updated 10/04/01

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Yeah, I know.. a rip off from Craiggers - but his show is pretty much sucking right now (should have stayed with The Daily Show), so I don't feel nearly as bad as I would normally for stealing his stuff.  I think I could do a better job with it anyway. 

So here it is, my words of wisdom to take you through your day (or couple of days as you will cut me some slack on how often I update this).  You can even ask a specific question to me (via email - not icq) if you want some specific "wisdom" from me. 
Here is some non specific wisdom: 

So I am recounting an experience I had a month ago and the more I think about it - the creepier I feel. It's one of those things where you feel guilty about the whole thing - but justified cuz it was cheaper. I also have to make sure that the regular gal I go to never finds out - or she will drop me hard from her growing list of clients. I am talking about when you cheat on your hairdresser and slum it at one of the walk-in hair places.

I know this seems cheesy - but I have been going to Jan - my regular hairdresser for 11 years. She doesn't just cut my hair - she understands my hair. And my mom and I both use her - so when we both divulge secrets of our lives (yes, I am sure mom blabs everything to her too) - she doesn't break that confidence. She understands my fear of getting too much cut off and though she makes fun of my whining - she always makes my hair look fabulous.

Their are some drawbacks to having Jan "do me up right." She charges an astronomical rate that rivals my food bill for the week. She sometimes cuts my hair too short and even though it looks fabo - I feel somewhat like a guy enlisting in the armed forces and think I resemble a shorn sheep compared to what I looked like before. And when I do whine about it - she degrades me about how my mom has more courage ("your mom let's me do whatever I want to her hair - why you can't you be fun and free like that" - always makes me wince in an inferior kind of pain that my mom could be cooler than me). And sometimes when I share some personal info about my life - she feels the need to interject her "helpful" opinion ("That Mr. HAT sounds like a schmuck - why do you give him the time of day?" and "OMG - I can't believe you did something THAT unfabulous and freaky" statements almost make tears well up inside me - but then I think "she is soooo wrong and jealous" and go back to my shallow way of thinking - so I am only affected by her statements for a few short minutes). Also - I have to wait at least six weeks from the time I call for my appointment for an opening in her busy schedule. I need my hair cut within a few days of calling. It reminds me of having to make an appointment for the dentist for six months in advance.

So I was faced with having a function out of town and wanted my hair cut right then and there. Knowing I could never make it in time unless at least 8 people canceled out in the next two days (yes, there is a special list for people who will take others cancellations and you are told what number you are for that little "miracle" to take place) - I lament to my mother about my split ends over tea one day. She asks "Have you thought about going to one of "those" places?" she asks. I gasp. A walk in place? A place that doesn't know my name and will surely screw up my hair and my mental well being and confidence for the next three months? "You are only getting a trim - you will get it done right away and it's cheap - don't freak out about it." She says. My damaged hair pleads with me as well. Ok, I am sold.

So I get to the place early in the morning to secure an appointment. What an overestimating mind I have - this dive had tumbleweeds in front of it. I start to get nervous as I wait. Then a big haired girl with more hair products in her hair than I used in high school approaches me smacking her gum and greets me with a "Hi honey, what can I do ya for?" Has it come to this? Is this where the rejects that don't know any better come to get "styled for less?" I envision a clientele of trailer trash and engineers whose closets include short-sleeved dress shirts and the mentality of "I can't see my hair - so it doesn't matter what it looks like" echoing through their brains. I think of my dad - as he resembles that last comment (before the mid life crisis and year supply of rogaine took over anyway).

I swallow my fear and think happy thoughts of rubber dresses, chocolate and the last fabulous date I went on while I tell her that I want "just a trim" and "nothing more" - well "maybe the conditioner treatment" but "nothing more" - well "can you blow it dry and style is a bit, too?" My eyes rake over the price list and after all I have told her I wanted - it isn't even half of the cancellation fee of Jan - I am feeling richer just being here.

We go over to the shampoo station and she spends 10 minutes massaging my hair and head with the shampoo alone. What a pleasant change! Jan's "people" do my hair and I am in and out of their chair in 5 minutes - including the overpriced conditioning treatment. I smile - I am feeling relaxed now. But then I start to tense up again as we move towards the hair chair. I start panicking thinking that the massage was an elaborate ruse to instill fake confidence so that I will be more susceptible to her "ideas about what she can do to my hair." I won't be fooled and as is my way when I am feeling threatened - I start to ask a lot of questions. "How long have you had your license?" "You won't fuck up my hair, right?" and demanding that she "repeat back to me what I wanted you to do to my hair." Looking back on all that I did - I realize it was a bad idea to just start hurling questions and demands at a person with sharp scissors to my head - but I was desperate and nervous and wanted a reassuring "everything will be ok - now shut up, bitch" answer. I got a better answer.

"Is this your first time, honey, (gum snap) at one of these walk-in places?" I meekly nod my head. She sees right through my terror and tells me that "The first time is always nail biting for the customer who has a 'regular gal' that does her hair - obviously she isn't doing something right - or you wouldn't be here." Wow. I never thought of it like that.

"I can spend more time on your hair since I have a low clientele and no one is waiting in line to sit in the chair at the moment. (gum snap) I can listen to your hair needs since I know that the price is unbeatable and the chance of your regular hairdresser finding out is nil - you might come back. I also hold no judgment over you for having a regular gal and I will listen to all your problems you wish to share (blows a gum bubble)" She is right, you know. After she eased my fears and started playing with my hair - I talked to her about all sorts of life problems and she had nice things to say to me ("That Mr. HAT is a schmuck - he needs to wake up and see you are the coolest thing out there" and "Wow, what a kooky stunt - that sounds like fun"). Sure, she is playing the Smithers to my Mr. Burns - but that's what I am paying for right?

She spends more time on just cutting my hair then Jan does in my entire visit to her - including when I leave the money on her station table. She spent a lot of time styling it and blowing it dry so that it was actually DRY and styled - and not what Jan calls done - done meaning it will make me come down with a head cold in the wintertime it's so wet. In fact - I am willing to bet that I have spent more time in a burger king drive thru getting a meal prepared "my way" than when Jan has "her way" with my hair.

I am amazed. I look great. My pocket book is not a desolate land of change after my visit with her. I feel like everything I divulged to her in secret was a fabulous story and not a bunch of yada yada I am sure she hears from every client. I feel liberated - however I do feel guilty about Jan. I tell her that I still will be going back to Jan. I could never leave her. After all, Jan has been my one and only for 11 years. She winks at me and tells me that she thinks I should go back to Jan for my regular cuts and styles and any major changes that I want to make for my hair - but to come to her when I need my four week micro trims - as my hair will be healthier when I go back to Jan and Jan can feel like she is doing this great job on my hair. It will be "our little secret." She even makes this SHHHHHing face and grins as I pay my money leave her a great tip and ponder this ongoing hair scam I can have over Jan. I can never tell Jan about my experience here - she will never understand that this helps my hair and saves our relationship. She will call me a two timing hairstylist hopper and leave me and I even feel dirtier that I don't even know this new stylist's name to request her again.

I have just reread what I have written so far. If I didn't know any better and removed all the hair cutting references - it looks like I cheated on Jan at the local whorehouse. I now feel like a married man that has gone to a prostitute and confessed that this is his first time cheating on his wife - and this hooker understands and is here to make it all better. The hairdresser with the heart of gold. How quaint. Actually it looks like I am comparing two whores with the money on the table comment. Gah. Well she does do good hair and the price is right :) Call me sick - but I think these walk-in places are underrated.

BTW -BTW: they are starting up survivorer.com in a few weeks and I am gonna be included again

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