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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Economics and Guilt

As Emily and I chased Erin around the grocery store during a quick stop to buy milk I was addressed by someone I had never expected to see again. I'm certain I'll never see her again now.


I turned to face this inquisitrix, a brunette with long curly hair, and although I could not immediately place her I offered a pleased "Hi!" in return.

Dammit. Who are you?

I experienced some really deep feelings of guilt when I met her gaze.

But why? Who is this person?

"Is this the little one?" she asked, indicating Erin.

Emily was walking along with me and Erin was dashing away toward the blue hyper-entertainment-center-shopping-carts parked at the edge of the store. "Blue! Cart!"

"Yeah," I replied. But knowing the rest of the conversation was going to require introductions, and having a terrible history involving the introduction of women to each other, I sought an escape, or at least a delay so I could remember who this person was and why I should feel so guilty about seeing her.

Nodding toward my daughter as she took off in a "I'm sorry, I can't stay to chat" kind of way, I followed Erin to the blue carts and caught my reflection in a mirror.

Ok, dude. Dude. You're blushing. What the hell is wrong with you? Why is it bothering you so much that you ran into this person? Although it's good that you ran into her today, clean-shaven and with your hair actually brushed and in place and nicely cut instead of on one of your scruffy days.

Nicely cut...

And then it crashed down upon me, who this woman was and why I had hoped to never see her out in public. She was my hair stylist from The Man Spa, and I had canceled on her to go to my old barber. I had cheated on her, and all for the sake of saving some money in the new economy; not caring that she would miss me; not caring that she also could use some extra cash during hard times.

That's the problem with the natural instinct to save during recession; it's completely reinforcing of the recession. Confidence is low because the chances of the money continuing to flow to consumers look reduced; but since confidence is low consumers save rather than spend, which guarantees that money will not flow to other consumers, who then are uncertain about the economy and do their own best to save, spiting everyone's faces and flinging severed noses everywhere.

Thankfully, by the time I had returned to the spot whence Erin and I had made our exeunt she was gone, and I confessed to Emily who the strange woman had been.

"Ah," she said, "she might as well have caught you with your tongue down some other woman's throat."

I'm sorry, Stylist. My barber may be blind, but he's cheap and doesn't force me to reflect on myself too much. He doesn't make me ask hard questions about the image I want to portray to the world. When I sit in his chair he just says one thing:

"So, looks like you need a 'medium'."

And that's the kind of relationship I need right now, in these uncertain times.


Anonymous said...

Funny you should post this today as I've been thinking about going to someone else. I've been seeing the same guy for probably 8 years and I have to commute 30 min to pay a lot of money.

Still not sure what to do about staying or leaving ... but glad to know I'm not the only who's cheating (or considering cheating) on their hair person.

PAPATV said...

Just went to the Marinello hair school myself.

THe one advantage beside the cheap 9.95 cost is that a good cut takes 2 hours.

Great value for the money.

(Not to mention you get 2 sylists for the price of one.)

Young Momma said...

I don't blame you, but I think it's kind of hilarious. :) You're right about the economy though. That's exactly how it works, and it sucks for everyone involved.

kittenpie said...

I can't imagin cheating on my hairdresser! And it's been confirmed for me because mine is on mat leave right now and her friend who is taking care of me in the meantime just gave me a haircut that looks like crap with my lack of styling skillz. sigh. At least mine knew that kind of thing.

Mike said...

Dang this has me thinking, alot.

1. I wish I had his hair(scruffy or 'medium')
2. I wonder if that backpack I got with all my Marlboro Miles would hold 'J' our 20 month old?
3. For those of you that are wondering whether to change stylists A. Are they any good? B. Would they notice you gone?
4. Economics do suck right now, all the more reason to appreciate the customers you have and to go out of your way to keep them coming back.
5.You're still reading, Shawn has much better stuff in his archives to read than anything else I am saying here.

@azmike from twitter, aka Mike Feddersen

Whit said...

Haircuts are overrated.

Gotta keep spending. I walked by 4 stores closed in our mall tonight, but the Build-a-Bear was going strong.

Amy Urquhart said...

It's a hard thing, isn't it? I try to focus the few extra dollars that we spend on non-necessities on small, local businesses who I think could probably use the business the most.

I bet that barber shop hair cut costs about $10. Guys have it so easy!

