The Breakup that Always Shakes Me Up
0 comment Monday, June 23, 2014 |
When it comes to hairdressers I'm a serial monogamist. For years I'll be a loyal client, faithful and forgiving. I'll stay with you through thick and thin, through good cuts and some bad ones. But then something will snap and wordlessly I'll move on.
Not this time. When I left the last fellow I was a schmuck. Without explanation, no warning whatsoever, I just never went back. For months he called and sent me cards as I sat by mutely. To this day my cowardice still haunts me.
This time I'm leaving in style, with integrity intact and my head held high. Goodbye to my scissorhands of the last three years:
Dear Stylist,
When we first got together the air crackled with excitement. My every hair follicle stood on end. I tingled with delicious anticipation, full of hope for our partnership. My old cut was "horrific," my color was "clownish." You said you would do me up so much better. And I was dazzled and awed by the photographs on your wall, the framed magazines quoting your wisdoms.
True, you were outrageously, jaw-droppingly expensive. But you had all the right moves and knew just what to say. Wearing sweatpants I slunk in to see you one day, puffy-eyed and nose dripping, Lanz nightgown tucked in the waist. "You look fabulous!" you said. "You've lost some weight!" With you, I was sexy in the throes of the flu.
Yes I revelled in your lavish praise, lapped up every word. It made it easier when I had to break into my 401k to maintain my pricey habit. And frankly, I liked your cut. It was the best I'd ever had.
Last week you wandered in late, after your colorist applied my base. I was swimming in a dowdy smock, brown gunk smeared on my face. When you clutched your fist to your chest in a histrionic fit and said, "My God. You look great!" all doubts about our parting were instantly erased. This pseudo-relationship was truly over. There'd be no more chemistry, no more stirrings of formula.
My decision is not a rash one. For months I've mulled it over. How did we go wrong? I'd told you all my secrets, I'd thought our bond was strong. I suppose it was this summer when I broke my wrist. With casted hand and helpless I had no where else to turn. I needed a weekly wash and dry so I could keep on looking human. But we saw too much of each other, you and I, and familiarity breeds contempt.
Financial extortion breeds it, too. Every week you charged $65.00 (plus tip) for a shampoo and blow-dry, insisting you were giving a discount. Your hairwashing lady once put a conditioner on my hair and I thought, how very nice. Until it appeared on your mammoth bill: $12.00 unauthorized.
But it wasn't just that you took advantage in my handicapped hour of need. The constant name-dropping didn't help. No matter the topic -- say, a movement to save groundhogs' teeth -- the conversation invariably returned to all the people you knew. "Well now my dentist, Dr. Muckety Buck? She's got some beautiful teeth. In fact when she and I went to London together . . ."
So the time has come for me to go and find another guy. Though it is not without trepidation that I call us quits. In quiet moments of introspection the future gives me fits. What if I should never find a better match than you? If the next hairdresser ruins me, then what shall I do? And if I should return to you, not proud with hat in hand, can I be sure you'll take me back, and be a stand-up man?