I am fairly low-maintenance when it comes to “beauty” stuff (which totally makes up for the fact that I’m impossibly high-maintenance about… ummm… everything else); I don’t use a lot of expensive products and I rarely wear make-up and I don’t go for spa treatments or manicures or anything like that.
However, in my old age (hush up, you whippersnappers) I’m beginning to realize that it really is worth it (to me) to pay for good hair care. It’s not vanity, it’s wanting to make sure I don’t end up looking like Bozo the Clown sends me his rejected wigs. It’s not JUST the hard-to-properly-cut curly hair or JUST the fact that I’m rapidly going gray or JUST the fact that my hair grows really fast, but all of those things TOGETHER mean I’m willing to scrape together the cash for a good cut and color periodically.
So, remember how my husband sent me somewhere awesome and I got the best cut and color of my life? Yesterday I did a few calming deep breathing exercises and went back there again.
Of course it started out a little rough, because—despite my best efforts to get there early enough to have no problems parking—I have terrible parking karma. TERRIBLE. Last time I was there, they’d told me they validate parking for a certain parking garage. So I parked there. But I had to park all the way on the roof, which took longer than anticipated, and then I flew down the stairs at breakneck speed because I didn’t want to be late, and it turned out I’d gone down the wrong staircase and came out on the wrong street and got very confused. I need to have a GPS implanted in my optic nerve. But at least it turned out that I’d parked in the WRONG GARAGE and had to pay for it! AWESOME!
So I RAN to my appointment (and was five minutes later) and arrived sweaty and gasping and feeling very out-of-place in their hip salon where only blond stick figures work. At least one of them gave me some water, so they’re NICE stick figures, anyway.
The stylist remembered me, and instead of the protracted conference we’d had, last time, over the proper color and highlights and what I want my hair to DO (I would like it to sing and dance, and also be VERY VERY SHINY), I sort of waved my hands and said, “Please do what you did last time, again.”
I thought that would save a ton of time. My last appointment took three hours, which is sort of insane. Who has that kind of time?? But seeing as how it was all very straightforward, this time, surely it would be faster!
AHAHAHAHAHAHA. I love it when I’m naive like that.
So, yeah, it took three hours again. Possibly because my stylist is a HAIR NINJA and at one point I think she was working on three people at once. Also because whatever sort of magical haircut she does on me to thin out my curls requires that she cut it, blow-dry and straighten it, and then do some sort of ninja layer-thinning that she can only do with my hair ironed pin-straight. I mean, I’m not complaining—the results are great—but it means it takes over an hour just to finish the cut.
[Food for thought: Not that I'm dissing her talents, or anything, because as I said, she's awesome and the results are far superior to anything I've experienced with any other stylist, but the way she does my hair, somehow I am surrounded by giant tumbleweeds of hair when she's done, even though I clearly still have an entire head of (longish) hair. The effect is not unlike those videos of what happens when people use the Furminator on their dogs. Do you think I could achieve similar results at home with a Furminator...? I know it's a longshot, but then I wouldn't have to deal with parking.]
For the color portion of the appointment, I was sort of off by myself, zoning out and checking email on my phone, and the only interruptions were the stylist peeking inside a foil or two or her assistant coming over to try to rub extra color off of my ears. (Being a brunette means even the best color experience still results in brown ears. Ewww.) But during the cut, I was plunked down at a station between two UGA students.
I have to say, I’m biased. I know I am. When I was in college, my idea of a fancy haircut was having $10 for Supercuts. The notion that these kids (who should get off my lawn) are habitually frequenting a salon that I (as someone nearly twice their age who makes a decent living) have to really justify affording BLOWS MY MIND.
child woman to my left was having a trial-run of a fancy updo. A bit of eavesdropping revealed that it was for her impending wedding. Okay, fine. Unfortunately, the stick figure doing her hair took forever and yielded something I could’ve done in my bathroom with five bobby pins in two minutes. Her client was unimpressed and asked her to “try something else,” which made me think RIGHT ON, because for what she’s probably paying, her hair should look like a gold-plated swan about to take flight, not like the kind of bun one usually throws hair into in preparation of an afternoon of painting the hallway.
child woman on my right was extremely special, though. She was yammering on and on about how excited she is to finally learn to cook! Because her mom is going to teach her! Because her parents just bought her a house!
[Come to think of it, the fact that my head exploded may have made cutting my hair a little trickier than normal. I guess I can't complain too much about the time it took.]
It’s not super-unusual for parents to buy students here a condo, rather than renting an apartment. They buy, use it for four years, and sell to another student family. The cost of real estate is pretty cheap and the parents get the tax write-off. I get that. But Little Miss Chirpy went on to explain that her parents had bought her an entire house in the most expensive part of town, and OMG she’s totally going to, like, decorate it SOOOOO CUTE!
I wonder what happens to those people once they get out into the real world. I mean, do their mommies and daddies support them forever? Or at some point do they realize that 1) we’re in a recession, 2) working for a living kind of sucks, and 3) most people don’t get whatever they want whenever they want it?
[More importantly, why did I let this aggravate me when I should be focusing on how great my hair looks?]
At least it made my stylist laugh when that woman finally left and I said, “Damn, I should’ve gotten her number! I wanted to ask her parents if they’d buy ME a house, too. And I already know how to cook and everything!”