I looked in the mirror this morning and saw a Chia Pet staring back.
“Time for a haircut,” I thought to myself as I tried my best to make my locks cooperate. As always, they chose not to.
Actually my hair did pretty good considering the fact I should have gotten it cut a month ago. And by pretty good I really mean I chose to ignore its attention seeking behavior. However, after its flagrant display this morning I could not ignore it any longer.
I called my stylist. And by stylist I mean the hair salon in Wal-Mart.
The phone rang several times before someone answered.
“Hello,” I said. “I am part of your insider club thingy and I need to come in and get my haircut after work today.”
“Okay,” she said.
Whew. Passed the test! I’m always afraid they will question my insider status. Yes, I did sign up for the emails in order to be able to make appointments like this. No, I never read them and send them on their merry way to the junk folder.
She wrote down the time.
“Is Cortney or Amber working then?” I asked.
“Cortney is not working then and which Amber?”
Uh, the Amber that cuts hair at Wal-Mart? We never really got on a last name basis. “The Amber in the corner.”
“She no longer works here.”
Noooooooo!!! Sad day. But I am in Chia phase so I must keep this appointment.
I arrived for my appointment fifteen minutes early. Usually, I have to wait until after my appointment time before they can take me in. So, I usually sit on the bench outside their door. In Wal-Mart. I don’t like to spend any extra time in the store because I have this fear of ending up on the People of Wal-Mart website.
Today, I chose to sit in my car for a few extra minutes. Checked Facebook. Checked my site stats. Checked my Facebook fan page. That killed about five minutes.
I locked my car and did my normal triple check to ensure my keys were in my pocket. Part OCD, part I have only one set of keys, and part I have a reputation for leaving my keys in the ignition when I sit in the car like that.
The salon was nearly empty when I entered. Only one employee was on shift and she helped a customer. After she finished with the customer, she took me right back. No waiting. I didn’t have to waste the five minutes in my car.
She sat me down and asked what I wanted done. This is the point where I always want to say, isn’t it obvious. I’m not really a Chia. I didn’t stick my fingers in an electrical socket (again). Instead I say, “It’s rather weighty. I need the weight off. Trim and thin, please.”
“Do you want a shampoo?” she asked. Amber shampooed my hair without asking.
“Okay, c’mon back.” And then she was off. At least her mouth was. It’s my guess that any silence longer than a second makes her uneasy. “What did you do this weekend?” she asked as if we were familiar old friends.
“I cleaned,” I responded. And by cleaning I mean I took one pile of junk that had been sitting on the floor forever and shifted it to another spot. A more honest answer would have been – I had the best intention to clean. Darn Facebook.
“This is the quietest I’ve ever seen this place,” I said and it echoed.
“Well, last couple of weeks we were very busy with everyone getting ready for back to school.” She continued without taking a breath, “People called up and wanted to get in and I’d say, ‘I’m sorry but we just opened an hour ago and we are already filled up the whole day.’ And they’d say, ‘don’t you know what day tomorrow is?’”
“Yes,” I jumped in. “And they knew about it for three months?”
She laughed. “Yeah, but you can’t say that to the customer. The customer is always right.” She put a few more digs into customers.
I wanted to ask, you do know, I’m a customer, right?
She finished her tale of the back to school busyness as I sat in the chair. I gave her instructions on how I wanted my haircut.
“I didn’t do anything yesterday,” she said as she took the scissors to my hair. “I sat in the room and watched tv.” (snip, snip) “I couldn’t sit in the living room though because my husband did the laundry and dumped it on the couch.” (snip, snip)
“And it didn’t magically fold itself?” I asked.
She laughed. (snip, snip) “No, it did not.”
In an attempt to keep my side of the conversation going, “Do you work forty hours here then?”
“Between here and our sister store in the mall.” (snip, snip)
Huh. I always thought this was an only child.
She then explained the whole set up. Including the fact that the reason the store looked so bare is because half the staff walked out. “They went to a different store and I guess they’ll be happy for a while.” Her tone inflected with snarkiness. But what I heard is Amber’s working at a different salon in town.
Although I have to say, even I saw this coming. The last couple of visits I overheard the hairdressers talk to each other. Maybe they forgot that a pair of ears are part of the package they tend to. Or maybe they were so fed up they didn’t care how unprofessional they sounded. Whatever the case, I could tell you their list of grievances.
None of that matters to me. I focused my efforts on a nonchalant way to ask which beauty salon they marched off to.
Hmmm. Perhaps it’s best to let such matters go while someone has control over my hair.
“Is that good?” she asked.
“The length is fine. Please thin.”
She took the thinning shears to it very delicately.
“How’s that?” she asked.
(thin, thin) “How’s that?”
(thin, thin) “And that?”
“More?” (thin, thin) “Now?”
Sigh. “That’s fine,” I lied.
I miss Amber.
Hair Today by ck
Lessons learned by ck