Sunday, July 11, 2010

A salon guidebook

I realize that to some people, trips to the salon may be boring or pointless. Why go to a salon when you can cut your own hair? they may wonder. Perhaps others worry about what a trip to the salon is like. What should I expect? you might ask. Anxiety can be especially acute when trying out a new salon. I have decided, as a public service, to put together a synopsis of what someone might expect on a trip to the salon.*

Trips to the salon are fantastic. Okay, so first you go in and they sit you in a chair and you get to wear a CAPE. They put it on backwards, but still, pretty awesome, right? And you're not weird, because EVERYONE is wearing a cape just like you, and no one makes fun of you for wearing it backwards. After that, they hand you this book with a bunch of different colors of fake hair (at least I think it's fake). You get to pick whatever colors you want from the book. I thought hot pink looked fantastic, but settled for a brighter red then normal and light blonde. The hairstylist disappears to "mix the colors" and leaves you all alone in a SWIVEL CHAIR. So great.

When the stylist returns, your dizziness changes from being due to excessive swiveling to being due to the fumes rising from the bowls of color. You may wonder why she is putting purple in your hair, but don't worry, it usually isn't the color it looks. Kinda like paint when you paint your wall and it looks a different color in the can but then isn't quite that color when it dries, except even more so with this because the purple turns your hair blonde, not just a lighter shade of purple, which is good, because I would love to have purple hair but it probably wouldn't be very professional. The stylist begins to paint your hair and wrap it in foil. It's fun to have someone play with your hair. Of course, the first part of the time your hair is in your face and it kinda gets stuck in your mouth and in your eyelashes and it gets kinda hot if you have lots of hair and you can't read your magazine because there's a giant sheet of hair in your face, but it's still nice.

If you have as much hair as me, you end up with about the equivalent of an entire roll of tin foil on your head and resemble one of those crazy people who thinks they can pick up alien frequencies with a tin foil hat. Silly people. I only pick up radio waves. So you rock out to the radio waves being directly transmitted into your brain, and ignore the strange looks you get as you stand up and start dancing. Seriously, these people are wearing their capes BACKWARDS and they're giving YOU weird looks? Sheesh. This goes on for about 30 minutes until it's time to say goodbye to your radio waves and get the foil removed.

The salon has these awesome chairs that have a sink actually attached to the top, so it's always at the perfect height. Plus, the stylist hits a button and a footrest rises from under the chair, so you're all sprawled out while someone else washes your hair. Pretty amazing. It's like something out of Star Trek. You can sit and pretend you're in some futuristic world getting your hair washed to distract you from worrying about your hair coming out with the foils. It happened once on Step By Step. It was okay on the show, though, because it became the style and then everyone wanted a bald spot. Somehow I don't think that would happen in real life, but it sure worked out well in a half hour sitcom.

The hair washing part is amazing. You lay there and they massage special potions into your hair. It lasts at least five minutes, probably longer. The mix of smells is intoxicating, and you start to think you're having your hair washed by fairies in a magical meadow. These potions make your hair smell amazing and it ends up all shiny and soft. Of course, this only lasts until you have to wash it again. It's kind of like being Cinderella, where the spell wears off at midnight, except you shouldn't shower at midnight because if you go to bed with wet hair it ends up all kinky and it might look like you have a square head if you can't get all the bumps out with a flat iron. But I digress.

You're taken back to a different chair, which also swivels, but you don't really have time to really enjoy it because the stylist doesn't really leave you alone again. You may wonder if she realizes something happened before... She takes out her scissors and proceeds to chop into the locks you have lovingly cared for for so long. It's a little sad, and it's okay to cry at this point. The stylist will probably ignore you, but if she doesn't, you can probably make up some story about flying hair landing in your eye. It's plausible.

After the cut, your stylist blows your hair dry (this may take a while if you have enough hair to cover three heads) and then puts some more potion in it. She flat irons it better than you ever could yourself, spraying something on it that makes it shiny and smooth. One final application of yet another magical substance really makes the hair shine, and it lays down smoothly. At this point, your hair will look the best it will probably look for the next six months, color bright, flyaways and curls tamed. It's enough to bring another tear to your eye, but I would advise against this, as you've probably already used the "hair in my eye" excuse and people start to look at you out of the corners of their eyes like you're crazy if you get too emotional too often. Especially in a hair salon.

You are asked to relinquish your cape, which you must do, or they probably won't let you come back. And you will be back. They will probably ask you to leave after you stare at yourself in the mirror for 30 minutes or so, so you should probably plan to have a good mirror in your car. Just be sure to hide it before you drive home. No need to cause car wrecks over fabulous hair.

My trip to the salon was a magical adventure. I hope yours is just as amazing! Good luck, and good hair.

