Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Real Victims of Under Employment

This is meant to be funny, not offend anyone out of work, because I know how much it sucks to be out of work. But, I’m choosing to laugh at the situation instead of crying over it, so please don’t think I’m being insensitive!

There have been many casualties of the recent economic recession. Many have suffered, but the real victims of the recession are the thousands and thousands of hairs upon my head. These hairs are spoiled, I will admit. They are used to good shampoo, regular conditioning, and visits to the salon for cut and color on a regular basis.

For the past three years my hair has been involved in a very serious relationship with a woman named Bonnie. Bonnie took my hair from long and dark to short and blonde, then guided it expertly back to mid-length with a balance of high and low lights that people would stop me at the Wal-Mart to compliment. My hair had such a great relationship with Bonnie that we followed her to three different locations and paid increasing rates as she adjusted prices to the salons where she happened to be working.

Inevitably, you get to know the person involved with your hair, and hopefully you like that person as much as your hair does. While Bonnie and I would probably not have met under other circumstances and we never hung out socially, it was always fun to see her and catch up. I don’t know how many clients she sees, but she always remembered what we’d talked about on my last visit even though it was about three months between appointments. At the beginning of December every year she would call and give me dibs on an appointment to get my “hair did” for the holidays. After I moved to Austin I even made the trip back to Belton for one final appointment with Bonnie…that was the last time my hair looked good.

Since that last visit I have not been back to a salon because I’m still hunting a full time job and substitute teacher pay barely covers rent; it most certainly does not justify extravagant expenditures on one’s hair. Since my hair had previously been colored, the root situation demanded attention a few months after my last trip to Bonnie’s, so I had to improvise. Did you know you can get a box of color for $8.99 at the store? Neither did I. Pair the box color with a trim at a walk-in place and I saved over $100 on just one cut and color treatment!

Be advised, doing your own color and getting a cheap trim has some drawbacks. The first is your hair looks cheap. The second is you miss out on the salon experience. There is no complimentary beverage, no reclining as your hair is washed and your scalp gently massaged under a warm fountain of water, no salon gossip, no intoxicating scent from the high end styling products used by the professionals. Hell, everyone knows having someone else wash your hair for once is the best part of the whole hair modification experience and is almost worth the $120. If I’m ever super rich I’m getting one of those salon sinks and reclining chairs put in my house and hiring someone to wash and style my hair every morning.

Alas, I was making do with the cheap hair lifestyle because, really, I have no other choice. But after the cheap haircut I got recently, I realize how desperate my hair is to start a relationship with a stylist here in Austin.

Over Spring Break I went to the same walk-in haircut place where I’d gotten a perfectly decent trim in the fall, but the girl who cut my hair before wasn’t working. Instead, I got a woman in her forties who, upon learning I work in the education field, told me how upset she was that she learned about “tea parties” in history class but not “coffee parties.” She was also under the false impression that the State of Texas is trying to remove Martin Luther King from history books. According to her that is wrong because, “He had a dream.” I don’t think she knew what the dream was, but at least she knew he had one. Apparently her TV only delivers every third word of the news. Now imagine the haircut that comes from this individual and picture that on my head. Ok, now wipe the look of horror from your face.

I’m in full on hair grow out mode because every time I see Sandra Bullock I have mad hair envy, and she has been in the news a lot lately. (Can you believe that asshole husband of hers?) So, I told this alleged hair professional to, “Cut as little as possible, just clean up the ends.” She heard, “Take off three inches and jack up the front real good.” I assure you I did not have three inches of split ends. I had to do some intervening with the kitchen scissors after I got home, straightened my hair (no styling included at the walk-in place), and saw how bad it was. Thank goodness my hair grows fast.

I am currently in great need of a new car and figured after landing a job my first stop would be the car dealership. I know now that on the way to the dealership I will be stopping at a salon for a proper haircut and highlights. Until employment becomes a reality, I may have to get Jason to pick me up some of the extensions he saw at the gas station in Houston a while back. They’re made of “real hair” and they’re real cheap. I think I have that in my budget.


Jenny said...

Too funny...sorry about the bad "do", some consolation in knowing it's temporary?

Anonymous said...

Kelly ~ if you don't submit this piece to some kind of a money/financial publication, you're CRAZY! This is GREAT!