of permed men

Mark, Sally, and I had had dinner at the cafeteria and were going into the elevator back upstairs to the office when Jason walked out of the elevator. We exchanged hellos and I almost swooned as the elevator doors closed, a great fan of the tall, dark pirate-style man in his late thirties.
I noticed that he had just got a perm, and commented on how better he looked. Sally scrunched up her face and wrinkled her nose.
“No,” she said. “Mayonnaise.”
“I chose to ignore her.
“It’s a trend,” I said. “All good-looking guys are those that have perms these days. Remember that guy I saw at the banquet a month ago? And Ahn Jeong-hwan looks better with a perm too. Oh yeah, and James has a perm too.”

By that time we were off the elevator and walking down the hall. Mark had this uneasy look on his face like something he ate wasn’t digested properly. (By the way, Mark does not have curly hair.)
“It’s too bad I didn’t work for Vogue. Then I could write an article about how look-conscious men perm their hair. You see, it’s not the perm that makes a guy look good, but a good-looking guy that gets the perm.”
“Now you’re really pushing it.”
“I’m serious! A guy really has to feel confident about his looks to get a perm. It’s an ego thing. Sort of like pink shirts. Only men really comfortable about their looks will wear a pink shirt.”
“I’ve seen ugly men wearing pink shirts. Mr. Kim wears a pink shirt,” Sally said.
Mark guffawed.
“Exactly! He’s very confident and comfortable about his looks!”
“But you said only good-looking guys get perms.”
“Okay, perms and pink shirts were sort of different. But you get the picture. Good-looking men get perms.”

“What’s this about perms?” said Mr. Kim, popping around the corner and surprising us all.
 “Oh. Just talking about how a lot of men get perms these days,” I said, hoping he had not overheard the last bit of our conversation.
“Lucky for me, my hair is naturally curly!” he said.
Which was lucky for me, because it would have spoiled my entire theory.


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