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I’m looking for that girl in the red coat.

I know that there is a full moon upon us, and it is the second one of the month. It is referred to as a blue moon, which is where “once in a blue moon” comes from. Well, that phrase doesn’t seem to ring true in my life lately for the events of the last few weeks happened more than once.

In the past few weeks any accomplishment has seemed to be belittled or poo-poo’d (don’t like poo-poo’d- call Websters and lets move on), on more than one occasion my thyroid scar has been pointed out and at, I have been questioned (with rolling eyes) about why I do a blog, oh…and my favorite, that my plans are just dreams and a “cute” way to spend my free time. I must admit, I started to let it get to me. I started to believe the hype.

It was at this moment a woman came into the shop and came right up to me and said “I am looking for that girl in the red coat.”. I shit you not.(pardon my french…sorry Dad). You see, thanks to Twitter, I had been tweeting daily affirmations to some of my rockin’ ladies who own businesses in town and she was always part of the tweets so I began to include her in my daily tweets. I shouted “That’s me!!”. I did, I kind of get excited and at 40 years old I shouted. We both laughed as we shook hands. She asked me about the shop, she listened to what I had to say. My ideas were not belittled, I was not told how “cute” my plans were and not a mention of my scar. That night when I got home, as I entered my bedroom, my copy of GUTS by Kristen Johnston fell of my shelf. Again…I shit you not. Again, although in different circumstances, another person reminded me that different is great.

What I am trying to get at without using a bouncing ball over my words is this…Be kind. I know, I have blogged about this before and all you want to know is what conditioning treatment is the best. (Kpak Revitaluxe…but I digress). Trust me, I will continue to blog about product knowledge, customer service and all things Salon. I will also continue to blog about kindness and courtesy. I will continue to blog about lifting each other up, not pummeling each other and our dreams into the ground. I have said it before and will continue to say it, I believe a little fairy dust goes a long way. Sometimes a little kindness helps remind someone of the beauty that is still in this life. Being excited for another person’s accomplishments, no matter how small they seem to you, can make the difference between their success or failure.

…and quite honestly, no amount of hair color, mousse or hairspray can make cruelty beautiful.

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You wanna keep that finger?

I hear the familiar chirp of the door chime. A woman enters the shop and comes up to the counter. I greet her “Hi there, what can I help you with?”. With pointed finger she quipped “What happened to you? How’d you get that?” is what this lovely woman thought was the proper response to my inquiry. You see, I have a scar on my neck, courtesy of two thyroid surgeries. I tend to forget I have it but then I can always rely on someone emerging from the shallow end of the gene pool to remind me.

For an instant, I must admit I was angry and insulted, especially when asked “why don’t I cover it up”, but then remembered you can’t fix stupid. You see, I really do forget I have my scar. The surgeries were over 8 years ago. I was fortunate enough not to have cancer. My scars do not define who I am. I tend to forget that there are people out there that are miserable and petty and only feel good when making others feel bad and as I type these words I hear my father’s voice “not everyone is like you kiddo”.

I have had friends buy me a necklace just to tell me they bought it thinking it would cover my scar nicely. I have had people tell me about all the creams on the market that will help get rid of my scar. Once and for all, to be clear, I don’t mind it and I really do forget I have it, how I wish you would too.

My scar does not define me just as someone’s hair color, tattoo’s or piercing’s defines them. Seriously, ladies and gents, I know you all went to grade school and at some point someone, somewhere told you it wasn’t nice to point.

 

 

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Have a complimentary chocolate

Lately I have been enjoying reading my twitter feed with my mornin’ cup ‘o joe and haven’t been watching the news on T.V.. I guess I should have been watching. I must have missed Matt Lauer and George Stephanopoulos informing the public at large to yell and be angry. Did I miss the mass email? Was there a memo sent that my carrier lost? Did I miss the post on my timeline? ( I still get lost on that damn thing).

On more than one occasion I have been on the receiving end of this anger and it is at these moments I wish I could coat Prozac with chocolate and wrap it in pretty foil and offer it as a complimentary treat.

I had a customer in need of travel size hairspray and I had the exact brand she used (which is rare – that is another tale for another time) and as I was giving her her change I said “I hope you have a great weekend, the weather is supposed to be great!” to which she snapped “Hmmpt…easy for you to say, you the weatherman?”. (usually it is at this moment my mind is catapulted to the scene in As Good as it Gets when Carol tells Melvin that she wishes she had his problem…someone offering him a convertible and a weekend away…but I digress).

I had a woman get mad at me because I smiled too much. Seriously, she comes in often and on her last visit she asked me why I smile so much and was told that some people may find that annoying.

