January 30, 2005

Do You Have an Appointment?

What is he doing up there? Posted by Hello

I think the biggest reason I don't have short hair anymore is because then I would have to make more trips to the hairdresser. Going to the salon is the equivalent of going to the dentist - it's painful.

I HATE people messing with me.

First of all, I have to remember to make an appointment because nothing is more embarrassing than to walk into a salon, unannounced. Though salons advertise "walk-ins welcome", they aren't. Here's a scenario:

I walk in. Everyone waiting their turn looks up from their magazines, eyebrows raised with silent inquiry. They go back to their reading material silently thanking God that they are in line ahead of me (everyone knows that it takes longer when a woman has long hair).

I tiptoe up to the desk, "Um, excuse me."

The girl behind the desk is usually chewing gum and looks bored out of her mind. "Do you have an appointment?"

This question startles me: don't they have a sign that says, "Walk-ins Welcome?" "Um, no, I'm sorry, I don't."

"Hey Charlie!" The girl shouts over her shoulder to a big hairy, bald man who is ruthlessly jerking a girl's hair straight up with his sausage-like fingers.

The man grunts.

"How long is it gonna be before we can get a walk-in?"

"At least an hour," the man replies between a mouthful bobby of pins.

"Oh, ok. I'll just wait."

The girl shrugs carelessly.

I take a seat and subconsciously tuck my purse in my lap. The other patrons now glance up and give me the once over. I know what they're thinking: if you had made an appointment like the rest of us, we wouldn't be staring at you now.

Oh joy.

So, I've learned my lesson. I now make an appointment or I won't go at all. Problem number one taken care of. Now, when I walk in, they are expecting me and it's my turn to stare at the poor schmucks that took the "walk-ins welcome" sign literally.

Now comes the fun part.

"What do you want done today?"

"Well, just a trim. Well, actually," I dig into the side pocket of my purse and pull out a picture of Terri Hatcher. She's dressed to kill for one of the hundreds of actors awards shows. "I'd like something like her hair."

The hairdresser gives me a sympathetic look. I know she's thinking: "Honey, there is no way you're going to look like Terri Hatcher just because you have hair like hers."

Outloud she says, "Oh. ok. This shouldn't be too hard. Your hair is pretty similar now..." And the process begins. She grasps chunks of my hair and pulls it this way and that. She cocks her head to one side and studies me like I'm a science experiment. (Maybe I am!)

"Let's just get you wetted down."

I grimace but quickly recover with a wry grin. This is the part I hate the absolute worst. Having someone bend over me and wash my hair. The sensations are not bad. In fact, I sometimes get drowsy laying back while a complete stranger massages my scalp (not), but what I worry about the most is - do I have boogers sticking out of my nose? Does my breath smell bad? Do I have a makeup line? Can she see the clumps of mascara forming on the tips of my eyelashes?

Guys, you have it so easy.

Having another woman so close to me makes me uncomfortable. I can smell her deordorant for pete's sake! It's not natural. It's different when Kevin is so close he can see the crow's feet on either side of my eyes because he's not really paying attention to all the imperfections, he's thinking about something totally different.

But when another woman gets that close, you KNOW she notices. Now I feel self-conscious.

Then comes the embarrassing jaunt back through the shop to her workstation. Make way for rat woman! Other customers with wet hair smile at me - they understand the humiliation. But hey, we all have to suffer in the name of beauty, right?

When I sink back into the chair, I glance at the woman whom I am entrusting my biggest asset to. (That would be my hair, in case anyone was confused). She's young. Heck, she could be my daughter. Now comes the awkward silences. I actually prefer the chatty hairdressers to the quiet ones. The quiet ones make me nervous. Is she plotting against me? Is she tempted to sink those scissors into the side of my head? Is she biding her time when she can go "oops" and snip off the end of my ear?

So, I start talking. And talking. And talking. I can't shutup. I just start asking her all sorts of questions and I end up telling her things I've never even told my husband.

Hairdresser: Do you have a busy weekend planned?

Me: Oh, not really. The usual chores, laundry...you know. What about you?

Hairdresser: Oh, well I have to go to my mom's tomorrow and cut and style her hair.

Me: Oh no! That's sort of like my husband being an accountant and everyone asking him if he will do their taxes for them.


Hairdresser: Yeah.

Me: My mom looks really good for her age. No one ever guesses her true age............My mom cuts my dad's hair outside. I bet the neighbors really appreciate that. It's embarrassing. Sort of like one of those Jeff Foxworthy moments, "Yew know yer a redneck when you git yer haircut outside."


Me: I have an aunt who looks super good. She's trim, she has long hair, she keeps it colored.......That's why I have long hair. I think it makes a person look younger and I'll do everything it takes at this point in my life.......I was born and raised here in Springfield....

And on it goes.

When she's done, she asks if I would like her to style it for me. She's not very enthusiastic. I think she just wants to get rid of me by this time.

She is such a quiet, shy, sweet person I start feeling guilty for talking her ear off and tip her generously.

Should I have asked for her card? Would she have given it me?

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