*Of course, be aware that these trips vary according to salon and stylist used, and service requested. Please don't sue me if your trip is not as amazing as this guide makes it out to be.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My new career in haiku

I need to make a quick clarfication. My last post was originally supposed to be funny. The many "loves" of my life, because I very easily slip into infatuation. I never went through that "boys are ucky and have cooties" phase. I have been boy crazy pretty much since birth. Hence my lifelong desire to be Cinderella. I love love stories, and I'm sure I will love love if I ever experience it. I did get a little deep, and I stand by the statements I made, but I didn't mean to sound uber depressed, so I apologize if that's how I came across! I do appreciate all the comments and messages on my blog and on Facebook. You guys are great. It's good to know so many people are there for me! At least if I end up a spinster, I know I'll be a spinster will A LOT of friends ;)

Now, I can't just write a post about that. Well, I could, but it would be boring and I might start to lose the few readers I have ;) So.

Today I was driving back to work with Phyllis (we went to let the guys in with my fixed TV!) and there was a truck that drove by with something on the back that *almost* rhymed. We both thought it rhymed (even though it didn't really) and I came up with a brilliant new career move. I am going to paint work trucks. With haiku. For example, the company who fixed my TV is Messerly TV. For them:

Messerly TV
We fix your TVs, yo
So give us your dough

(Actually, I didn't have to pay for my TV repair, and they were very helpful and wonderful to work with. Never once did they demand "dough")

My friend Nik's husband is a Schwan's man. maybe they need a new logo..
Here comes the Schwan's man
With a truck full of great food
Order some now, please

There is a commercial on for Hamburger Helper. I don't know if they have a truck, but they should. And this is what it should say:
Hamburger Helper
It sometimes tastes like cardboard
But it sure is cheap

I could do commericals too, or print ads. Maybe the CW wants to advertise for Star Trek. I would if I were them.
To boldly go where?
Where all the coolest kids are
Watch Star Trek at twelve

I could even do a slogan to advertise for referrals at work!
Helping your kids cope
Hooligans and angels too
Orchard Place is fab

Maybe I should do something about the depressing ASPCA commercials.
Don't hurt your pets, please
They just want to love on you
Not cry on TV

Okay I'm done. I could do this all night. Seriously. I'm officially obsessed with haiku. And, is the plural of haiku, haiku?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tis better to have loved...

I found out recently that my first love is now married. And not to me. *Sigh* I was four when he asked me out. We were taking turns riding his tricycle, and as he rode in circles around me, he said those words. "Hey, wanna be my girlfriend?" How could I say no to such a romantic suggestion? We were together until kindergarten, where he met "the other woman," Vanessa. Of course, I had my own interests to deal with in the boy who brought me an entire bag of seashells and gave everyone else just one after his trip to the shore. Oh kindergarten...

I left it all behind me when I moved from New York to rural Iowa. In first grade, there was Rusty. We shared a birthday and had to decide who was going to bring treats when. He was such a gentleman and agreed to let me have our actual birthday. What a charmer. In third grade came Steve. He was shorter than the other boys, but just too adorable. Plus, my best friend liked his best friend, so it worked out rather well.

Another move left me without a crush until 7th grade, when they actually started getting serious. I mean, these were the days when you might actually talk to the boy you liked or sit next to him at lunch. In 7th grade, a tumultuous year (as many middle school years are), I fell in love with a boy we nicknamed "The Voice." His voice changed into that deep baritone before any of the other boys in our class. I loved to hear him talk. Of course, when he spoke to me, I forgot how to use my tongue and just stared at him, mouth gaping, looking like a fish gasping for water. Very attractive, I assure you. My love was short-lived, however, and one day in gym The Voice leaned over and made a rude comment about me to a friend. Poof! No more crush. Which is good, because weeks later we were assigned to be seated at the same table in library study hall and he yelled, "NO!!!" quite loudly. I'm pretty sure that isn't a good basis for the start of a relationship.

There have been several infatuations/loves/crushes since then, but of course I am not going to disclose them on here, as many of them are still my Facebook friends, or friends of friends, and some things are better left a secret. What isn't a secret is the fact that I am a romantic. For a team building activity, my coworker had us each cut out pictures from magazines that we thought represented each other. Mine consisted of weirdness, happiness, dancing, and romance. I have mentioned before that I want to be Cinderella. I don't think it's wrong to want the fairy tale, as long as it's grounded in reality.

I have long since had an idealized view of love. Of course, that has matured as I've grown older, and especially as I went through the education and experience to become a marriage and family therapist. I know love is hard. It takes sacrifice and compromise. And bravery, because the ones you love the most can hurt you the worst. I have awesome examples of love in my life. My parents, grandparents, and siblings show me all the time how to make things work, and that things aren't perfect in love. So in theory, I know a lot. But despite all my infatuations, despite my strong feelings of something, I don't think I have experienced that thing called love, constantly elusive to me.

