Trip to hair salon causes reflections on awkwardness

I’ve printed out a picture of what I want, and I hope when I show the hair stylist she’ll know exactly what to do. Of course, if she did something horrible to my hair, I wouldn’t complain. I’m no Mother Teresa, I’m just afraid to challenge hair stylists.

One time I went to a hair salon, made an appointment, and then sat in the waiting room for three hours. Finally when closing time hit, the lady at the front desk asked me if I was there to pick someone up. After she found I was there to get my hair cut, she asked me why I didn’t tell them they had forgotten about me.

“Um, I just…didn’t,” I respond, feeling like a freak. Since I didn’t get angry – but instead just turned bright red and mumbled a couple of apologies for my lack of common sense – they gave me two free haircuts. See, kids, sometimes it pays to be awkward.

Part of the reason I don’t feel comfortable asserting myself with the stylist is I feel horrible that they have to put up with me. As I sit in the chair, I notice all around me confident, 40-year-old women telling interesting stories about their time in Rome.

I mean maybe their stories aren’t always that exciting, but at least they are talking. Sure, they  all look pretty capable of using their nails to facially lacerate stylists who fail. But, still, they’re talking.

I’m just bad at small talk. For example, early in this particular visit, the stylist mentions her fiancé. So, I spend the whole appointment wondering if maybe I should ask her when the wedding is, and what her plans are and stuff. But I never get the words out.

Unfortunately, the words that I do get out will prevent me from ever going to her again. It’s too bad, because other than this part coming up – where I dig myself in a China-reaching hole of awkwardness – it went pretty well. But I digress. See for yourself why I won’t be returning:

Tessy, on money: “Ya, I’m going out with my friends tonight, but I don’t really want to because I have no money,” I say. And then, realizing that I’m a paying customer and not the guinea pig hair for my practicing friend, I add, “I mean, I have some money.”

Tessy says goodbye:  “Have fun, tonight,” she says, at the end of the appointment.

“You, too,” I respond. And then, realizing that she never told me what she was doing tonight, I add, “I mean, I don’t know what you’re doing, but…”

I cut myself off, because I don’t know where I planned to take that comment.

Some people will say that both these conversations would have been better off had I not added the second comment. And those some people would be right. But if I were those some people, I would have nothing to write about in this column. Like I said, kids, sometimes it pays to be awkward.


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