1

Baggage claim

Over the past months, yours truly has encountered many people that seemed tired. A blank stare when being spoken to. Quick to answer, even faster to object to anything anyone around them had to say. Snap decisions being made and words uttered that should have been held silent. I am starting to think the culprit to the above is holding onto baggage and trying desperately to look perfect. Now that would be exhausting.

Over time, you get to know people. You see when something has changed. Sometimes for the better, be it a new hairstyle, a new fashion sense, a spring in their step or more smiles than grimaces. Some of the time the changes you see aren’t what you hope for them. Their hair not styled, shirts untucked, their Louboutin’s have been replaced by Crocs…you get the picture. The person you once knew who had a smile for you now has a scowl or snide remark about any opinion other than theirs.

In this life, as I am well aware and those who follow my blog are well aware, things do not always go as planned. Hell, more often than not, it never goes as planned. In my 45 years in this earthly realm I have come to one absolute truth… it’s not about you. Sure, there is the chance that you were talking out of your ass and offended someone – something I am guilty of (who isn’t), but it is a safe bet that something else is going on. It’s easier to blame others, blame your boss, blame your ex, hell, blame the family dog for your life not going as planned. Guess what? Until you put some of the blame on yourself, nothing is going to change. Nothing. You gotta own your shit. You gotta. It’s your baggage sunshine, and every time you blame someone else and pass them your baggage, it just goes back to baggage claim and waits patiently for you to arrive.

Now, before you begin to throttle me with comments about there are somethings you can’t control, I totally agree. You cannot control a loved one’s illness, a hormonal teenager, a jerk for a boss, a job loss, you name it. You can however control how you deal with it and how you let it affect you and how you deal with everyone around you. Spreading anger and resentment will get you nowhere but alone and even angrier at yourself and the situation you have now found yourself in. Trying to fake your way out of your life is even a worse road. You know what I’m talking about, we do it all the time.

“Oh, I love my kids! They are perfect!” – meanwhile you aren’t speaking to your kids unless eyerolls and hand gestures constitutes conversation.

“Everything’s great! Life is wonderful” – as you are trying to figure out how you are going to pay your mortgage since your spouse just lost their job but doesn’t want anyone to know about it.

“Never better!” – although it took you 1 hour to get out of bed that morning because you didn’t know how you were going to face another day.

“Let me get this” – as you cross your fingers and every available body appendage hoping your card isn’t declined.

I could go on, but I am sure you get the picture. Here’s the deal. Your life is going to be messy. Relationships are going to get messy. Parenting…Jesus, there will be days when you completely understand why someone gets in their car one day to never be heard from again. You know what? Everyone has felt the same way or is feeling the same way – most won’t admit it, but they do. Maybe, just maybe, getting real with people will help not only you but them. I know it has helped me and countless people I know, many who have become cherished friends. When my life is going down the toilet and someone asks how things are, I tell them “my life is going down the toilet”. After the initial shock of truth wears off, I usually find out their life isn’t all moonlight and roses either. We bounce experiences of each other and somehow, someway, we feel better and solutions are found. Sometimes my honesty sends people running for the hills and that’s okay. This is my journey and that is theirs.

Here’s the deal. Own your shit. Be kind when you can, and you always can. It is not your job nor your responsibility to carry other people’s baggage. If you are carrying some baggage around with you, be sure it’s your own.

 

2

I’m gonna change your life

I am a huge fan of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in cars getting coffee. Google it then watch every episode. You will not regret it. Season two has begun and while watching the episode with Sarah Silverman, something she said has resonated in me and I gotta share it with you. “I’m going to change your life forever”. Something that is said to someone who just doesn’t realize how they look or sound. ( if you want to know more about who she was talking about it, you are going to have to watch the episode, don’t want to spoil it.)

Everyday I see or hear women hating their hair and they don’t realize that they can change that.  I also tend to see or hear the most idiotic or asinine behavior and/or comments and you know what? Most of these people don’t realize how they look or how they sound. I say most because unfortunately there are some shallow end of the gene pool swimmers out there that know exactly what they are saying and doing – but there is no changing them and that is a tale for another time.