This past week I have been smirked at, ignored and given the “blank stare”. I receive these lovely gifts after I am asked a question about a product and I…hold on to your hat… answer the question. (You see…I give them an  answer that they don’t want – the truth). As the customer is snapping her gum, twirling her hair and shaking her leg  she asks “I want to be like blonde again, I don’t like the  like black box color anymore. Can I like do it myself at home?”. Trying my best to listen to her question instead of counting how many times she says “like”, I answer her with the exact opposite of what she wants to hear. I let her know that it isn’t the best idea to do it at home and I tell her of the possible outcomes if she tries to do it at home…hair breaking off, turning green or pumpkin orange, even pink or red depending on what is on her hair and par for the course I receive a scowl AND a blank stare…two for the price of one.(footnote…she was in her 40’s)

I had a woman demand an answer for why our debit machine was so slow. I told her it was dial up and sorry it took so long. She told me I should call my service provider and tell them she wasn’t very happy. (She didn’t seem too impressed when I didn’t jump and grab the phone.).

I saw a woman threaten to rip the “sticker family” off another woman’s minivan.

Life is short and time is precious. Choose your battles wisely. Let people smile, enjoy the extra seconds given to you by a slow modem connection, leave the sticker families alone. If you are looking for me, I will be the one smiling, sippin’ her cup ‘o joe and reading her twitter feed.

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What would Leah do?

I am sure by now that sometime in your life you have heard the phrase “What would Jesus do?”. Well, I understand and respect that is how some people live their lives and base their decisions. I try to live my life by “What would Leah do?”. You see, Leah was my grandmother’s name and she was the kindest person I have ever known and the most beautiful woman I have ever known…inside and out. Her hair was always set and she always applied her “liquid beauty” (foundation) everyday, and always left a pink or red kiss mark on my cheek. She had fur coats in her closet and always wore an apron in the kitchen. She and my grandpa would have their 5:00 o’clock Manhattan every night before dinner (if you were lucky – you got the maraschino cherry) and she always dressed for going out. In my eyes, she was glamorous.

Every week she would go to the Salon for her set and if I was lucky I got to go too. Going out with her was like being a part of a celebrity’s entourage (of course riding in her Cadillac didn’t hurt). Everywhere we went, be it the grocery store or the post office, everyone knew who she was. She always remembered their name and made them feel like they were the only person in the world and that everything they said was important. I can remember watching their conversation, and watching the other person’s eyes start to sparkle when they realized my grandmother remembered them and remembered their stories and I can remember thinking to myself “I want to do that”.

She always remembered birthdays, for family and friend alike. When you and life were having a battle and life was winning, a homemade lemon loaf or a kind note of support would appear at your door. When a grandchild needed a tissue one always appeared – sometimes from her sleeve if it was the fall or her cleavage if it was the summer. (no sweater to tuck away a tissue). When I bought my first home she arrived with 3 gifts for me – a milkglass vase, wood hangers (so clothes would hang properly) and a full length mirror. I was told to never leave the house without checking the latter.

Be kind. Smile as you pass others on the street. When you ask someone how they are – mean it and listen to their response. Before you leave the house, check the full length mirror and ask “What would Leah do?”

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Surrounded with beauty

Surround yourself with beautiful things. We have all heard it, read about it in magazines…bring fresh flowers into the room, paint the walls your favorite color, buy a great smelling shampoo, treat yourself to a great conditioning treatment, burn a scented candle, plant a tree. Yes, these are wonderful ideas. I have another idea for you. How about surrounding yourself with beautiful people. I’m not talking about Cindy Crawford and Brad Pitt (although he would be fun to look at while he served me lemonade). I’m talking about people that have more to offer to a conversation than “Can you believe Snooki went to the bar while pregnant?!” (no offense intended Snook).

This evening, thanks to a dear friend, I was invited to help celebrate a new found friend’s birthday. As I sat there, the laughter warming me more than the sun, I realized I was surrounded by beauty. Every woman at that table had a story to tell, every woman at that table was excited for one another’s achievements. Not a sour face was made nor a hurtful word uttered. Some of us were meeting face to face for the first time yet it felt we had known each other for ages. We were there to celebrate our friend, and in turn celebrated each other.

Life is short. Pardon my french…shit happens. Life gets in the way more often than not. It is time to surround yourself not just with beautiful things, but with beautiful people. People that see you – not just look at you. People that listen to you – not just hear you. We must reach out to one another and raise each other up. We must embrace these moments of beauty when we can and not let go.

 

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Top 10 ways not to look like an ass at the Salon

As I was standing in the check out line resisting the urge to  buy the M&M’s that were 3 for $5.00, all the beauty magazines caught my eye. “101 ways to achieve the perfect pout”, “Top ten helpful hints to get rid of crows feet”, “How to make him melt with just a look” were some of the captions I read, which got me to thinking, no wonder everyday I have women come into my shop thinking they know more than I do about products. Forget that I have been in the biz over 13 years and have been to every Product Knowledge class known to man, the gossip bible they refer to on a weekly basis told them that using coconut oil with their flat iron will make their hair shine! Yes, it will, and it will still be shiny as it breaks off and falls to the ground.

