Before- blahhhhhhhhhhhLast Friday afternoon I went to get my first hair cut in about a year. That's right, a year. I have been feeling rather frumpy lately. My hair had gotten CRAZY long and I spent almost everyday with my hair pulled back. I was starting to feel like one of those people who gets turned into a talk show for their lazy looks and lack of fashion. It was quite possible that Tyra or Maury was gonna show up at my door for an embarrassing confrontation about letting myself go and loving myself more. Ugh.
I am very particular about where I get my hair cut. I know that's probably silly to some of you who go to Hair Cuttery or dare to cut your own hair, but I like for my trips to the salon to be an EXPERIENCE. I want to leave feeling like a new woman. I want someone to offer me coffee or water. I want a wonderful relaxing head massage while I get my hair washed. I want to chat with my hair dresser about life and just relax. I want to come out looking forty pounds lighter. These things aren't too much to ask are they?
So, I made my appointment at my salon. I don't have a regular hair dresser because I don't go enough to have one. I just asked for the first available appointment. The only person available was, of course, a senior stylist...a.k.a. the more expensive stylist. It was going to cost me fifty bucks to get this frumpy haired girl back into shape. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I justified the fifty dollars because I don't go except for once a year, evidently.
The appointment was for 5:00 in the afternoon. I was going to take Ruby with me. Ben was leaving work early to get his hair cut too.He was going to some sports clips place. They get him in and out pretty fast. He really doesn't care for the fluff that I crave, but he enjoys going to the places with sports on little t.v.'s in front of him. He would be there by 5:00 or shortly there after, to take her and give me my much desired salon experience. They usually make you wait for a while anyway, so I wasn't concerned about her being with me for a few minutes.
WRONG! The moment I walked in the beautiful salon doors with Ruby, my stylist was at the front desk waiting for me. I could see the panic in her eyes as I struggled with Ruby chasing after her to keep her from touching everything in site. "My husband will be here in just a moment to get her," I assured the beautiful stylist. "Ohh it's fine! ( Translation- What are you doing lady? This is no place for a kid!) What are we doing today?" she said running her hands through my blah hair. Out of breath, still chasing Ruby, and feeling a bit like an idiot, the honesty came pouring out of me, " I have no idea. I just know I need something. It is ridiculously long. I feel frumpy and ugly. I just need to feel better. I don't care what you do. I just don't have a ton of time to mess with it. RUBY! Stay with mommy!" The stylist assured me she could help ( THANK THE LORD!) and we headed back to the sinks for my favorite part. The Shampoo!!!
It should have been nice and relaxing. It was supposed to help me relax and feel better. But instead... It was, "No, you can't get down. Why don't we sing a song? Can you sing your ABC's? No, since when are you shy? ha ha ha, ummm What is that lady doing to mommy? That's right! She's washing mommy's hair! No, you can't get down. Daddy will be here in a minute. Ruby, if you are a good girl, I bet they will give you one of those nice balloons." Ugh. WHERE WAS BEN? The stylist found some suckers. We gave her one as we moved to the cutting chair. I could feel my dream haircut experience slipping away.
I spent the next 30 minutes, trying to keep Ruby still with every bribe I could think of. The child had so many suckers that when she put her hands on her face, they actually got stuck. She thought that was funny, so for the next 5 minutes, she would put her hands on her cheeks and peel them off. The hair dresser was GREAT. She asked one of the other ladies to take Ruby for a minute so she could cut the front of my hair. But before she could blow dry it, I had to ask her to stop so I could give Ruby a potty break. The last thing I needed was a pee spot on the floor.
I came back after the potty break and the stylist started blow drying my hair. She did her best to keep my rambunctious darling happy by blowing air on her face every now and then. Ruby was just about to send me into orbit, when ( insert Hallelujah Chorus here) BEN CAME!!!!! I gladly handed her off to him, sat back in the chair and took the biggest breath. I apologized again and again to my stylist. She was wonderful," Please, I understand! I was a single mom for many years." Huh? This girl can't be much older than me. How many kids could she have? " I have 3 kids and I had to do it all by myself. I had to make things work. So, don't feel bad. This was fine. I can deal with anything." THREE KIDS? Really! " How old are your kids?" I asked her. "15, 13 and 10." WHAT??? I asked the next obvious question but added a compliment first so it wouldn't offend her, "Wow! You don't look old enough to have kids that age. How old are you?" "I'm 31! I had my daughter when I was 15 and my second 2 years later. I was young a stupid."
She explained that she had been on her own since she was about 14. She had a serious boyfriend and decided she needed to have a baby. She had planned her teenage pregnancy, not once, but twice! She had to figure out how to finish school and get her styling license. She said she believed in herself and never listened to the people who told her she would never amount to anything. She realized it was a poor decision now, but she wasn't going let anyone tell her that she couldn't be successful just because she chose to have children so young.
AfterShe finished up my hair cut and turned me around. I looked amazing! I felt so much better and I looked like me again. My spirits were lifted. Even though I didn't get the full pampered experience, I did feel like a new woman. I realized just from getting my hair cut just how depressed I had been feeling lately. I really didn't even realize that I was feeling down, until I felt a little better. Part of me feeling down has to do with being inside all of the time because it is soooo cold and snowy here this winter. I get a little of that every year. I am realizing though that there is more to my wintry blues. I am not sure quite what it is. I am still feeling a bit lost.
I would love to have some of that confidence that my hairdresser had.The confidence not to care what anyone thinks about me and to find value in myself by myself. I think I've lost a bit of that since leaving "the work place". Believe me, I know that what I do everyday is REAL work and I shouldn't feel less because I am home with kids. Anyone who doesn't believe me can certainly try a day in my shoes. However, there is this feeling I get when someone asks, "What are you doing for a living these days?" I wouldn't say I feel shame, because I am happy with my decision to stay home and keep kids. I don't know what word would describe it best. Maybe you can tell me. I have just noticed that once I say, " I keep kids out of my home." or "I'm home with Ruby and I watch other children so I can stay home." the conversation stops.
When people asked me about my job when I was a music teacher, there was always a bunch of follow up questions. Like:
What age do you teach?
What instrument do you play?
Voice, so does that mean you teach chorus?
How is it working in schools?
Do you have trouble with parents?
Do you give grades?
I could go on and on. But now, most of the time I could hear crickets chirp. At most I here:
How many kids?
AAAAND that's pretty much it. I guess wiping poop and snot isn't exactly a great conversation keeper. I shouldn't take it personally. If you don't have kids, you won't get it. If you have kids, you're already dealing with it, so you don't want to hear me talk about it.
It is amazing that a haircut has made me realize that I have been feeling down. My stylist even commented on how tired and weighed down I looked when I came to see her. She told me I looked younger too. I did look younger. I noticed that before she even said anything.
After- ahhh so much better
So, which came first? Did feeling down lead to me neglecting myself and becoming frumpy? Or did becoming frumpy lead to neglecting myself more and feeling down? Maybe it's both. Maybe it's a cycle. All I for sure is, I felt like a million bucks when she was done. I am positive I was in a better mood the next day, which means I was probably a better mom and child care provider.The moral of the story is... I need to take better care of myself,I need to believe in myself AND... I should never take Ruby to the salon with me again!
AND one more After just for fun! That's right!ohhh yeah!
Happy Friday Follow everyone!