Monday, March 16, 2009

Beauty's Sister is Vanity

I got a haircut yesterday.

As haircuts go I suppose it's not the worst thing ever, (The worst being the night a college friend took a pair of shears to my head, after I arrived at her door, sobbing over what Super Cuts had done to my locks. She had been drinking wine and must have been feeling like a savior. "Come in, we'll fix it," she said, and ushered me into her candle lit studio. By night's end my head was nearly shaved.), but it plagues me and will do so until I let it grow or it gets fixed. My hair is one of my vanities.

You probably wouldn't know it. It's usually flopping around, in my face, with no effort to make it look "done" in any way. A profession to be free of vanity is, in itself, a vanity. I take great pains to look carefree.

This means, if I want to be free of futzing with my hair for more than a few minutes every morning, that I have to get a decent cut - one that falls okay, without me having to pin it back or try to hide any imperfections with sprays or product or whatever (Back in the day, I got up every morning to CURL MY HAIR. I'm somewhat astonished that my hair survived my teenaged self's need for scorching and perming. I even dyed it, quite by accident, fluorescent orange using an over the counter sample of highlighter. God. I felt like my head was on fire everywhere we went. )

I have a regular place I go, but impatience overtook me. And really, I just wanted a trim...why not head around the corner to my friendly neighborhood discount groomers and have them cut about an inch off?

I walked in to the "House of Hair"- as I'll call it - and the fellow behind the counter looked at me with some trepidation. "Can I help you?"

"I'd like a hair cut."

His brow furrowed. It was as if I had asked where they kept the aluminum siding.

"Oh. Okay."

I sat down and waited. Within about twenty minutes, Denise emerged from behind the partition.

Denise appeared weary - a 30 who looked like a 40 but said she was 25. Her hair was streaked with blond stripes typical of this type of establishment (Go into any number of discount salon franchises and check out the hairs of the women there. At least two will have calico mops). The head she was working on prior to mine, paid his bill, and from the second he approached the counter until he exited the building, she did not stop talking. Her droning monologue was loud and full of question a Valley Girl recovering from blunt force trauma to the head:

"Do you need any product or stuff? It's on sale right now. It was really great to talk to you! I hope you'll come back...are you gunna use your card? Gah! I just had two cups of coffee and I'm like, whoa, you know? I drink a lot of coffee and everything like that, but right now I feel really, like god, you know? Oh, yeah go ahead and swipe your card...did you need any product, or anything like that? Oh. Wait...did I ask you that already?"

And on. And on.

I should've left.

The eye rolling and sharp responses given Denise by the other style techs, were red flags I ignored. (at one point Denise just kept taking people's names for hair cuts, even as the day was drawing to a close. She was told, in a stiff voice, by the manager, to QUIT TAKING NAMES. This didn't stop Denise from asking three or four more times if she could add anyone to the list. I thought the manager was going to drink Barbasol.)

During the change over, in flurry of "who was assigned to whom", I drew the short straw and Denise was my lady.

She didn't wash my hair. She gabbed a pair of clippers and went to it.

It didn't seem so terrible at first. Once the clipping was over, I thought it was okay...then came a parade of product: pomade, spray, gel, mouse. She yanked my hair this way and that and finally said...

"Okay, hon, all done."

My hair did not look good...but I paid and left, thinking that I just needed to get used to it. It was fine, I told myself. Just fine.

I went to buy a pair or jeans. I slipped them on and glimpsed myself in the mirror - OMG. WTF. ROFLMAFJSHCBHDFIOEOWKMMMMMMXXX.

It was like I was Barbie, and Denise was a four-year-old with access to scissors and burgeoning anti-social proclivities.

And then, I did the thing I never do. I went back. I screwed it up, and went back. The Manager was none too pleased to see me.

"M-my's doesn't look - I-uh, I just, um..."

She glanced only for a second in Denise's direction and with finality said, "I'll fix it. Come over here."

I could hear Denise say "Wut happened? Why don't you like your hair?"

The manager said nothing and went straight to work, amid mutterings of "oh, god." and "Fucking- what did she do?"

As she finished up, doing what she could, she leaned down and whispered in my ear "You need to call the Manager on Monday and get your refund. It is really important you do that. Call the manager. Denise is not working. Call the manager."

Looking into her eyes it was evident that she was full up to the roof of her mouth with Denise.

I scurried out onto the sidewalk.

Now, I'm faced with a dilemma. I could use the money back with my impending trip to LA...but do I really want to be responsible for this woman losing her job?

I have yet to make the call.


Freddie said...

I have no hair, haven't for a long time, and my mom is a hair dresser so I've never gone into a shop.

However, Denise is going to ruin other people's haircuts. She may not get fired, per se, but think of your call as a way to spare countless others the grief - or even to save poor Denise, who may have been attacked by someone of lesser emotional stature.

Sarah had a similar problem in St. Louis when we first moved. I would recommend you call.

Erica said...

You had a bad experience. You don't have to mention that another stylist recommended that you call and get a refund. Just call and complain.

Remember that day I came in to DADA at the Cultural Center with the poofiest nastiest haircut ever? Thanks Evanston supercuts--not everyone is a soccer mom. This hair does not use spray.

Ugh. I am sorry you had a bad experience. Are you happier with your hair now?

Now matter how natty a cut, though, you will always be beautiful.

joe g said...

Make the call. Do not worry about getting Denise fired--it seems as though Denise is taking care of that just fine herself.

graverse: (v.) to walk across a cemetery.

Anonymous said...

Yup, make the call. You're not getting denise fired, denise is getting denise fired.


rebar said...

It's unanimous, lady. Call the manager. Save someone else the tribulation. And get your dough back.

Although, in this economy, they may just give you a "store credit"...which is even more reason to report Denise.

casto - |’cass•toe | Amer. slang. In a group, the one person that never seems to have any money on them when the bar tab comes due.

NotNits said...

You're vain about your hair? Awesome.

Your new nickname: Blagojisson.

makinble: (adj) Susceptible to flattery from aldermen.

Jan Smelk said...

As an expert in working with idiots who deserve to die, call. The other employees are powerless without you. Get a refund and then write a letter. Help her poor co-workers. And you need that cash to buy me stuff.
pulzes: well, it almost won a pulitzer.....

Joe Janes said...

Good for you for going back. And, yes, call. You're not doing Denise any favors helping her keep a job at which she sucks.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

i wish i could offer some insight by saying that you should call because if she gets fired it is because several people have called... or even that you are doing a public service by potentially saving others from the same trauma... but it has all been said already... so i hope that you are at least okay with your re-cut


rebar said...

>>Your new nickname: Blagojisson.

That sounds like three kinds of filthy (and not in a fun, sexy way.) I am unable to get on board with this name.

Sorry nits.

mudorsi |mah•’door•see | n. the all encompassing hangover one gets after imbibing in a specific type of liqueur. Does not apply to beer, wine or hard liquor hangovers.

The mudorsi that Amber was rockin' after last night's dance with that bottle of Di Saronno, was ten times worse than the morning after those flaming Sambuca shots.

NotNits said...

>That sounds like three kinds of filthy (and not in a fun, sexy way.)

You're pronouncing a hard J.

It's pronounced like a Y.

As in, "Why are you pronouncing the hard J?"

leamene (LEE-a-meen) adj: Perfectly at home in a pasture.

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