Mar 13, 2006

One More Hair Rant For The Road

OK Internet, I have one more hair rant and then I'll shut up about hair (maybe). I was born with a lot of naturally curly hair as the accompanying baby picture of me demonstrates. I was born 5.2 kg. For my non-metric readers that's a whoppin' 13,208 lbs. (I hope none of you were sipping coffee while reading that line. I'm sure you spluttered). Please give a standing ovation for my mother's uterus and natural birth canal. As soon as you recover from the shock I will also drop the "she gave birth to me naturally" bomb on you. You're out cold again.

I'll wait until you recover.

Back? Good.
How my mother gave birth to the human baby whale is not our topic but my hair (again). My bouncy curls turned into soft waves growing up and slowly morphed into almost straight hair. Consequently, as a former Shirley Temple, my mane reacts nicely to perms. Even hairdressers are impressed with the outcome. They spin me around on the chair to show off my nicely done locks to other customers. Ooohs and ahhhhs all around. I'm too woozy by the perm vapours combined with the chair spin to resist this superfluous activity.

Last summer I decided that a perm would help subdue my crew-cut desire and assist me in my mission to grow my hair long. I called a new-found, yet untried hair-salon that I had taken Daughter#2 a few times to get her bangs shortened. This salon was co-owned by a smiling, kind hair-lady who was my age and an older grumpy hair-lady who was self-explanatory.

-Hi. Do you have an opening this afternoon for a perm?
-Yes, we do.
-Oh great, what time should I come in?
-Anytime will be fine. We close at 8.
-No appointment necessary for a perm, are you sure?
-Yes (annoyed tone).
-OK. Thank you, bye.

I left work early and arrived at the shop at 5.45 p.m. (Please note the time).
The salon only had one preceding lady customer who I gathered by the tinfoil was highlighting. Disappointingly, the smiling courteous owner was on vacation so I was left with Grumps. Fine. I'm not picky. I waited my turn. And I waited... and waited.

Two new customers (also without appointments) walked in after me for cuts and hairdos, which the hairdresser with her clumsy assistant saw to immediately. The clock was a-ticking. Grumpy smiled at me from the mirrors and reassured "Soon I'll be with you".
I was simmering. I coughed or got up to stretch my legs as a reminder that I was STILL there WITHOUT service. The clock finally read 7.45. It had taken two hours of my patience but I finally spoke up:

-Excuse me, Grumpy lady, you told me on the phone that you close at 8 p.m.

-Yes, we do.

-It's 7.45, isn't it?

-Yes. I'll have you finished in a jiffy.

-Do you have a new method of perming hair? A very short method? Because last time I permed my hair I needed 20 minutes to put the curlers on and about 30 minutes to let the perm solution do its work. Another 10-15 minutes to wash out the chemicals and what not. Am I mistaken?

-No you are not! (Her voice becoming irritated at my precise military perm scheduling.)

-So, who are you kidding? (Trying hard not to raise my voice).

She started apologizing that she didn't want the salon to reek of perm chemicals and that she was all alone and sooooooo many customers (3 customers -4 if you count me- for Pete's sake!) and she was willing to work until 9 to get my hair done.

At that moment my Mrs.Nice-Obedient-Customer innocence was plucked abruptly! I had a breakthrough as a consumer-rights militant! I never talked back or down to people that I paid their services for (hairdressers, sales assistants, etc.); I was always a pushover.

-You may be willing to stay here until 9 but I'm not!
I was now standing with my purse strapped over my shoulder, my cheeks flushed and steam coming from my ears.
I continued with how she emphasized over the phone that no appointment was necessary, that I was ahead in line of the other 2 ladies that came after me, that I didn't like her uppity tone with me, she shouldn't treat customers like this and just when I was doing so well... I pulled a flubberwinkle:

-Besides there is no way I'm getting my hair permed in here NOW because there are too many negative vibes and the perm solution won't work!

Before I stormed out of there, she had the last laugh because of my flower-child attitude, but guess who's having the Mother of all last laughs Grumpy? That's right. Me. Ha! You just lost yourself 6 heads of hair aka profits (mine, my daughters', my mother's, my mother-in-law's, my grandmother's). How's THAT for negative vibes?