Anonymous said...

Cheating on your hairdresser... Ha! LOL! That's really a good one. Keep it up and never feel a shamed of anything! That's what parenting is all about. Knowing what is important and what is not.

for a different kind of girl said...

Dude, last week, I went to get my hair cut ($48 including tip....not cool), and sat there silently while my longtime stylist ran her fingers through my hair and remarked on how well my color had turned out "for an at-home job."

We all do what we have to do, and I'm not above buying my hair color at Target. With a coupon.

anymommy said...

I switch stylists all the time. I'm fickle. It's okay, you can let the guilt go.

Unknown said...

Cut my hair? Who am I, Rockefeller?

flutter said...

oh the nerve of you! ;p

JenPB said...

Very nice post. I love the flow of it. As for economics, I'm with you - recession begets recession. We contributed to the economy by driving 9,611 miles over the course of 10 weeks (17 states) when gas was 4-friggin'-50 a gallon! Now THAT'S consumer confidence!

Ali said...

i feel your pain. my hairdresser works inside the mall i spend WAYTOOMUCHTIMEAT...and every time i pass the salon with my split ends and horrific roots, i look in the other direction because i feel so guilty that i haven't been to see her.

why do we let our hair people make us feel this way, dammit?!?!?

Loralee Choate said...

I was empathizing so hard with not remembering who you were talking to and then I was absolutely CRINGING when you realized it was your spurned stylist.

The guilt, OH THE GUILT of it all.

I feel for you, bud.

Anonymous said...

I think there's a strange connection between a man and his barber/hairdresser. Have you ever tried a new barber and then gone back to your old one? You feel kind of compelled to explain how your hair got shorn in between visits.

Instead, you sit in an uncomfortable silence. At least that's what I do!

AmyAnne said...

My husband wouldn't switch hair stylists forever. After we moved I remembered one day and asked why. She wasn't THAT good or that cheap.

Her boobs were so big that he could feel them whenever she reached over to get this or that hair.

Well, now I understand. I wouldn't have left her either.

Anonymous said...

that's funny, funny that....I had my long hair chopped by stylist M, she messed it up stylist L fixes it for me some month or so later.......need a trim, M is getting same style cut from L, I couldn't tell M that I wanted L to do it, I mean, that's so not a good idea,

guess what? M did me wrong again, M is off tomorrow and L is gonna try to straighten her mess up yet again...argh

at least men don't have that 3 all get buzz cuts every time...easey peasey

Mama Smurf said...

That's hilarious.

My best friend cuts my entire family's hair and I had to cheat on her yesterday. My boys both desperately needed a cut and yesterday was the only day I could do it until next week. They could not wait another week. So I took them to a quick walk in walk out joint and now I'm paying the price cuz they did a really bad job on their hair.

I'm avoiding all calls from my friend until their hair grows back.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

I have solved this economical problem by just not cutting my hair anymore.

yeah, I am looking GOOD.

Backpacking Dad said...

Kristy-Where's My Damn Answer: Flowbie.

PAPATV: hair school! I forgot about hair schools.

Young Momma: I'm just going to buy gift certificates for everyone, so they have to spend instead of save.

kittenpie: well, the cut itself wasn't reason enough to keep going. Not when my hair has looked the same since I was 20.

Mike: I'll just assume that by "I wish I had his hair" you aren't thinking about shaving my head.

Whit: that's because it's not a store; it's an abattoir, and even in crisis people like the slaughter.

Assertagirl: It would have 10 years ago, or if I lived anywhere else. But even the barber around here is $20.

Parents Community/Vered?: Damn straight.

FADKOG: Did she say it at all menacingly? Like "this is going to look great covered in blood from all the stabbing"?

anymommy: sweet :}

OM: that was the best comment :}

flutter: I know. I really hope I don't run into her again unless my hair is completely ragged.

JenPB: that's a lot of driving. And a lot of confidence.

Ali: because they do something that's pretty damned intimate to us.

Loralee: I think I need to get better with names.

Gerard: if my barber doesn't ask, I'm not going to volunteer it.

AmyAnne: My barber's moobs were almost that big.

Jerri Ann: Next time I'm just shaving it off.

Mama Smurf: now that's dedication :}

Petra aka the wise (young) mommy: I might do that yet. I once went about a year without a cut.