Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beauty School Dropout

I hate salons. I've never been a real girlie girl. Salons seem to draw this out to a fine edge. A day of beauty is supposed to be relaxing and fun. I'd rather drop kick myself to Jesus. I swear. I walk in amid the coffee and chatter, the sounds of laughter, the smell of hair color, perms, products and instead of being greeted like a paying customer...all sound stops. People stare as if the ugly girl in the back of the classroom just walked into a room full of popular girls.

I try to make the best of it. Smile. Go to the corner and sit like they ask...and wait...and wait-while someone else who walked in off the street for a blow out gets chatted up and fawned over. After 30 minutes of waiting, they get to their fingers through my hair and say, "So, what are we doing?" I never know. I didn't go to Beauty school -I was born without the styling gene. So, sometimes I tell them-make me beautiful-how ever you want-just know I can only use a blow dryer and that to only some small success so the beauty needs to be in the cut. I've had them frown and sigh and hair is always too thick, too wavy, too dry, the wrong color. They want me to be more specific- so I tell them and they ignore it and do what they want. I've brought in pictures-which they spend time telling me how they can't duplicate and why would I want that haircut- whatever. When they actually start cutting, they spend time talking across me with the girl in the other chair and her stylist-as if I don't exist. My money isn't as green.

I swore I wasn't going to let this happen any more. After my last supposedly "upscale" salon made me wait at the last two appointments-and the last appointment the gal kept tisking and saying she had no idea what to do with my hair-as if it were a rats nest-trust me I do wash, condition and comb my hair. I waited two months-cut my own bangs-yes I can do that. but finally, I had to admit-it needed to be reshaped. So I made an appointment at a new "upscale" salon. When I made the appointment I explained how unhappy I was by being made to wait at the last place. The gal writing the appointment agreed. "It was highly unprofessional."

So I made an appointment for 11 a.m. An hour later, they called back and asked me if I could switch my time to 2 p.m. - I said, sure. What else was I doing...wrong. They tested me and I failed. It became about them. I showed up at 2-only to be told, oops, she had to speak with these other ladies and then clean her station. She'd be right with me-I could look around the shop or sit in a hard plastic chair in the corner. I waited long enough I did both. She not only "helped" those people for ten minutes, but she "helped" the next lady who walked in. I got up and stood next to the counter so she could not ignore me. She diddled for a while with no one there. Then, without a word to me, she turned the opposite way and walked to her station where I waited another five minutes while she moved stuff and swept...

Yeah, angry was a good description for how I felt. I KNEW once again I wouldn't be treated right. So I walked out... ten minutes later she called my cell phone-"You disappeared on me," she said. "No," I said, "I walked out. You made me wait over fifteen minutes. If you can't get my appointment time right. How can you get my haircut right?" Surprised, she apologized. I told her good bye and hung up.

I stopped in a walk-in place and was out with a trim in twenty minutes and saved $40 dollars.

My hair grows fast...which means I'll be facing the same ugly treatment in just a few short weeks. If I weren't job hunting and trying to look professional, I'd just grow the stuff out long, tie it in a fat braid down my back and move on. Only 25 years to retirement when I can do just that.

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