Whenever I see a box of Chiclets I smell perm solution. Especially if I am lucky enough to come across the fruit flavored kind (I LOVED the purple Chiclets). I know what you are thinking….perm solution? Yes. Perm solution.
When I was a young girl I would stay with my grandmother in the summer. Every Thursday she would go to the hairdresser and then the grocery store. The salon had yellow leather chairs, hooded dryers as far as your eyes could see, Good Housekeeping magazines circa 1970 and the chatter of all the latest gossip and newest recipes. I was fascinated by all the pretty ladies who were doing everyone’s hair. Their nails were done, their hair just so, the coolest shoes (I was short so I tended to look at people’s feet, and am still obsessed with shoes). All the ladies getting their hair done were always getting perms. Hence the perm solution. The Chiclets…well, you see that was my treat. This was a big deal, my own pack of gum! I didn’t have to share if I didn’t want to. It was awesome. Especially because the boxes turned into musical instruments when emptied.
I realized today that my love affair with the hair industry began back then, watching my grandma relax and be pampered. It was probably the only time that happened for her. She was an amazing woman who always had time for everyone, be it a helping hand, a listening ear or her gentle smile. She always had a spring in her step after the hairdresser as we made our way to the grocery store. On the ride home, I would be in the back seat of her Cadillac, listening to her sing along to the radio, smiling down at my box of Chiclets and catching the lingering scent of perm solution.