Monday, 27 August 2007

her last day in Morocco

Today, to get Q ready to face America, and more importantly to see her fiancé for the first time since April, we spent the morning and the first part of the afternoon at Dessange. I had my hair color “refreshed” as I am not yet ready to be gray. Inside my head I am thirty (it was a good decade). Also from past experience I know the best French manicure I have ever had (the woman has a plum line inside her nail brush) awaits at the hands of Leila who is now glowingly six months pregnant with her first child. Q had her hair cut and highlighted, and also had the French manicure.

I was somewhat ambivalent about allowing someone to put color on my hair. Yes, hanging my head in shame at being such a control freak, I have been applying color to my own hair the past few years since it began to manufacture its own brand of frosting. Having become at last apparent to me that the natural color of my hair is not to miraculously return one morning when I wake, I have acknowledged the coloring is a matter best left to professionals, but just in case I brought my straw fedora.

Actually having decided to allow someone else to do the color in a salon environment was somewhat freeing in that I now had a choice to the color. I recently read in one of the American beauty magazines that women over fifty should not have red hair as it makes the complexion look aged and “splotchy”. Women who have been redheads should instead change to a “honey blonde” color. Monroe? Theron? Deneuve? Or Kate Hepburn? I considered it. “Do you want to be a blonde?” asked Q.

“I don’t really know. I don’t think I know how. I think being a redhead is part of my aren't I charming and smart routine. What do you think?”

“I don’t know Mom. I’ve never seen you with any other hair color. I think you’re too pale to be a blonde.”

In the end I have decided to remain among the flame-haired of the world, as the other seems too fraught with uncertainty. I mean would I have to change my conversation to include rapture about the latest it-bag? Would I have to give up boxing? Could I stand the blonde jokes? (please do not take offense blondes of the blog world as I know you are an individuated group)

Arriving at Dessange, Q for the last time acted as my interpreter and explained what I wanted. Fouzia, who is a lovely young woman with black hair, dark eyes, and creamy copper skin, reassured me immediately with her expertise and professional manner. I pointed to a color among the palette selection – “No.” I pointed to another, “No.” I looked at her expectantly. “We will combine these two colors. (not one I had picked out) You want an Irish red yes?” Being unsure as to the exact hue of locks of my neighbors to the east in Ireland I nodded nonetheless, knowing it was those self same Vikings that raided their shores as well as Scotland. Q left for her treatments assured I was in good hands, and anxious for her own pampering.

Fouzia mixed, painted, shampooed, massaged, and conditioned me back to the same color I have been used to these fifty years with a bit of a saucy shine. Well satisfied, I was happy to see Leila and her manicure kit. I was not disappointed; she continues to give the best French manicure I have seen. During the manicure Shizlom* arrived, blow dryer at the ready, and gave me a straight and shinny flippy do that suits me to a tea. As usual the twin sensations of having my hair brushed, and having my hands massaged sent me very close to a restful sleep state.

At the beginning of the treatments and again upon request I was supplied with espresso and bottled water, always a plus. As I had nothing to do now but watch my nails dry, I watched Q have her manicure by Leila as Karal shampooed, conditioned, and cut her hair, then took her off for her brushing. I pulled out my laptop and began my missive for you lovely readers. Dessange is located at 1, Av Ahmed Balafrej in Souissi/Rabat. The telephone number is I would strongly suggest you drop by to make your appointment as the same by telephone can turn to a lengthy and sometimes frustrating affair – much like the Treaty of Versailles.

There was a bevy of beautiful children today in the salon – getting those back to school hair cuts no doubt. One young man took particular delight in saying “Bonjour!” – everytime he spotted Q.

Q returned looking smashing! The highlights that Karal applied are subtle yet sparkling, and the cut not only gives her hair that sassy swing we all want but also volume. Really quite well done even though when it comes to haircuts my heart still belongs to Muss.

We had called ahead to check that the salon takes charge cards, as is a good idea anywhere in Morocco. After some internal political dispute over the arrival of the bill for the waxing, we were able to pay up and depart for lunch at Paul’s. As I write this sitting at my office at the Majestic in the New City, I toss my hands into the air and say, Mon Dieu! - as I realize I forgot to leave tips! Bugger, I shall return on Wednesday and remedy that – easy enough as Dessange is just down the block from Moving.

