8/12/09

Summertime


I guess I should start this post with an apology to Louisiana, because I'm going to complain about how hot it is here, and it's hot everywhere, Louisiana just happens to be one of the hottest places in the world. For instance, it's hot enough to fry an egg on my sidewalk at the moment. Nevertheless, Louisiana deserves praise for remaining a lady after all she’s been through, particularly the city of New Orleans.



However, Louisiana summers are just too hot for anything but alligators and water moccasins. I think we ought to leave it to the critters in the summertime, where the "Livin’ may be Easy," but the fish are jumpin' because the waters boiling hot. One of the reasons life is so slow in the South, is the fact that it’s too steamy to move. Moreover, when you mix a passionate people with a sweltering environment, tempers flare, and out come the muddy water attitudes, which you'll see in this post.

The day started out like any other in August, which meant I was dripping with sweat when I went to get my haircut last week. I felt like my face was melting sideways, much like a candle burning down to the wick...I could feel mascara streaming down my face. I’m certain I looked like a combination between Elvira and a member of the seventies rock group, Kiss.

(I tried to save money by washing my hair before I left, but it was pointless.)

It really doesn't matter though, because I think the beautician would have washed my hair anyway. Because, I’m not sure if it’s me or them, but hairdressers do not appear to be listening these days, and I know they hear me. There is a difference, I think, between hearing and listening, however, I’ve never heard of anyone who could do both at the same time.

In other words, they cannot possibly listen to me, and have a conversation with their co-workers. That would be humanly impossible, and if they can talk to two people at once, they might as well retire from cosmetology all together, because they would be the first to do so.

But, I guess the truth is they could care less, hence, as a result, I've spent most of this year searching for a decent hairdresser.

And I thought I found one- I was so excited about my appointment, I sang while sitting in traffic on the way to the salon, then pulled into the parking lot and parked. However, when I looked in the rear-view mirror, and saw my face, I was horrified. I looked like a raccoon with a wet mop on its head- My eyes had black rings around them, and my hair was as limp as a wet rag.

I wanted to make a nice first impression, so I sat in my son’s car for five or ten minutes wiping off my make-up, before I finally gave up and went inside. (Do not ask where my car is.)

Then, upon entering the salon, my new hairdresser took it upon herself, to spout the first of many insults...

She said,

"Hello, did you come for a haircut?"

(No, I thought to myself, I came to admire myself in your mirrors.)

Then she cocked her head slightly to the right, and said with a mannequin-like smile,

"Oh, my goodness, my dear you are soaking wet. Is it raining outside?"

All right, I thought, this is not going well...How can someone live in South Louisiana in August, and ask me a question like that? Particularly, when her salon has two gigantic windows in front?

I just smiled, and prayed that her hearing was better than her eyesight, then responded in a traditional lady-like way,

"No, it’s obviously not raining outside, and with all due respect, if you haven't noticed, I’m sweating. It’s about a hundred degrees out there. Have you been outside today?" (On the other hand, maybe she slept in the salon.)

Ignoring my comment, she replied, "So, I guess you will need a shampoo?"

I wanted to say no, I had just washed what little hair I have, but of course, I didn’t, instead, I said,


"Yes, I suppose I do, thank you." (What in the world, was I thanking HER for?)



After which, I obediently followed my new hairdresser to the back of her salon, where I would lay my head backwards over a sink, and stare into her mean eyes as she washed my hair.

It must have been obvious by my body language that I felt vulnerable, because she flashed her fake smile at me again, before gently pushing my head against the back of the sink.

As she smacked her gum and hummed, I watched her face from a different angle, and I know it sounds weird, but she looked like a different person- I’ve lived long enough to know that her attitude toward me had little to do with me personally, so why was I so defensive and frightened?

She was just a silly hairdresser with nothing better to do, but lay her troubles on someones shoulder, and I knew if I tried harder, we might become friends, but it was too hot.

