I consider myself pretty low maintenance. I get my hair cut maybe twice a year. And usually only on impulse. I decided to get a haircut Friday. Seemed like a good idea, I could use a trim, it’d been several months, and I do have the Institute to prepare for this weekend.
As I was pulling into the salon parking lot, I was stuck behind someone who seemed unsure how a parking lot works. In the middle of the aisle, she would go, then slow, then stop. Repeat. As someone with purpose, I willed her car out of my way so I could park and get on with my day.
Eventually she pulled up far enough that I was able to slide into a space, park, and then enter the haircut place. As the girl is checking me in, this old woman walks in—and past us, to take a seat. Not a lobby wait-your-turn seat, no a height adjusting-spinning-station seat.
The girl behind the counter says, “Ma’am?” And the lady states that she’s here for her hair. The stylist says it’s going to be about twenty minutes.
“Twenty minutes!” the woman exclaims.
“Yes, there’re only two of us working and we both have clients.”
The old lady eyes me beadily. “Is she your client?” (For the record, I did consider letting her go before me, but honestly, if I’d had to wait, I probably wouldn’t have. Ah, the torture of hindsight.) I tell her I’ll be real quick. I don’t have a lot of hair and I’m just getting a trim.
With a huff, the lady agrees and when the girl asks if she’s been here before the woman states loudly, “All the time!” Then she says she has to move her car anyway; she did a very poor job of parking (and good for her for realizing it). I’m sure she felt intimidated by that vehicle behind her that actually knew how cars and parking lots work.
I sit in the chair and tell the stylist what I want. Trim the bangs (talk about high maintenance) and take about an inch and a half off the rest. She washes, we chat, she begins trimming. Then the lady returns. Instead of sitting in the lobby area to wait her turn, she sits in the chair at the station directly behind us. I can see her in the mirror. I avoid the mirror.
Meantime, the other stylist finishes her foil, sticks the client under the dryer and retreats to the back. My girl pauses, takes a gander towards the lounge, and sighs. This is when I realize there’s a lot more hair on the floor than a trim. This is when I realize she’s been cutting the shit out of my hair—under the woman’s reflective gaze, in hopes that the other stylist would tackle the unpleasant woman. This is when I realize I have the baby bangs of a toddler with her first pair of safety scissors.
At this awkward point, my girl asks, “Do you want the bangs a little shorter?” I do believe the word that actually escaped was, “Ohgodno.”
The worst part? Well, other than my haircut? I tipped her.
The best part? Besides that it’s only hair and it will grow? She still had to work with that lady.
Having just read The Alchemist, I should have recognized that unpleasant woman as an omen. Not your day for a haircut, Mary.
Or perhaps it was the universe conspiring to help me achieve my Personal Legend, which is, of course, blogging material.