Mamma's got a brand new do. I went to get my haircut today and enjoyed every minute of it - from the washing to the drying and the delightful conversation and snipping in between. The last time I got my haircut was in July (yes I was long over due for a new do) when I had the good fortune of being part of a workshop at a local salon. In exchange for being a "model" I received a cut, color, style and even make-up at no charge. I also met my future hairstylist, Steve. He had a vision for my mop which took into account both what I wanted and what best suited the personality of my hair.
When I first sat down in Steve's chair today, I thought it might be a rather quiet appointment as he didn't seem nearly as gabby as other stylists I had tried out. Then he asked me a few leading questions that led to an hour and a half long exchange, such as, "What do you do?", "what are your children's special gifts?", "how did you meet your husband?". We discussed writing (his journal, my blog) and how it has transformed our lives. He encouraged me to sit down and write, put pen to paper rather than fingers to keyboard, as the elbow becomes a B.S. filter between the heart and the hand. Rather interesting advice, I thought. He also told me that wherever I am right now is right where I am supposed to be, which I thought was philosophical, but could also be classified as a non-statement. For all the advice he had to dispense, he told me that it didn't apply to what I had been doing until that moment, but only what I did from then on. He's quite the styling chair psychologist.
Then he swindled me into buying $50 worth of shampoo and conditioner. I should tell you now that I had been saving a gift certificate I received on my 30th birthday to pay for today's haircut, so I wasn't planning on spending more than a tip today. I left the salon with a receipt for $70 (Steve's cuts are $20 more than a standard hair-cut gift certificate), and styling products that cost more than the average amount I spend on shampoo and conditioner for my entire family for an entire year.
I am not a spendthrift, partly because I derive great pleasure from saving money, but also because we are a single income family and we recently took a sizable pay cut in order to have more time together as a family. While our quality of life has definitely increased, the quantity of our expenditures has greatly decreased out of necessity. So that $25.00 shampoo and $25.00 conditioner are weighing heavily on my mind and my pocketbook, though they promise to lighten the effects of damaging elements on my hair.
The very small indulgent part of my psyche says, "Keep the products. You are worth it and your hair will thank you, although $50 is half of the pair of Danskos you have been restraining from splurging on." The much louder voice belonging to the practical part of me says, "$50!!! March right back into that salon and return those products. You can use that money for groceries, or even your next haircut, which you know you will put off for at least six months until you can do nothing with your hair except hide it in a ponytail."
Many people I know wouldn't bat an eyelash at spending $50 on styling products (and yes, their hair does look much better than mine), but I not only bat an eyelash, I drop my jaw. I just don't think I can conscientiously lather up and rinse that much money down the drain. Despite the swindling, I will definitely return to Steve for my next hair cut because I do like his work. My quandary is how to go about returning the products while keeping my pride (I've already ruled out donning a wig and over sized sunglasses to disguise my return). So, what would you do?
Strapped but Stylin' in the Foothills