What I mean is my face started sweating profusely from the heat in the shampoo room, in addition to the hot water she was pouring over my face. Why was she pouring water over my face? She was supposed to be washing my hair, not my face. Then, I suddenly wanted to kill her again, but I reined myself in, and thought she must have a ton of stuff going on at home.

Hence, instead, I talked to myself silently, "That’s alright Annie, you’ll get her back in the fall. Before entering her salon again, you will wash, comb, and blow dry your hair, go for a pedicure, and waltz in there wearing a white linen suit."

Whereupon, you will politely declare, "I cleaned up for you. You were so nice the last time I was here, that I wished to spare you the hassle of having too much to do at one time."

If that sounds passive aggressive, it’s because it is...Most southern woman are passive aggressive when the gloves come off, and hers were off the minute I stepped through her glass door.

I cannot stand mean people, and I really cannot stand confrontation, but she was backing me in a corner.

But, at least I learned from an early age how to sprinkle my words with enough sugar to cover a plate of beignets. (Louisiana's State donut)


However, I still wanted to avoid any kind of conflict, so before losing my cool, I reminded myself that her attitude had nothing to do with me, so I continued talking to her in my head one way, while I laced the words I spoke with sugarcane.

And it worked. Suddenly, her rock hard expressionless face changed from pensive and unforgiving to warm and regretful, and when I sat in her barber chair to get my haircut, she said,

"I’m sorry, Ms. Clemmons, I’m having a really bad day, and I believe I’ve taken it out on you."

"Really, it’s alright, I said, we all have bad days."

Although, I wondered if she was really thinking about tip time, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt anyway, because, after all life is not easy anywhere, and it’s particularly hard in a hundred degree weather.

Consequently, I suppose I was right, people are living in their own heads most of the time, thinking about their own troubles and doing the best they can with what they have.

Moreover, from that day on, I will have be happy with a bad haircut, that is until it grows out, and hope we do not have another hurricane this year.


In addition, I was happy with myself for changing my way of thinking as I walked to the car. I thought about my good fortune, for one thing I was born in Louisiana in the days of air conditioning, and deodorant.


In closing, I tipped the mean/nice hairdresser, who was not sweating like the rest of us that day...and I cannot help but wonder why...

I cannot shake the feeling a splash of water would have melted her into a water puddle. (Because mean witches melt, whether they're from the east, south, or west.)

In any event, I still believe there's nothing like Southern hospitality, you just have to avoid the hot sauce in the summertime.

15 comments:

Grace said...

Summer in New Orleans and you are wearing make-up? Yikes lady, that's taking Southern Belle-ness a bit too far.

and maybe she was having a bad day - it's really not such an easy job...

So not saying what you were thinking was a kindness...and if you got a really awful haircut a tip wasn't necessary, as long as you never go back there LOL

And now you have me singing The City of New Orleans

Daisy said...

I think summer here in south Florida might be almost as bad! ::shudders::

I'm sorry she was so mean. I do not like mean people! It takes so little effort to show kindness, and I think kindness is always remembered.

"Annie" said...

Grace, Not much make-up. Thanks for your comment.

Hugs~

Annnie

"Annie" said...

Daisy, Yes, I know. It is hot in so many places.

And you're so right about kindness. I was happy when she turned things around. I think if you continue to at least say nice things turn out fine in the end.

Thank you Daisy,

Big hug,

Annie

"Annie" said...

Grace, I didn't mean to offend anyone. Maybe I went overboard with hyperbole. I intended to make you smile...:)

I tipped her because I knew she was having a bad day.


L~

Annie

Sandee said...

I'm not southern so I wouldn't have approached it quite the same. I would have left never to return. Before she did anything. Just saying. I would have been nice about it, but I would have left.

You are a better person than I. Just saying.

Have a terrific day. Big hug and lotsa lovies. :)

Grace said...