I am thinking right now of my metaphor for my "love life," and I'm not going to share it on here, but if anyone is interested, let me know. I will share it in private. It involves desserts. On a conveyor belt. Which prompted me to call it my "conveyor belt of love," which coincidentally become a cheesy dating show that was on for one episode last year. Oh I am laughing a lot right now.


As more and more of my friends fall in love, get married, have kids, it makes me think about the whole idea of love and family. I love being single, but I also have a desire to be married and have a family. I mean, I would be an awesome housewife. Sometimes I clean. And I'm great company. PLUS, I can cook. I mean, just tonight I was trying to figure out what to eat, and I came across macaroni and cheese. Boring, right? No way! Using my wits and what I could find in the cupboard, I turned that boring kid's meal into a stellar pasta dish fit to serve at a fancy dinner party! (You can so serve tuna casserole at a dinner party.) See what I mean?

Sometimes I wonder how much to believe in fate. Is there just one person out there for each of us? If so, how could we fall in love so often? And why do some of us never fall in love at all? How many times have you been in love? How did you know it was love? And how do you know it will last?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A great synopsis of greatness

This past weekend I accepted an invitation to go along with my sister and her family on a mini-vacation to the Amana Colonies area in Iowa. I was super excited because I haven't been on a vacation in ages, and the plan was to stay at a hotel with a WATER PARK. I mean, seriously, could it get any cooler?


When we got to the hotel, there were a bunch of CORVETTES in the parking lot. Apparently they were part of some organization out of Illinois. I scoured the drivers for my future husband, but alas, the youngest of them appeared to be in their 50s. Bummer. Oh well.

Maddy and Allie were so excited to be at the hotel. We couldn't check in yet, so we played on the wooden playground. Allie hung out the windows and I ferried Maddy across the monkey bars. Emily and Martin played too. On the tire swing. It was awesome. Finally, we got to check in. Dinner at the hotel was so delicious I took a picture of it. The chicken was shaped like a heart. Awesome.

We played at the water park for a while. Maddy was fearless, going down the slides she was just barely big enough to ride, and jumping off the side of the pool like a pro. She just passed level one of swimming lessons. My favorite part, however, was the whirly pool. No, not the hot tub/whirlpool. It was a round pool off the main pool that carried you around in circles. Kids were trying to swim against the current, but I just put my feet up and swirled forever. It was awesome. I can now say that I have an idea of what it feels like to be a turd.


Friday we went into Coralville. We were sitting in the food court and Allie was chowing down on her pizza when she announced, "This is the best day EVER!" which Maddy followed up with, "I've always wanted to take a vacation in Iowa!" I made some snarky comment under my breath along the lines of, "You don't hear that every day," and Maddy looked at me and said, "That's only because I usually don't say it out loud." Touche, little one, touche.

In the mall there was a children's museum. I've decided that when I get rich I am going to replicate it for my children. So much fun. I wish I had someplace like that when I was little! Even Martin enjoyed playing in all the different areas. We learned about grocery shopping and making pizza, doctor's offices and the post office. The girls even put on a puppet show for us. Afterwards we watched people skating in the indoor ice rink by the food court, and wandered the mall. I found super cute little yellow ballet flats. It really was the best day ever, especially with more time in the whirly pool later on.

Now, in the hotel, I got the privilege of sharing a bed with my five year old niece, Maddy. Sharing a bed with a five year old is an interesting experience. They notoriously move a lot, and Maddy is no exception. It didn't help that I had joked about cuddling with her. While I love to cuddle when I'm awake, when it's time to sleep, I prefer not to be touched. I always joke that when I get married I will have to get bunk beds. So that first night, no sooner did I try to get to sleep, but Maddy was attached like a monkey to my back. I tried to scooch her back over and she just rolled right back, as if there was a magnet pulling her to be as close to me as humanly possible. My sister got up and tried to move her several times in the night, as did I, but it didn't work. I think she was trying to sleep on me. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep that night, and certainly not good sleep. The second night was better, since we had a talk before bed. "But I just like to cuddle with you, Auntie Rena!" she said sweetly, big brown eyes open wide. She's too too much.

Saturday was a long day of shopping in Williamsburg at the outlet mall. I got a lot of good deals, but I am so not a shopper and it totally wore me out. In fact, I slept 12 hours last night just to try to recover. Insane. While we were shopping, I heard a couple of girls talking about some shoes they found. One goes, "Wow, these are cuter than crap." I tucked that statement away and shared it with Emily and Martin later. We decided that there are actually a lot of things that are cuter than crap. We made a list. For example: grass, cows, road signs, the road, computers, meat, my cell phone, toilets, water, mail, toenails, and Allie's boogers. So I really have no idea how cute those shoes actually were.

I had a fabulous time. I've spent today, Independence Day, sitting on my couch watching movies. It's been a good day, really. I can already hear the fireworks people are setting off outside.