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The price of dignity: $15

October 5th, 2014 at 08:40 am

Yesterday, I did something I haven't done in years.

I went to the salon!

Back in January, my hair was getting extremely long and my co-worker offered to cut it for me. She seemed very confident (and had been asking to do it for months), so I agreed, but it did not take me long to realize that she bit off way more than she could chew. My hair is very thick, full, and slippery, and she was really struggling to cut through it. As tortuously long minutes ticked by and she continued to saw and hack and hem and haw, my distress level was starting to rise precipitously.

Finally, I had to put an end to it. I had started off with waist-length hair, and by the time I made her stop, my hair was down to chin-length, and could barely be tied back into a tiny, pathetic stub of a ponytail. The left side was visibly longer than the right, and the back was all sorts of different lengths. It looked, to put it bluntly, utterly ridiculous. I was completely traumatized by the experience.

But in the interest of good workplace relations, I had to smile and nod and pretend that I loved my new haircut -- as well as endure the painfully polite "compliments" from all my other friends and co-workers. There was nothing that I wanted to do more than to run to a salon and get everything fixed (in a wild moment of panic, I even considered hair extensions), but if I'd went out and got it redone immediately, the charade would have been up.

So I gritted my teeth, ironed my resolve, and spent the next nine months growing my hair back out. It has been a miserable, embarrassing, and painstakingly long wait, but the time has finally come that my hair is long enough to handle a trim without an immediately noticeable loss of length.

I found a coupon for a $9 haircut at a local salon, and went. I was extremely nervous after what I'd been through, but the stylist made me feel so comfortable, and he did exactly what I wanted, which was to even out everything while taking as little off as possible. The difference is subtle but immeasurable -- the comment from the SO was, "You actually look like you have a proper haircut now."

Lesson learned. Some tasks should best be left to the professionals. I don't think the trauma of the past nine months was worth a free haircut. I have never been so relieved to hand over money in a very long while. The guy certainly earned it. That $15 (I gave a $6 tip) was so worth my peace of mind... and my dignity. Whew.

3 Responses to “The price of dignity: $15”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Oh wow! The coworker probably can't believe you waited 9 months to get it fixed!

  2. rob62521 Says:

    I think this is the case where you get what you pay for. Glad your hair grew out and you could get it cut the way you wanted. Sometimes it doesn't work to have some one you work with or know well to do things because if it doesn't come out as planned, it can be very uncomfortable to be around them.

  3. amberfocus Says:

    @creditcardfree - She initially kept offering to "fix" my hair for me (which I kept tactfully fending off), but after a while, I think even she started to believe the polite fiction that everything was "fine". I can only assume that my stoic poker face worked when I overheard her offering to cut someone else's hair a few months back. (Thankfully, they turned her down!)

    @rob62521 - When I was younger, my parents would cut my hair, and it honestly wasn't that bad. When I've gotten it done professionally, I did notice a difference, but I'm not that finicky and I could live with the homemade haircut. *This* was truly something else, though. Either no one ever told her that she couldn't cut hair, or she was simply overwhelmed by my Rapunzel-like volume of hair, but she's certainly never coming near my head with scissors ever again. :-/

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