Pampering is a rarity in most moms’ lives. It certainly is in mine. Even when I have the time to do more than splash water on my face before bed, I usually opt to spend those extra five minutes passed out under the covers, dreaming about things such as being bullied by “mean girls” at high school and becoming Warren Jeffs’ 71st sister-wife on the Texas compound.
I know. I KNOW. I really need to stop watching Dateline right before bedtime.
So when I took the time and effort to go the salon for a haircut — only my third since having Skye last year — a few weeks ago, it was, as the kids say, a Big F*cking Deal. Only without the, like, totally lame asterisk. I was expecting to relax and revel in a much-needed ego boost from my fabulous new style. Instead, I sat down in the chair, and the stylist (whom we’ll randomly call Dick) tilted his head and pursed his lips at me.
“Can we talk about your color? It is SO DINGY,” Dick clucked.
I should note that my previous hair stylist changed salons, to one aaaalllll the way in Malibu, so I decided to try my luck with a new stylist at a closer salon in Beverly Hills. A “stylist to the stars,” if you will. Figured I could afford to upgrade to a chichi stylist given I only cut my hair every other presidential administration or so these days. Meaning: THAT was his greeting, the very first words he ever uttered to me.
Also, for visualization purposes, Dick is not gay. A piece of information that seemed to blow my mom away. He is, however, British.
I was not there for highlights — I go somewhere else for color — yet I found myself shrinking down further and further into that chair as Dick berated every aspect of my color, even inviting other stylists over to join the Candy’s Hair Color Bites Big, Sweaty Balls! fun. It wasn’t until Dick noticed me pointedly eying his scissors and his testes, and twirling my mustache that he realized it might be in his best interest to back off.
I know. I KNOW. I should consider myself lucky he didn’t mention my mustache.
Oh, but Dick mentioned plenty of other things. A delightful conversationalist, Dick is.
DICK: What do you do?
ME: I’m a writer. I publish a family humor blog now. And I used to write for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful…
DICK: Ah, yes. I watch that all the time. NOT!
DICK: Where are you from originally?
DICK: From the countryside, I assume.
ME: Uh, why would you assume that? [LAUGHING UNCOMFORTABLY] Do I seem like a country bumpkin?
DICK: [NO RESPONSE]
DICK: How on earth are you going to style your hair on your own?
ME: Um… with a brush and hair dryer. Like I always do.
DICK: But… it is just SO DIFFICULT.
Yeah. My ego had shriveled to the size of a week-old chicken nugget by the time I left that salon. It was, I can say with great certainty, the Worst Day of Pampering in the history of the world. That’s right! Your children will have pop quizzes about my experience when they learn about it in World History class. I mean, sure, Socrates may be a kind of interesting martyr for being killed for his philosophies — kind of — but the day Candy Kirby’s ego perished under the fatally and unnecessarily sharp tongue of a hair stylist…? THAT is a tragic tale for the ages.
Here is the worst part: I AGREED WITH HIM ABOUT MY COLOR. Between you and me, it hasn’t been the same since I was pregnant and my colorist temporarily switched to vegetable dye, which she deemed “safer” (it’s not, according to my OB, who says normal highlights are perfectly safe during pregnancy). But, let’s face it, that is not the point. The point is (yes, I DO have one, thankyouverymuch), when you are in customer service, you do not greet a new client by insulting her hair. Everyone knows you’re supposed to start off by insulting something small, like lipstick color, then work your way up to hair color. Customer Service 101. Duh.
No, I lied. It gets even worse: I love the cut. I really, really, love it. It curls out softly and, goddammit, it SWINGS like I’m in a freakin’ hair commercial. Yes, it swings in slow motion! I even find myself skipping through daisy fields and holding conversations with Mr. Candy with my head turned dramatically over my shoulder. Comes with the haircut, apparently.
Which is my way of admitting that I might, um, consider, er, going back to Dick for more abuse. I know. I KNOW. Typical Battered Salon Client Syndrome behavior. And now that you have lost all respect for me, I am gonna go skin a raccoon and rustle up some moonshine for dinner. Because that’s what us country bumpkins do.