Sunday, January 14, 2007


I'm just full of tips today.

Today E and I went to the Hair Cuttery in Wheaton. It was bustling in the doorway, but they saw us right away. As E went off with her hairdresser, and I went to mine, E called across the room, asking me if I was getting my hair shampooed. I responded in the negative, and sat at the chair.

My man Alex pulled the tarp around me as I tucked my bag and jean jacket underneath it, on my lap. Glancing down, I saw a tuft of hair stuck to the tarp about eight inches from my face.

He tells me, quite directly, that my hair is super dry, and asks me if I want to get a deep-conditioning treatment. I turned him down, and said that I just wanted a trim. He then told me to get up, and I followed, and he led me to the sink.

Apparently I was getting a shampoo. In a crappy mood, I didn't feel like setting him straight, preferring to just be in a bad mood about it. He was chatting away, washing away, as I focused on my neck bending backwards over the porcelain sink. I know I've complained about this before, but for real. You'd think they would have developed a technology by now that would alleviate the sensation of a breaking neck. Does anyone other than me find that experience to be extremely uncomfortable?

He kept talking, and I couldn't hear him over the din of the water, so I broke two of my new year's resolutions, and responded, "Sorry?" (one, don't pretend to hear people when I can't, two, don't say "sorry" needlessly/excessively). He sounded kind of bummed when he said, "okay," so I have no idea what had gone on.

Finally done with my second shampoo of the day, we went back to his chair, and he was cut, cut, cutting away, even though I had specifically requested "just a trim." I didn't say anything in protest, though, because I figured he had gone too far to go back, and I was in the mood for steaming inwardly, and he was giving me good fodder.

Here's a tip: Never get a haircut when you're in a crappy mood. It's a bit self-defeating.

He was drying my hair, occasionally clocking me in the head with the dryer, when one of his coworkers came over, and deposited a used McDonald's bag on his vanity, with a note attached. I interestedly peered through the mass of hair piled in front of my eyes to read it.

In green highlighter, it was scrawled,

"Alex. Throw away this bag."

Apparently my man Alex was a slob in the Hair Cuttery breakroom, and the girls weren't going to stand for it anymore.

He took it in stride, ignoring it, and drying away. I had to admire his aplomb. He then spoke, asking me, "Can you sit lower?"

Sure, my good man, let me take out some vertebrae. So I said, "You mean, slouch?" And he said "Yeah." So, I slid down in the chair, and slouched.

Alright. Here's another little tip. Never ask someone to slouch. Never. Just don't. It's so rude.

The first time this happened, I was in high school, and at my junior homecoming dance. With heels on, I was taller than my date. We were getting the "official picture" taken, and the photographer (who had a mullet, mind you), instructed me to slouch. Too taken aback to protest, I kind of leaned against my date, looking like a half-drunk floozy in the results.

The next time it happened, it was one year later, during graduation week, same photographer. This time, I was posing with my parents. The Mulleted Photographer asked me to slouch, and I said "No," quite firmly. Implicit in that message was "Screw You."

It's happened to me a couple other times, and it actually happened to my dad a month ago. We were at the "Congratulations Mike & Erin Dinner," and we asked a guy in the lobby of the restaurant to take a group picture. We all huddled together, and the guy asked my dad to slouch, so that a person in the back would be visible. My dad, being an awesome guy, did as he was asked. If I hadn't had the better part of a bottle of red wine, I probably would have been alert enough to be like "NO, Daddy!!!"

I know this guy wasn't a professional photographer, so he didn't know any better, but making someone slouch does not make for a better picture. So, it's semi-humiliating for the subject, and makes a crappy picture to boot. Don't ask someone to slouch—rearrange the peeps instead.

Back to the Hair Cuttery. My scoliosis-training time finally over, I paid the bill, and skedaddled out of there with E. She was being really complementary, praising my new do, and I loved hers. I looked in a random mirror, and I realized, to my dismay, that I was sporting "The Rachel," circa 1996. It's not bad, it's not great, but it's definitely The Rachel.

After wandering around the mall for a bit, we headed back to the car, and I stopped at Dairy Queen to grab a Blizzard. The guy at the register, who was probably around my age, took my order, I paid, and he got to work on making it.

I was zoning out, looking around at the blenders and noting the items on the menu, when he came back with my frosty treat.

I looked at him, and he turned my Blizzard upside-down in the air, with the spoon stuck in it, turned it back upright, and gave it to me. Smiling, really smiling, for the first time today, I thanked him and walked away, laughing as I told the story to E. He had totally done that just to make me smile, and to make me laugh.

So, as the final tip: Don't be afraid to be kind and sorta goofy to a stranger. She'll thank you for it, and love you in a "I love you as a stranger" way.

(oh, crap, one more tip. Reading over, I realized that I accidentally deleted a paragraph in this post. So, always type carefully, lest you lose some genius prose that can't be replicated.)

Ah, well, hope the crappy mood leaves you!

I'm sure your hair looks fabulous!

And um, what's wrong with the drunken floozy look?

I agree though, that asking someone to slouch is no good. That is rude, and furthermore, isn't that what they have those damn pedals on a chair for?
So, should he have gotten a step stool for himself instead?
First- I agree 100% about the sinks- I hate how they kill your neck. In fact I hate going to the hairdressers because I always feel like they are ultra out of control with supreme confidence that they know better than I when it comes to what I want and my hair.
Second- thanks for the tips, although the slouching one is one I don't believe I will ever have to really face, unless I'm surrounded by very very short people- yeah I don't pass 5'5.
tc: thanks! the ice cream trick pretty much fixed it, and my mood gradually improved throughout the day.

and the drunken floozy look is A-OK with me, as long as it's someone I want to look drunken floozish with...

oh, and I guess we had already gotten to the bottom of the pedals.

bub: yes.

mona: I'm so glad you agree!! And you never's good to be prepared with an answer to the slouching question....just in case :-)
Oh, goofy with a stranger is a great idea.

Your hair looks great Meg, by the way.

(I just know these things.)

Hair dressers regularly ask people to treat their necks like a contortionists... looking to the left, putting your chin up a little, and slouching a little are all part of standard affair. You said you yourself were in a bad mood...
wombat: thanks ;-)

I swear stylists do that extra stuff deliberately.

I've had it happen many times.

And then they charge double.
The thing I hate most (as a dude) is when they ask if you want a shave. First of all: It took me 6 months to grow this half grown in things I call sideburns. Second, all I can picture is some scene from a mobster flick where the barber slits the guy from ear to ear...
a) Your hair does NOT look like the Rachel. At all. Incase there was any confusion out there as to what the Rachel does look like here is a link.
Trust me - your hair is not that short, or that big.

b) You look great w/ the new haircut.
Meg, you always sound charming when you blog in a bad mood :-)
ed: yeah, I'm fairly certain he didn't give a damn when he clocked me in the head. ah well!

cam: I know! I don't know how guys trust barbers in situations like that.

c-note: thanks :-)

cp: aw, thanks! I wish you were a guy...then I'd marry you (or, you know, IM you all the time and try to hang out with you and give you "i love you" eyes).
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