A woman came into the shop to thank me for introducing her to Joico Kpak Revitaluxe. Her hair had never felt so great. We started a little chat about hair and our past hair woes and then she told me how she didn’t like the cut she had gotten the past three times with her stylist. I asked her if she let the stylist know, because if you don’t tell the stylist you don’t like your cut, you are going to keep getting the same cut, because she thinks you like it. “Oh, I can’t do that. It would be rude and maybe she would get offended.”. – I hear this phrase at least 10 times a week. Ladies and gents, once and for all, if you don’t like your hair style or the outcome of your hair color – tell your stylist, in a polite manner. Don’t go and throw the flat iron and a temper tantrum shrieking “I can never go out in public again!” – behave yourself and be a grown up and let them know you aren’t happy with the service and see if there is anything that can be done. Back to the tale at hand. I asked my customer “If you order a steak well done and it is rare – would you eat it and say nothing, or would you ask for it to be done the way you ordered it?”. To which she answered “I would ask for it to be done the way I ordered it”. This is when it happened. I looked her straight in the eye, smiled and said, “I am about to change your life. From now on if you are not happy with your cut, tell your stylist. It isn’t fair to her because she thinks you are happy when you are not. It isn’t fair to you because every time you look in the mirror you are unhappy. This is a win win for you – either she will listen to you and you will get the cut you want, or she won’t listen and you will know it is time to find a new stylist.”. It was quiet for a moment, I was hoping I had not overstepped my bounds (I kinda do that sometimes). She looked at me, blinked and said “You are right. I never thought of it like that before.” I gave her our Salon price list and let her know that she is more than welcome to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation. We ended up talking for over 20 minutes, about our hair and about our lives. As she left she winked at me and thanked me “for changing her life”. We both laughed and I could hear her laughter as she walked out the door.

As I sat down to finish my paperwork I found myself smiling and saying quietly to myself “Thank you Sarah Silverman for changing my life”.

1

What’s your sign?

Today marks my 1 year anniversary in the blogging world. 1 year. Wow. Last year at this time I sat at our home computer with a quivering hand hovering over the “publish” icon…so afraid that I would fail, that no one would read my silly opinions or think I was funny. What I really was afraid of was succeeding. Yep. Afraid to succeed and not for the reasons you think. I wasn’t fearful of people now expecting better of me, I was scared shitless that success would make me look back on my past 20 years and realize I should have been doing this all along and my world would come crumbling down. Then I realized that the only reason I was able to do this was because of my past 20 years. – I say 20 years because quite honestly before the age of 21, we don’t know a damn thing. One of my favorite quotes (now) is by Mark Twain – “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years.”.

Back to the tale at hand. In past blogs I have written about kindness, about taking the time to listen, to take the time to see, really see the person in front of you. We all have struggles and stresses in this life – Christ – this past year I feel like I have lived 5 years in the span of 12 months. There were days I wanted to wear a sign around my neck to let the world know what I was going through that day and then maybe I wouldn’t get a flat iron thrown at me. (It happened more than once – I have witnesses). One day the sign would have read “Father in hospital”. Another day it would have read “Husband’s heart medication is working against him”. Another day it would have read “My daughter has to deal with a sick parent way before she should have to.”.

The one thing the past year has taught me is this…DO NOT WAIT. In the blink of an eye your life can and will change – it may feel like for the worse but the best comes out soon enough. Take your kids to the park – even when you are tired and bored. Take the time for your spouse – for cuddles on the couch or romps in the boudoir. Leave the crumbs on the kitchen floor for a couple of hours and watch the movie with your kids. When your hubby comes up from behind and hugs you while you are doing the dishes, let the dishes soak and hug him back and be sure not to be the one who stops hugging first. Start your blog – tell your story.

I have also learned we all have our own signs, some are harder to see, but are always able to be read if we take the time and pay attention and show a little kindness.

0

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

It has been over a week since my last post. As you know, I am a manager of a glorious salon/shop, a mother of a girl on the verge of 16, a wife, a blogger (hey I missed a week…ease up), and a gal who is slowly but surely embarking on yet another path – retail/salon consultant….oh, and I love to bake tasty treats. Some people see that as busy or over loaded, I see it as life, my life. The past week has been overloaded. I am not getting into details because quite honestly, what’s done is done and there is nothing I can do to change it, I can just deal with the here and now. Nope…you can keep asking…not gonna get into it.

I realized this morning as I told my hairspray to “screw off” because it wasn’t spraying properly, that I had to take a step back and take a moment for me. A moment that didn’t include cooking, cleaning or looking after anyone else. I have written of this before and will continue to write about it, as women, we forget about ourselves. We put everyone else first, put ourselves last and then blame everyone else. Yeah, I said it. You know it’s true. Think about it…how many times have you looked at the kitchen floor at the end of the day and thought “I am the ONLY one who will sweep this floor!”, you don’t ask for someone else to help, you sweep the floor and then proceed to tell everyone in your household “Nothing” when they ask what is the matter. Then your poor hubby asks if you picked up the dry cleaning and you answer with a sarcastic tone, an argument ensues, you end up crying with mascara running down your face and snot hanging from your nose stammering out “I…never…get…any…help!” as your family waits for your head to spin around. Trust me, in the past (month)I have been that woman and am trying with all my might to not be her. It isn’t fair to your family. Most importantly, it isn’t fair to you. To save your family and yourself some grief and to save a call to your local Archdiocese, check out the following little list;

 

– If you want to go out for dinner – tell your hubby that you want to out for dinner. He is not Timmy and you are not Lassie “what’s that girl? You want to go out for dinner?”

