It’s a tricky business, that.
It’s hard to even find a good stylist to begin with. Last year, before I went to Ireland, I desperately needed a haircut but my stylist was booked for two solid weeks before I was leaving on my trip. So I made an appointment at a different salon for the day before I was headed out of the country. That was my first mistake.
When I walked in, about two hours before they closed, the girl behind the counter told me that the stylist I was on the schedule with had quit a few days before. And then she shrugged her shoulders at me and turned away. So I leaned across the counter and asked politely, “Um, excuse me? Hi. So who am I booked with today, then?” The answer was, apparently no one. So then a few stylists huddled together and in not-so-quiet whispers argued very unenthusiastically about who was going to be stuck doing my hair.
It was a very good moment for my self-esteem.
Once they had settled me into a chair the new stylist kept sighing heavily and as she draped a cape over me she said none too kindly, “It’s like, an hour until closing. Really, you’re lucky we could fit you in at all.”
I was feeling a little intimidated by the tone of everything happening but also pretty certain that none of this was in any way my fault and so I cautiously said, “Well, I suppose. Although…I mean, I did make an appointment two weeks ago for this time slot. And no one notified me that the stylist had left or that I might need to rebook.”
And that’s when she butchered my hair.
To make matters worse, each time a client left the salon the owner announced to the rest of the salon how much they had left for a tip while the other stylists, mine included, gave their two cents on whether not that person was too cheap. I kid you not. So I was sitting in this chair with a half a head full of foil highlights contemplating whether or not I should leave a very small tip because of the terrible service or a very large tip because of my personality defect of wanting to make people like me and not talk about me after I left. Mostly I was thinking to myself, “Self, how do you always manage to get yourself into these sorts of situations?”
Once you’ve found a good stylist there is a lot of time and trust vested in that relationship. But occasionally you start to wonder if maybe you should try another hair stylist. Just to see what it’s like. You have some sort of memory lapse where you forget the fact that the last time you tried to leave your stylist you ended up looking like a Christmas tree.
The problem is, it’s not like you can just dabble with another hair stylist to see if you like them without your current stylist ever knowing. You skip an appointment and then show up at the next with an in-between cut and color and they are going to know that you had a wandering eye. And if you are anything like me, the words you mean to say in explanation come out all wrong.
That’s why, when I ventured back to my beloved stylist after a brief dalliance away and she asked me about the terrible color that had been applied, I panicked.
Obviously I could have just been a normal person and explained that she was booked and I had a deadline with a trip and a terrible experience at another salon.
Only I did not say that.
No, what I said was that my little sister was in beauty school and I let her experiment on my hair.
My sister was not in beauty school.
My sister has never been to beauty school.
I do not know why I said that. I heard myself say it like I was having some sort of out of body experience and then I couldn’t very well be like, “Haha, I just made that up and I don’t even know why because I am ridiculous and my anxiety presents itself in very awkward forms.”
The bigger problem is that hair stylists, they remember things you tell them. The good ones I mean, not the ones who take the cash someone just tipped them with to “make it rain.” (Seriously, that was a weird day.)
So the next few times I was scheduled for a haircut my stylist would ask me about work and about how Scarlette was doing and about my sister. And, like Junior Asparagus in that one Veggie Tales movie about lying that I just watched with my 5 year old, my little white lie got a bit out of control.
And that is the story of how my little sister became a fictitious beauty school dropout.
So that we can share a laugh together (and to make me feel better about myself) please share a story about a time that a little white lie you told took on a life of it’s own!
“All mothers will relate to Kayla Aimee in this must-read memoir. Her writing is the perfect blend of passion, grace and humor that had me laughing and crying throughout the book.” – Jessica Turner, author of The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You
If you need some encouragement and a laugh today, I’d love for you to pick up a copy of my book Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected. Because good stories + weekend reading is the best.