Annie, you did make me smile! I think I actually giggled a bit...I once got the worst haircut of my natural born life, had to wear a hat for 2 weeks and still I tipped the rat-bastard. Of course that was then and this is now and I wouldn't do it - bad haircut no tip and possibly a law suit, or at the very least a temper tantrum, and possibly picketing the shop and maybe a voodoo doll and..and and...

"Annie" said...

Sandee, I'm definitely not a better person than you...It has everything to do with the way I was brought up.

We used to a little dog who barked his head off when he was in the car, but the minute you opened the car door, he quickly grew silent. I'm a lot like him.

And perhaps I shouldn't speak for all Southerners, but in my family I was taught to be polite and courteous at all times.

I think it's ridiculous, and I was trying to approach that social tradition and attitude in a humorous way. It's hard to explain.

In addition, I hope I didn't go overboard on the use of hyperbole. I was exaggerating my emotions to show the way I felt deep inside, as opposed to what was coming out of my mouth. Does that make sense?

In any event, the hairdresser and I are fine, and you're right most people would have walked out, but not this wimp. :))

Big hug and lotsa lovies back~

Annie

"Annie" said...

Grace, Thank you so much for coming back and leaving another comment. It's a challenge to communicate what we mean using only words.

Obviously. I'm afraid that maybe I didn't do a very good job of bringing that across on this post. I hated for you to think I was mean or really meant the words I was saying in my head.

I was trying to show my emotional state of mind, so maybe the words and phrases I used were too harsh.

It's hard to explain. But, you know what I mean, don't you?


I'm happy you came back and I'm glad that made a giggle a bit.

You're one of my favorite people...and I would never want you to misinterpret my character.

My words are not poisonous, and I would never have the courage to waltz in the salon in the way I described.

Again, thanks for coming back~

Big hug, and love,

Annie

P.S. I hope this makes any sense.

Mushy said...

Your words are so very true and well matched...thanks for the lovely read.

The photo reminds me of two places; one in Charleston, the other in Mississippi. The first I have the photo in my files and other is only words in my head from a time a long, long, ago.

"Annie" said...

Mushy, You're a God send. Thank you. You're right, I can see Mississippi, but I've never been to Charleston. I would love to go though...and I would love to see your photo, as well as hear the words in your head.

It's such fun to write about the South...thanks for letting me escape into the open. ;)

You're the greatest~

Annie

A Lil Enchanted said...

Hi Annie... your story made me think of the time I went to a new hairdresser (many years ago) and he informed me that my hair 'would take a miracle' to make beautiful. Uggh... I should not have let him touch my hair...lol

I'm afraid that with the condition my hair is in right now... it *would* take a miracle. I haven't been to a hairdresser in years...

Thanks for sharing your story :)

A Lil Enchanted,
~LaShan~

ettarose said...

Annie, I like the way you told her how you felt, if only in your head. That was good. Reminded me of that old joke about the two southern girls telling each other what they were given and after the one told about all the things her daddy bought her, the friend just kept saying That's nice, that's nice. When asked what her daddy had taught her she answered " he taught me to say that's nice instead of f#$#k you." Yes southern girls have all the class!

Shinade aka Jackie said...

Ann I have been in Louisiana many many times in the dead heat of summer and you are so right!!

It has got to be one of the hottest places anywhere. The humidity is really something.

I love this story. but, sorry you had a bad time with your hair dresser.

It took me years to finally find one I truly like and I have been going now for almost 2 years.

She's the old fashioned type that remembers your kids names and ask questions about your family and such.

She also always very very booked. So I call a month or so in advance.

I do apologize for being away so long. I took off for a couple of months and just enjoyed being at home and not blogging.

It is taking me forever to catch up with everyone. So today I saw your blog name peeking out at me and I said I am going today for a visit.

I do so hope you have a good week and stay indoors with the AC!

Jackie:-)

Shinade aka Jackie said...

Now there seems to be a song by Elton john that just keeps buzzing in my head.

Great pick I love the song! I am falling asleep at the PC Annie.

I am going to crash out on the couch with the pets.

I'll be back later for today's question!

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