September 9, 2010

"No Appointment (or Personality) Necessary": A Play in One Act


T's car, en route to the nearest largish town. It's the Sunday before Labor Day. My objective is singular in nature. It's been a long time coming, and, with an afternoon free, at long last I'm out of excuses.

And it's not as though I had to make an appointment or anything.

ME: (inner monologue whilst driving) I'm just going to pull up to the first one I see and go in. Enough already.

In less than five seconds, I spot one surrounded by familiar neighbors: Game Stop, Starbucks, a Verizon store. I park in front of the plate glass windows.

ME: (still with the inner monologue; I know it seems weird, but just go with it) It's going to be fine. Just because you ended up with a head that looked like one of those orange traffic cones last time, it doesn't mean something bad will happen THIS time. I'm sure the people here are extremely talented.

And anyway, you aren't asking for much. A quick cut. No frills. No 30-minute blow-dry. No overpriced products. Easy peasy. (Exits car, walks hesitantly across the sidewalk and grips the door handle, steels self, then goes inside.)



Best Cuts. With the exception of its name, it's virtually interchangeable with all the other walk-in hair salons: Great Clips, Fiesta Hair, Fantastic Sam's -- who is in charge of choosing the horrible names for these establishments?
Then again, no one's going here for the name.

In fact, I'm here for one reason and one reason only: I'm cheap. I'm buying what they're selling: No frills and no perks. Unfortunately, in my experience, that tends to extend to the stylists themselves, at least in terms of personality. Well, you know. Generally. Today I'm greeted by...we'll call her Confused-Looking Spiky Bob. Much like her predecessors, she does not disappoint.

CONFUSED-LOOKING SPIKY BOB: (Seating me in the washing-hair station chair, for which there's probably a technical name but which I'm too lazy to look up, and beginning to wash my hair) Is that too hot?

ME: (Unable to hear as scalding water is thundering around my ear holes) I'm sorry?


ME: (Slightly taken aback at being spoken to like a two-year-old) No, it's fine.



Washing, washing, washing.

More silence.

Odd hair flicking for undetermined reason.

CLSB: (Abruptly) Got kids?

ME: (Tearing focus away from odd hair flicking) Not yet. We have dogs. You know, for now. They're like our practice babies. And we think of them as our kids, so...




ME: you? Uh, have kids?

CLSB launches into a long explanation of each of her three children, their ages, the origins of their names, what they are best at in school and what their hair looks like, during which my responses of "Oh?" and "Uh-huh" are completely ignored.

As my eyes are hitting full-glaze mode, she leads me to her styling chair, capes me and gets down to business.

CLSB: So, what are we looking to do here today?

ME: Well, I want to get rid of some of this length--

CLSB: So you want to chop it all off, huh?

ME: I'd like to cut it shorter, but I still want to be able to pull it back. And still have some layers--

CLSB: So shorter layers all around the crown of your head, yeah?

ME: (Breathing deeply and trying to avoid rolling eyes) Long layers. And some pieces around my face that are sort of bang-like, but not really bangs--

CLSB: So short with layers and bangs. Got it.

ME: Wait. Not bangs. just a few shorter pieces around my face. LONG layers. Still long enough to pull back. And I'd like it to be sort of choppy. Not all one length and flat or blunt or whatever.


More silence during which CLSB looks even more confused than ever.

CLSB: ...what?

After repeating my description of my desired haircut, this time with fewer interruptions, she appears to understand. A few snipperoos later, the floor is littered with dark brown hair, my head feels about three pounds lighter and I'm politely refusing her offer to style my hair before I leave.

"No, thank you," I only think and don't say out loud, "I've seen your colleagues' attempts at 'styling' before, and while you may be the exception, I'd prefer to go through the rest of the day NOT coaxing a big brown, hairy football helmet through every doorway I encounter."


On the way to settle my bill, the subject of Labor Day weekend plans is broached. After listening to her perfectly lovely plans of pizza and the Wii with the kids, I mention that we'd just attended a party the day before and were still recovering.

ME: Yeah, we just need some rest. I retired early, but my husband stayed out pretty late, and we're both exhausted--

CLSB: Wow, you're retired? You don't look THAT old.


ME: ...right. No. I'm not retired. I just went to bed early.

Silence, during which CLSB appears to be thinking really, really hard.

CLSB: ...right. OK. I'm, like, not good with ages. But you look really young and stuff. And, well, anyway, thanks for coming! And have a happy Memorial Day!



8 backtalk:

Trophy Life said...


this is crazy.

please tell me that you are okay with the haircut?!?

Wendy said...

Ha ha ha! This made me laugh!

And yes, how did the haircut turn out? I think we need pictures!!

wrestling kitties said...

You CRACK me up!

Oh my gosh. Seriously lady?!

I have gone to those places too, as I am also cheap, and it always turns out to be the most stressful 20 minutes of my life when I am there. I have gotten the girl who talks to everyone BUT me and I think doesn't even know I am there and that is possibly why she gave me a bad hair cut. I say I will never go back, but then in moments of weakness I do. sigh

I hope you like your hair!

Ky • said...



This whole post made me smile. I read it with baited breath wondering how your HAIR CUT TURNED OUT and you NEVER SAID.

How is your hair?????

And the "retiring" comment - who-larious. Love it.

Mickey D. said...

How you gonna write a post like this and not include a photo? Pictures, lady!

This gal sounds like a gem. Did you get her card? I need a new hair person.

I see this decision came as a result of your previous post. Haircuts and hangovers don't mix!

This was too funny!

65 Roses for Marcia said...

Yes, we NEED a picture!!! And you need Stacey!! just sayin'...

Abbe said...

this was my favorite post yet, i think. PLEASE post a photo of the hair. please. you owe us that much, right? :)

Amber said...

Wow! I've been wanting to post about my recent haircut, but I haven't found the time. Now I think your story out-does mine!

Happy Memorial Day! Love it!

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