When Dorothy Mays was 19, she was all set to be married, but the bridegroom failed to show up at the altar. “I was too young,” she says in retrospect, “but I was crazy about him.” In our book, it’s the guy who must have been crazy. Now, three years later, Dorothy’s less eager to settle down. “At this point, I really don’t have enough time to devote to a relationship. I’m basically a very romantic person. And if I found a guy I was really in love with, I’d want to do so much for him I wouldn’t have time to get my business together.”
Dorothy, you see, is a talented hair stylist who wants to set up her own shop: “I hope to have enough money saved to open it by the time I’m 25 years old. I already know how the shop will be laid out. It’ll have those old-style comfortable barber chairs, but there’ll be a lot of mirrors. You know, a touch of the old, a touch of the new. Of course, I’ll have a subscription to Playboy, so my customers will have something to read.” We suspect, though, that despite our fine articles, Dorothy’s clients will have their attention riveted firmly on her. Dorothy was not always as self-disciplined as she is now. “When I turned 14, I started getting cute. Before that, I was the pits. I became popular with guys and we used to do a lot of partying. A lot of partying. My parents were very strict and I couldn’t go out at night, so I had to do everything before 4:30 in the afternoon. I did a lot of writing then - still do - and I would write everything down in my diary. I also had a pen pal, Nancy, in New Jersey, and we used to exchange endless letters with each other. One day, when I was 16, I ran away from home and went to find Nancy in New Jersey. I went to her school; she was in typing class. We had never met until then. I stayed with her until her parents got suspicious. I guess they didn’t believe what I had told them: that I had already graduated from high school. I was pretty wild back then, but when I got home and saw what it had done to my mother, it straightened me right out.” Dorothy, though, still has an edge of impatience about her. “I try to do everything myself. That way, I know it gets done. Having to wait drives me crazy, though not as much as it used to. But three years to get my own shop doesn’t seem too long to wait, does it?” Not to us. We may wait that long for our next haircut.