The only unpleasant note of the visit that was other wise just right, were the waxing treatments. Those of you, and you know who you are, who have the bikini wax and beyond, know there are certain things that must be done to ensure a satisfactory outcome – you must take two aspirin or Advil beforehand, the technician must trim the area before applying the wax, and you never wax an area more than twice. I fear all but one of these precautions were violated. I did take two aspirin before leaving home. In addition to not trimming the area until AFTER she had unsuccessfully and painfully waxed it once, Aziza used the thick cooling wax rather than the sugar wax used most often here and in Europe. All in all a very Unsatisfactory experience.

Still, we left the salon feeling pampered and lovely. That leaves only one thing for it – lunch (and preferably shopping of course if you have time). Lunch at Paul’s was up to its usual lovely standards with a cutting edge fashion parade of the ladies who were lunching today. Years of French colonization, when combined with the natural style consiousness of the Moroccan women has brilliant results. We had a delicious sautéed vegetable salad and gourmet hamburgers with French fries as only Morocco can do them.

Q is finishing up those errands today that can only for whatever reason be completed at the last minute – we’ve all been there – so we skipped café au lait and dessert. She has gone home to try for a quick nap as she was up far into the morning packing, and then she is over to the embassy to turn in her final report for the Fulbright Foundation and collect her last check. She is meeting me here after she has her final Arabic lesson with her tutor (is that perseverance or what?). I am relaxing with my café au lait, talking with you, and now to work.

Afterwards we meandered through the medina for Q to collect gifts for friends in America. I bought some of the King’s dates for her last night and we found some wonderful paintings.

I am posting this when I arrive home tonight. Since I am taking Q and M.C. Solaar to Casablanca tomorrow to catch her aeroplane, I will be posting late then as well. I should be back on schedule on Wednesday when I go over to the Mega Mall to oversee the photographs for my Curling article, and per request I shall take to the ice myself. That’s it for today lovely readers. Can you tell I am trying to stretch out every last moment with her (sigh)?



Anonymous said...

Hi, I've not been by lately or caught up with yur posts - may never do so, sadly - but will keep on popping in, as and when. After a superb few days with my 11 year old niece staying on her own with us, I can identify with the mother-daughter relationship (I have sons and never had a good daughter-mother relationship myself). You will miss Q but will, I know, find ways to be You and enjoy them. We are all here for the in-between times.

Morocco Time said...

Well, I'm no expert, but I think your hair is a lovely color, and goes very well with your skin tone - I also think the magazine article was referring to that ghastly purplish red that I see so often on older French and German women, ugh!

Sparx said...

Well, it sounds as though you're enjoying every one of those minutes... I can't imagine how it must feel to watch her prepare to leave after such a wonderful year! At the moment I can't imagine being separated at all from my son so it seems very alien and somewhat upsetting to me, sitting looking on from afar....

Stay at home dad said...

I can certainly sympathize with your last line. Poor you. Enjoy the moments and if you're ever down, just take another look at that phalanx of awards!

debio said...

You must both be looking so beautiful to progress to your next stage(s).

Enjoy the final few hours together in Morocco - you sound so positive!

Annie said...

First things first - OUCH to that waxing experience. Waxing is one of those very necessary evils - but a botched one? Brings tears to my eyes!

I am so excited for Q, and so sad for you - I know you know you're both ready to go on your separate journeys at this point, but it has to be bittersweet.

I know exactly what it's like to be far away from one's fiance - we got engaged in April 2002 and I did not see my then fiance til the end of September - it's hard - but makes the reunion all the better for it! I know the feelings of anticipation she will be having, and I know very well the tug on her heart she will undoubtedly feel at leaving you.

I love reading your stories and I get to the end of each one sad that it's over for today - and eager for the next one. Great job Lady M!

Sir James Robison said...

A girl feels confident if her hair is right. I know this because I am not a girl and have no hair.

Ian Lidster said...

Judging from your photo (and I am a fine judge of pulchritude) I think the red is stunning. Anyway, enjoy your final hours with daughter. Such a fine adventure.

jenny said...

