quite impressive! What also struck me was how sensitive and eloquently Costello spoke of and asked about each artist’s style and relationship to music and shared some of his own stories. No matter how young or “green” the artist, Elvis treated each with equal respect and even told them how listening to their music inspired him. Always cool to see someone that truly loves what they do and even more, loves to share it with others.

By far the best part of the evening was having all of the guests on stage singing “(What’s so Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?” Best last-minute event I’ve attended in a long time!

And, on the way out, I got to rub the legendary Apollo tree stump, which all performers, from Ella Fitzgerald to today, rub for luck before they perform.