Life without Brian? Can’t fathom it and please stop making me try.
See, I’ve never trusted a stylist like this. It’s not like I haven’t had satisfying relationships in the past because I have. There was Ian at Propaganda in Kits. When he left town he put me in Ted’s hands; I remained with him through a salon change to South Granville even though the parking was terrible. And after I moved to Vancouver Island I still had my hair done in Vancouver. That’s how attached I get to my stylist.
It wasn’t always like this though. I spent my early twenties with DIY hair: Morticia Addams tresses down to the small of my back with a centre part (I’ve got a wicked widow’s peak) which required no cut or styling, just a liberal application of black dye to the roots every four to six weeks. I developed mad skills in the application of boxed dye. When I grew out of that I went shoulder-length blunt cut with thick bang fringe (think Uma Thurman circa Pulp Fiction.) Once the kid came along I went short as new moms are wont to do. Always black though. I was set in my ways. Very set in my blue-black ways. Brian Rice of Maffeo Salon changed all that.
Until recently Brian was the most significant male relationship in my life: we see each other weekly; he brings me coffee and plies me with flattery; and he touches my head a lot. Another man recently unseated Brian in the significance department but while he makes me feel beautiful, he could never make me look as great as Brian does.
I met Brian after I started hosting a weekly series for Shaw TV Channel 4. I decided to give Maffeo Salon a shot (okay, there was a coupon involved.) During my cut I mentioned my work on television and his interest was piqued. I probed, he piqued, and we cut a deal that still takes the cake as one of the sweetest perk packages I’ve negotiated: shampoo & style for each shoot plus cut and colour maintenance in exchange for onscreen credit. Value = priceless.
When we get together sometimes I’ll do most of the talking or sometimes he will. But he’ll always hear how I’m feeling, what I’m wearing, and he’ll intuit exactly what needs to be done. Together, we’ve moved away from the blue-black and into a rich brown-black, played with colour, even taken panels of hair white-blonde. I’ve worn styles I would never choose for myself: messy, flipped, swooped, curled, coiffed.
Here we are, three years later, and Brian hasn’t led me astray yet. He’s become part life coach, part motivational speaker, counsellor and voice of reason with just a dash of spiritual guru. But when it comes to the hair… oh, the hair… Strangers stop me in public to complement me on my hair. Seriously. He’s that good. Friends ask what’s planned for my next cut or colour and I’ll shrug my shoulders and say, “I don’t know.” I get a lot of blank stares that way but it’s the truth; at this point I’ll let the man do whatever he wants with me. Contemplate life without Brian? I don’t think so. No, I don’t think so.