Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Listen

When I think of the occupations where good listening skills are most important, doctor and hairdresser rank pretty high on the list. And yet, doctors and hairdressers consistently impress me with their abilities to not listen at all.

I've gone to different doctors for different ailments, and most every visit can be summed up in similar fashion:


A doctor walks into the room. "How are you?" I say. "Antibiotics," they say, and "Call me if the pills give you a rash." And then, like a deaf ninja, they disappear into the night, the only evidence of their presence a prescription slip rustling in the wind, and a substantial co-pay awaiting me at the front counter.

My hairdressers, when they're not french kissing me, usually aren't much better. (Would it be cocky to nominate that for Best Sentence Ever?) Sure, I've had some good ones, but not many.

The experience I had last week was especially bad. I blame myself, really, because I had let my hair grow out to that sad, awkward, in-between stage where you can do nothing but pile it in a frizzy knot on top of your head and hope people think, "Look at that cool bohemian girl" rather than "Look at that poor homeless girl." Not only that, but I was feeling crushed under the weight of a massive deadline, and cutting off a part of my body seemed like a drastic but necessary measure to free myself (I had to decide between my foot and my hair).


Throwing caution and logic to the wind, I called the salon geographically closest to my house and made an appointment for "15 minutes from now," despite the following warning signs:
  • They had an appointment available 15 minutes from now.
  • The name of the salon had a confusing and gratuitous accent mark, presumably to make it seem more French.
  • The receptionist thought my name was Banana.
Minor details, right? I told you I was desperate.

I arrived at the salon just in time to hear one of the stylists tell a client about how a witch had stolen her boyfriend. "I figured out that she was actually a witch," she said. "Can you imagine? A real witch, right here in the neighborhood! I always had the suspicion, you know? Cuz she, like, did spells and stuff, and she was ugly."

Minor details.

My normal-seeming stylist greeted me and led me to her station. "So, what would you like today?" she asked.

"Well, I just really hate my hair right now, and I was thinking--"

"Flat iron," she said, petting my hair.

"What?"

"Flat iron. You need to flat iron your hair. It looks bad when you don't flat iron."

So, here's a fun fact about me: I have used a flat iron exactly three times in my life. All of these instances took place during my freshman year of college (didn't we all do a bit of experimenting?), and they all ended with a combination of acute boredom and seared flesh. I will never use a flat iron again. I just can't. It's boring and takes FOREVER and it makes my hair frizzy and I like my hair wavy anyway.

I attempted to explain this to the hairdresser, thinking it was sort of hilarious.

"Why would you not use a flatiron?" She seemed personally offended.

"I just...wouldn't."

"But it makes your hair so nice!"

"I just hate doing it. I think it's a waste of time. I would maybe, possibly consider doing it if a Russian terrorist kidnapped my family and demanded a straightening treatment as ransom, but even then I would hesitate."

"Your family is kidnapped by Russians?"

"Well, no."

"So you go buy a flat iron. Spend $100 on a nice one. You don't color your hair, so you have lots of money left over."

"Actually I'd rather spend $100 on anything else--"

"I could give you a really cute haircut if you promise to straighten it."

"What kind of haircut will you give me if I promise that I would never buy or use a flat iron?"

"A good haircut, just not stylish."

"Can I have some antibiotics?"

"What?"

42 comments:

TheCautionaryWhale said...

I nominate the dialogue between you and the hairdresser for Best Conversation Ever. Love your blog, it's so funny.

Bridey said...

Poor Banana! Due to similar experiences with hairdressers I now cut my own hair :)

lopi said...

This is extremely hilarious and scary at the same time. And it reminded me once again why I haven't set foot in a hair salon for the last three years.
You're a brave girl with an interesting name, Banana.

Little Audrey. said...

I swear to God that that woman has Stockholm Syndrome, and that a flat-iron has taken her prisoner.

Anonymous said...

I underline all of your words: I hate when it comes to go visiting the hairdresser for an apparently "simple and plane" cut.
They NEVER listen. So I wait a lot from one cut to another and this means that I usually end up in a "bohemian-style" look.
Happy holidays..
S.

WendyB said...

The most important word in my vocabulary is "flatiron."

-h of candid cool said...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LOL!

Kim said...

Yeah, my flatiron pretty much changed my life, but that woman sounds like she has some issues. I certainly hope the haircut you got was better than all the minutes leading up to it.
Wow.
And Banana? HAAAAAA!!!

rebecca said...

you should get a flat iron...it would make a good story

the Constantly Dramatic One said...

I am mortally afraid of flat iron. Mortally. Just leave that as a "bad experience".

So anyways, did you get your hair cut?

smokingcigarettes said...

THIS is amazing!!! seriously, your story is THE reason why I started just cutting my own hair... and of course my own demented sense of self control.

Staci said...

