Ozgur and his family arranged for my family to have our hair professionally styled on the morning of his wedding. While the men went to have their ear-hair burnt out with flaming menthol-coated cotton balls, Oz’s mother led me, my mother and sister to a women’s salon about a block away from their apartment. She left us with four male hairstylists who spoke no English. I gestured “up!, no, up! Up!” to indicate “up-do” and hoped for the best.

A shy adolescent boy washed my hair with stiff fingers in a simultaneously creepy and sweet way. An assistant dried my hair while the lead stylist was brushing/styling. The queeny lead stylist snapped his fingers for immediate shut-down/start-up of the dryer. Hairspray and B.O. filled the air as several cans were dramatically applied to my head. Empty cans were hurled at assistants at random. My longish hair was theatrically teased till it looked like a mushroom cloud above my head. In the mirror, my sister wore a pained expression and looked like Diana Ross.


Ultimately, I was fairly happy with my rock-hard pearl-encrusted French-twist hairstyle. Brittany was less thrilled with her poufy bob. But Jason was the real star. When we returned to the apartment, he stepped out sporting a spiky oily David Beckham-hedgehog hybrid. It was amazing and frightening. It even changed his personality a little.