Now ladies and gents, no offense implied, but come on…you are taking advice from the same magazine that said that Elvis is alive and well and working at the 7-11. In honour of the “lists” out there, I have compiled a list of my own, call it a “how to not look like an ass at the Salon” list. Feel free to share it with your friends. (Some of these I know you have already heard from me. I am a firm believer that if you hear or read something enough you remember it).

1 – When you enter a store and the salesperson says “Hello”, say “Hello!” back, do not answer their greeting with “just looking” or “What did you say?” or a wave of your arm or the all time favorite, absolute silence.

2 – When you are asking for help, tell the salesperson what it is you are looking for, today. We do not need to know the life story of your issues with hairspray dating back to the horrific sock hop of ’57.

3 – Once you have asked a question, please let us answer you. Don’t speak over us or try to guess at what we are about to say. This isn’t a game show and there isn’t a free prize waiting behind door #1 for you if you guess what I am about to say.

4 – Be polite for gosh sake’s. Please and Thank you go a long way. Hell, I would even take a “peace out” when I tell my customers to take care as they leave the shop.

5 – Before you are about to lose it because the nail polish you so desperately need is discontinued, look at the birth date on your identification – if the date is earlier than 2007, you are over 5 years old and no longer allowed to throw a temper tantrum in public, you can save that crazy for your family, thank you.

6 – If you have small children that you cannot or will not control, bring along another adult or leave the children at home. Call me old fashioned, but there is a time and place for children and that time and place is not my shop if you are not going to make sure they behave or allow me to make sure they behave. They may be cute now but one day they will be an adult and an adult opening up all the containers and dropping product on the ground isn’t cute.

7 – When you are getting your hair done, let your stylist know if you didn’t like what he/she did with your hair on your last visit. If you don’t tell them they will do it again. If they don’t know you don’t like it, it isn’t very fair of you to get mad now is it? (refer to tip #5).

8 – Can’t make your appointment? Please call and cancel or call and re-schedule. First and foremost, at least at our Salon, if someone doesn’t come in for their appointment, we worry if they are alright. I know…can you believe it? It’s true. We actually care about our clients and their well being. Another reason to call is more often than not there are other clients waiting for an appointment. You would want first dibs on a appointment wouldn’t you? Well then…

9 – When we ask you questions, like if you are on any medication or if there has been any major health issues, we are not asking so we can tweet it on twitter or post it on facebook. We are asking because medications and stresses can alter the hair and how it takes color and other chemical services.

10 – I cannot stress this enough, do not throw the flat iron. Don’t do it. Don’t. Do not.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are beautiful and wonderful and kind customers out there, most of the customers I see everyday are funny and kind and I look forward to seeing them every visit. I know that most of the time customers are rude or stand offish because they haven’t been getting any customer service of any kind and their questions have remained unanswered. This list is more catered to those among us that are mad at the run in our pantyhose, mad at our husband’s because they forgot our anniversary, mad because Oprah isn’t on everyday and you no longer have “AHA” moments. Well my lovelies, read the above list and consider it your “AHA” moment for today.

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Getting the stupid cut out

I found myself thinking about the moment I knew I wanted to do a blog. I was at home recovering from my hysterectomy (or as I like to refer to it as “getting the stupid cut out”) and my hubby had rented Julie and Julia for me. I love this movie. When Julie said (forgive my paraphrasing) “I could do a blog. I can write.” I thought, “Hey! So can I.”. Then the ever present fear reared it’s ugly head. What will people say? What will people think? Will anyone read it? People will laugh and think it’s stupid. (Hey, I said I got the stupid cut out…it took a few years for the remnants of it to leave my brain.). Fast forward 2.5 years later, with trembling fingers, I typed out WordPress into the Google search engine and with butterflies in my stomach I began my adventure in blogging.

You see, I, like many of us, was letting fear decide my fate. Fear is ugly and this blog is about beauty, not just about the newest and most awesome conditioning treatment on the market (Joico Kpak Revitaluxe…had to say it) but about everything that makes us beautiful, our inner and outer beauty, our idiosyncrasies.

This week, I don’t know if it is because the universe has blessed us with two full moons in August, I have heard so many women saying I can’t, or what if, or I hate and fill in the blank. I think I have given out more hugs and words of encouragement this week than hair products. No judgement here ladies, I have been that girl, and she is a sad and lonely girl. I am here to tell you that you can do whatever you want. You can. Be it blogging or running a marathon or going back to school. You can do it. You must be patient – that is the toughest part – trust me – when I want something, I want it now…had to learn patience and trust me, I would have rather been back in grade 8 woodworking class with the teacher that was missing two fingers and teaching me to use a jigsaw than learn patience. Once you embrace patience and let go of the fear…wow…the life of your daydreams slowly becomes your reality.

Like I have said before, people are gonna talk no matter what you do, so why not really give ’em something to talk about. It’s time to be who you are meant to be, it is time to stop trying to be like someone else – that job is already taken. It is time to let go of the fear of what could be and time to anticipate what can be. (and if you use Kpak Revitaluxe your hair will look and feel fabulous).