– If you want to change your hair color to a certain shade of red, tell your stylist. Bring a picture of the exact color you want. Sitting in their chair hoping they remember the shade of the red M&M but a little deeper red ain’t gonna cut it.

– If you are not happy with the cut your stylist is giving you, tell them. If you sit there and smile and say you love it, they are going to keep giving you the same style. I am all for positive thinking but sitting in the chair and using “the Secret” to attract the style you want won’t work. It won’t.

– If you want to go out with your girlfriend for coffee, call her up and ask. Sitting around complaining that no one ever calls you makes you, well 13 years old.

– If you need help around the house, ask for it. Chanting “Cinderella, Cinderella…all day long it’s Cinderella” may not insure aid.

– If you want your gent to bring you flowers, tell him. NICELY. Having Diamond & Streisand playing “you don’t bring me flowers” on repeat every time he crosses the threshold is a little over the top.

No one can help you if you don’t tell them you need help. No one knows what you need unless you tell them what you need. A baby will cry at everything you give them until you give them the thing they want for Christ’s sake, so I think you can ask for someone to sweep the floor. Home and family should be one of the most beautiful things in your life, why ugly it up with shoulda’s, coulda’s and woulda’s?

 

 

 

 

 

0

Don’t ask…don’t get.

“Every time I try to find a new hair stylist the first thing I ask them is “What cut would you give me?”. Then they always say the wrong thing so I get up and leave.”. Yes, ladies and gents, this is something I have heard not one but many women say. It has to be one of the dumbest phrases uttered in my presence and believe me, I have heard some pretty stupid stuff. These are the same women who do the same thing to their husbands/boyfriends/partners and complain that they are not happy…ever. First of all, unless your stylist is Dionne Warwick or an operator at the Psychic Network, it is impossible for them to know what cut you have envisioned in your pretty little head. Second, what is this? Third grade? Talk about setting someone up to fail. That is rude and just plain mean, and stupid. Which brings me to today’s tale or lesson if you will. I have been married over 17 years and every once and a while I fall off the wagon and start blaming my lovely hubby for my malcontent and it is not his fault. The fault is mine and I am just looking for someone else other than myself to blame. (He is LOVING that I am admitting this.).

In this life, we all want to be seen. We all want to heard. We all want to look great and feel great and have people notice us. We all want to be happy. One thing we all seem to forget is that we are in charge of our own happiness, no one else is. Every day I hear women slamming their husbands/boyfriends/partners, that they aren’t helpful enough, that they aren’t “present” or “involved” enough. I have even heard a woman complain her husband locks the bathroom door, she doesn’t understand why he feels he has to lock the bathroom door when he is taking a shit. Hey lady. Question for ya…you want the door unlocked when you are waxing your upper lip?

Ladies (and gents), if you want help, you must ask for it. If you want something, you must ask for it. There isn’t a stylist on earth that can guess you want to be a redhead, you must tell them. No man on earth is going to see a woman at a washing machine and ask if she needs help sorting the whites and the colors. Nor when he sees a bottle of Comet on the counter will he stop and think “Hey…maybe I should clean the toilet.”. It ain’t gonna happen. He will not notice that you have changed your blonde highlights from light golden brown to medium golden brown…ease up.  If at any time you have frowned at flowers or a gift, you have now solidified in his mind to never do that again. No offense to my lovely gents but you are simple creatures. Admit it, you know damn well that if you brought a woman carnations and she pouted at them, in your mental safety checklist that insures you will still get laid you put a check beside “carnations bad – never buy again”. Not to let anyone down and for future reference, here is a little list for you to refer to.

– when you want your cut a certain way, bring in a picture and ask the stylist if they can help you achieve the desired look. Do not hold the picture behind your back and offer a greater tip if they can guess what hairstyle you are holding in your hand.

– when you want to change your hair color, bring in a picture, preferably not black and white. (yep…it’s happened)

– when you are looking for a hairspray, know the hold factor you want. Do not say “any hold is fine” and then complain that the firm hold is too firm and all you wanted was a soft hold to get rid of your fly aways. See?! You knew what you wanted, you forgot you weren’t speaking with your psychic friend.

– when you want help, ask for it. Do not pout, bat your eyelashes or squeeze your cleavage together hoping he will catch on that you need help folding the laundry…all he is thinking is he’s about to get something…and it ain’t towels.

– if you are unhappy, it is not anyone else’s fault. It’s not. Sure people are asses and say and do terrible things. In the end we decide how much of a grasp we will allow said actions have a hold on our daily life and our happiness.

– if you have never told someone that what they are doing upsets you, shut up and stop whining. Yeah, I said it. We teach people how to treat us. Don’t like the treatment you receive? Change your lesson.

If you want love, you must give love. If you want kindness, you must give kindness. If you want respect, you must give respect. If you want help, you must ask for it. If you want carnations…do not pout when they are given.