Oh yeah. Hairdressers love flatirons, because they destroy your hair over time. I mean, it's simple science. The worse your hair looks the more you'll go back to them begging for a quick color/gloss/conditioning/style/cut/silicone product fix. Your hair is adorable! Don't you dare heat damage it. I also love that she had no sense of humor about Russian kidnapping.

Eli said...

thats why I have a bob and it grows out into a bob!

Devin said...

Russian Terrorists!!

Skylar said...

This has NOTHING to do with the above post (and infact, I didn't even read it).
I was just on your tumblr blog, and i've decided that the strange gnome-zombie looking figure in the WTF picture is, indeed, a Chernobyl victim.

(Now go get comments on your tumblr blog! http://www.disqus.com/ )

daddylikeyblog said...

Constantly Dramatic One,

I did indeed get my hair cut (yes, I was that desperate!). It looks OK in the front, but the back boasts a large, frizzy hair-hole that, presumably, would look very stylish if I flatironed it.

daddylikeyblog said...

Skylar--

I'll get comments on my Tumblr blog if you read the above post. Deal?

Skylar said...

I read the part about her calling you "Banana", and my little sister looked at me like I was having a seizure, because I barked out one of those uncomfortably loud laughs.

You're too funny.

sioux said...

did we have the same hairdresser? ha.
oh, and DEATH TO FLAT IRONS!

TINE said...

Oh woman, you never cease to make me laugh! Merry Christmas!

daisybabie said...

1-salon experience = scary

2-hair cutting lady = weirdo
(doh! maybe SHE, the flatiron fiend, was also a witch?)

3-Banana from Winona = a very loud guffaw possibly similar to that from Skylar

Happy holidays, chica!

KD said...

Yikes. How'd the haircut turn out? Will you show us pictures?

Anonymous said...

ALWAYS when I go to hairdressers they advice me to use a flat iron or something similar...Is it possible that someone like her quite-wavy hair just as they are?? Of course not, in their compromised opinion. I mean, street fashion seems to prefer straight hair, at least here in Italy, ok, I know. But beyond fashion "rules", I like my hair the way they are! Ufff...sorry for my outburst...:)

Anonymous said...

You're so funny, I see myself in your words! Don't use flat iron if you are not convinced, your hair will thank you (or at least they would if they could speech!)

Alix d'Laire said...

I get my hair cut at a bike store/ "lesbian haircuts for everyone" place, and while the hipsterism seethes through the pores of the place, they cut hair quite nicely for twenty dollars. My first hairdresser, however, was quite a nightmare - contrary to my desires for a cute pixie cut, she simply lopped off all my hair below the ear, leaving me with a ragged-looking bob-type mop thing. My poor fifteen-year old soul...

Rhandi said...

Sweetie, that was frickin' hysterical! This is why you're listed as my Hero on MySpace, ok!?

Although I understand you only went to this salon with the "confusing and gratuitous accent mark" because of it's location & being desperate... if you don't have a regular place you go to, I would be totally happy to share my favorite stylist with you since we live kinda near each other. He's not exactly cheap, but he's totally worth it. He's a fabulous, rotund gay man who, after styling you, will say things to you like "Bitch, you look FIERCE!", and I totally adore him.

jennine said...

hehe...that's exactly why i'm a self proclaimed hair-slut.
;)

Whit said...

Hee. Poor Banana. I am fascinated by flat iron infomercials. Especially the one that straightens and polishes.

susie_bubble said...

I would have said 'Fuck the flat iron woman and LISTEN to me!'
Happy Holidays!

EmceeMorgan said...

I used to have this really nice gay hair dresser who would never let me make my own hair decisions. I'd come in with a picture or an idea, then he'd do what he felt like. Now, I give myself bedhead on purpose, don't dye my hair and get $20 cuts from someone who doesn't judge me.

I feel your pain, hun.

Queen of Sheba said...

Oh, lady. I laughed so hard at all this that my sweetie's now asking me if I'm ok.

Dao said...

That is gold! Do you have an Aveda Institute in your town? After my last hairdresser giving me a mullet, I went to Aveda Institute and got pampered for 12 bucks per haircut!

recovergirl said...

Hilarious. Thank you.

Sal said...

Well, at least she was honest about her shortcomings. How did it turn out, lady?

Erin said...

Wow, I feel your hair-cutting pain. I once went to a cheapie "salon" where the stylist tried to insist I had LICE (which I absolutely DIDN'T). Oh, and as a 16-year-old I had my hair cut into an uneven bob by a flamboyantly gay drug user who passed out while blow drying my hair. I had to talk to the police about what he said to me, which was difficult to do since most of what he said was incoherent.

TheSundayBest said...

When people think my name is Banana I know shit is about to go pear shaped.

do dah said...

a solid minute of laughter later, i am in tears. thank you.

The Fashion Pinko said...

Do you ever see those people at the mall trying to sell you straighteners? The ones that are all, "Oooh your hair not look so good, I fix with magical flat iron and then invent a very high price and pretend I am giving you discount!"

They're fun.

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