Oh, Parting is such sweet sorrow.. You can look forward to the next reunion and what a happy reunion it will be! How long do you plan to stay on in Moroco?

lady macleod said...


I am sorry you have been unable to visit. I hope all is well and it is because you are too busy and happy.

I do appreciate the fact that all my cyber friends are here, more than I would ever have imagined possible. It is a strange and wonderful world is it not?

Come by whenever you can, I miss you.

and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

morocco time

I'll take your opinion over the expert's anytime! I have observed those colours of which you speak, and they are indeed startling.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


No don't be upset, instead treasure every moment. It is a mixed bag of feelings, I am indeed sad she is gone, but proud and happy she is creating her life. It's part of the mother-deal. Just think my reward will be grandchildren in a few years! Children I can spoil without worry of how if affects them (not my job anymore)!

You pick up the Spud and kiss him all over his face!

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

stay at home dad

He he, yes as soon as I get that billing as "on the NYT best seller list" it will be a comfort I am sure!

Thank you for the cheering words, and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


I do indeed feel "polished" which is always a good thing eh? We did have a wonderful last two days on top of a great year, and I am looking forward to seeing her in NYC or at her grandmother's house in MA soon.

How is your daughter? Is she is school now? You haven't been blogging so I am in mystery.

I am coming your way by the by - in November of December..

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


ouch indeed! I think your story of separation is similar to Q's own, nice to know it turned so well for you.

You have no idea how sweet your last words are to the heart of a writer! Thank you! and

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

sir james

but you are so RIGHT! (and I know you enjoy that:-)

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


stunning is a word any woman worth her lipstick is always thrilled to hear! thank you.

It is indeed a fine adventure. Me and Indy... As I reminded myself this morning when I woke to an empty house, she is only moved away - not gone forever. I am be happy with that.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


Exactly! We were planning our next get together before she left.

I don't know how long I will stay. I am thinking perhaps until next summer? Then a year in northern India perhaps? It all depends on what happens with the writing.. I want to keep on the go as much as I can until the grandchildren come, as I have promised to be the nanny-grand mere-keeper of the precious while she is working on her PhD. That gives me a few more years I hope.

thank you for coming by.

Mama Zen said...

It sounds like you and Q had a lovely time together. Be strong, Mom!

lady macleod said...

mama zen

indeed we did.

thank you and thank you for coming by.

Pamela Jeanne said...

Loved your hair coloring story. I've been red, blonde and now a deep brunette over the past 15 years. My own color is a medium, boring brown -- but the gray has been infiltrating slowly with determination. The deep brunette seems to meet with everyone's approval despite beauty magazines saying it can be too severe. The moral of the story is that we know best!

debio said...

UK school beckons for Sept 2008 - in the melting pot as to whether we proceed with this idea. She's back to school here in next ten days.

October/November such a good time to be here - I'll be waiting....

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ciao, Lady M. So glad you are staying a redhead. Changing hair colour can change your personality. I have no intention whatsoever of "going grey gracefully" or ungracefully, for that matter. Same here re waxing - no one has heard of sugaring. Lady M, you are a mother that Q wants to come back to, keeps in touch with and not out of duty - out of WANTING TO - and that says so much for you. You will, of course, miss her like crazy, but thank goodness distsnces mean less than they used to these days. And I know you will fly to her instantly, as she will to you, if you need each other as physical presence. Thinking of you, dear Lady M.

jmb said...

Hi Lady Mac,
I'm catching up after my sojourn in Philadelphia.
I'm afraid I gave up on the red long ago, well copper actually, never the redhead that I longed to be.
I alternate between washed out grey and blondish, which I still do myself since I am a control freak.
Now to the next posts.

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

I love the relationship you have with Q. Sweet.

lady macleod said...


You and Q are in perfect agreement!

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


Oh I think I am glad for you both.

Excellent! see you then.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


I'm with you on the growing old "gracefully" nonsense - I think that's just lazy!

I appreciate the kind and supporting words about Q. It means a great deal to hear it spoken.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


I'm glad you can drop in! I hope you are having a splendid time.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

coco girl

thank you, and thank you for coming by.