2

It’s not personal…it’s parenting

 

 

When I found out I was pregnant, I read What to expect when you’re expecting. Once my darling girl was born I sent out my hubby to get me What to expect The First Year. The day after her first birthday I hopped in the car with my girl in tow to Chapters for my coveted edition of What to expect The Toddler Years. Over the years I searched out answers to everything from when to introduce solid foods to how to get my child to poop….they never tell you that your child will hold onto that poop like it’s the hope diamond when it comes to getting on a toilet.

There are an endless number of books, articles and websites catering to parenting and child rearing, yet not one ever delves into the abyss of the one commonality we as parents all have and never talk about…taking it personally. Oh sure, you may be fortunate to find an article that tells you “every parent feels responsible for their child’s happiness or lack there of” or “every parent feels they should have done better”. Feeling responsible or feeling we could have done better is a hell of a lot different than taking it personally.

For those of you with children under the age of 12, I do not mean to frighten you. For those with children over the age of 12, I know you get me. All of a sudden we go from being our child’s fountain of knowledge to the douche wearing a dunce cap in the corner of the classroom. Our sense of humor that used to leave our child in stitches is now stared down with a blank stare and the occasional eye roll to prove sign of life. The begs of wanting to wear our clothes and fancy shoes are now met with mumbles of disgrace at our ensemble choice. Hurt feelings that used to be healed with a hug now are something we possibly couldn’t understand. A favorite treat brought home from the grocery store that was once greeted with squeals of delight and “thank you mommy!” are now met with shrieks of “Mom! You know I am fat! Why are you tempting me?!?!” sigh …kinda tough not to take it personally.

Ladies and gents, I am here to tell you one thing. It is not personal. Oh hell, it feels personal. Trust me, it’s not. Taking it personally not only makes you feel like shit, it feeds anger and resentment that does not need to be fed. Irrational words and behaviour from our kids met with irrational words and behaviour from us is well, irrational. … and stupid and serves no purpose. The only result is slamming doors, tears, people feeling the same way in separate rooms in the same house. Don’t get me wrong, ground rules of respect, kindness and courtesy should be in place and when those lines are crossed they should be pointed out. When your child gives you attitude, they need to be told that they are out of line. After that, you have no control over eye rolls or the silent treatment. It’s not personal…remember, no one likes it pointed out they just acted like an ass.

Your child doesn’t even realize the magnitude of their words or actions or the hurt they have just inflicted. Oh, they may realize after they have been said, they just aren’t at a place they can admit that. Yet. They will get there. Not on the schedule we need or desire, but they will get there. I promise. Being a parent of a 20 year old, I can honestly attest to this. If today’s tale stops one parent from taking it personally, I have done my job.

 

We are here to be the parent, not the friend. it’s not personal, it’s parenting.

 

 

0

…there isn’t an App for that

  My view this morning.

Over the past months, speaking with countless ladies and gents of all ages, there has been one striking commonality. Everyone seems to be wanting. Wanting appreciation. Wanting to be seen. Wanting to be heard. Wanting a better job. Wanting a better life. You name it, someone wants it. Unfortunately, all these wants are wanted NOW and most cannot understand why it doesn’t happen as fast as they can snap their fingers. Being a parent of a “millennial”, I have had many an interesting conversation, debate or all out argument over this exact phenomenon. So, today Ladies and Gents, boys and girls, I am going to tell you what I have told my daughter (I can feel the eye roll), …”there’s not an App for that.”.

Think about it for a minute. Gone are the days of the waiting list for the one encyclopedia at the library you need to complete a paper. Need facts? You can pick up your phone and Google it. No more lines at the card catalogue with pencil and scrap piece of paper in hand to write down the Dewey Decimal number to retrieve the book you need. Looking for a book? Your local library’s web site can do it for you as you pick up your pre ordered Mochachinofrappalatte. No more pining over that shirt you had to have, but were too late deciding and now it’s been sold. Hop onto amazon and have it to your door by tomorrow. Remember the weekends as a kid? Wondering if someone was home? Trying to call but the line was busy, so you kept trying every two minutes to see if it would ring through to the other end as your parents bellowed “Get off the DAMN phone!!!”. Today, surf your Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and not only can kids find out who’s home or where their friends “are at”, you can also know what they had for breakfast, what they are wearing today and how unfair they are being treated at home because their Mom asked them to ….gasp…empty the garbage.

Here’s the deal. You want something out of life? You gotta do the work. No App is going to clean your house, or change the oil in your car. No App is going to mend a broken heart or take back an unkind word. Sometimes, you will not get a text back as soon as you send it, it’s okay. Maybe the textee had a bad curry for lunch and is tormented in the bathroom and just doesn’t want to share “whassup”…yet. I am sure you will hear about it on Facebook or god help us, see it on Instagram.

They say that whenever you get a “like” or a text, dopamine in released. Guess what? It’s released in other ways too. Before you get up on your soapboxes, yes, I realize I am blogging, and yes, I realize I share this on Facebook and other sites. Yes, I post pics of the cookies I made on Instagram …I also hand deliver said cookies to share with those who see them. I physically go and see people and I look them in the eye when I speak to them, face to face…not to be confused with Facetime. Dopamine sans technology my friends.

Life gets in the way. Trains are late. Flights are delayed. Emails go unanswered. The only thing you have complete control over is yourself, so why not make it as enjoyable as possible? Set up a little corner with your favorite things that make you happy and bring back the warm fuzzies. Go outside and look around, not for anything in particular, just look. Surprise a friend with a coffee…without your phone in hand. Hand deliver a Birthday wish instead of making Facebook do all the work. Try to live every moment and laugh everyday. Plain and simple.

 

 

0

It’s the little things

It’s 5 days before Christmas and yours truly is able to enjoy some time off before the big day. The last time I had time off at Christmas was because I had the stupid cut out (hysterectomy)…7 years ago. Sure, I had “time off” at the holidays when my daughter was a toddler, but those of us with children know that although the world may see it as time off, time with a toddler is a 24/7 job with no pay, with a boss who can’t find their shoe and cries because you gave them the wrong colored cup with their lunch…so “time off” is a relative term.

As I was running errands yesterday, I found myself getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I almost succumbed to the Grinch and Scrooge mentality. Almost.  Hearing everyone around me sighing, complaining that the lines were taking too long, or honking at each other in the parking lot because they needed that parking space, it’s hard not to get sucked in to it all. As I was listening to the ladies complain about having people over for dinner as they were about to start a rumble over the biggest pot roast in the meat department, I looked over to see an elderly woman with her little basket with a few items in it and I thought to myself “she probably wishes her biggest problem was getting a big enough roast to feed her guests.”. …and that’s when I began to hum a Christmas carol, carry on with my shopping and tune out the sighs and complaints that passed me through the aisles.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no angel as my daughter can attest to. I cuss like a sailor if you are riding my tail end too close in traffic – when I have my kid in the car, her safety comes first so all bets are off. I have been known to use a certain finger when the snowplow comes by just as I have dug out their first visit’s mound of snow and I may have pretended not to speak English when a telemarketer just wouldn’t get “take me off your calling list”. There have been times throughout the days of Christmas past when I pouted even though I knew Santa saw me. There were times I started to Scrooge out or felt the Grinch was onto something complaining about the noise of Christmas, but I always remembered something that others seem to forget. At the end of both these Christmas stories, Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch gave over to the magic and the spirit of Christmas. If they could do it, you can too.

  • give to the Salvation army. If they are giving out candy canes for each donation, do what I do. Ask them to give it to the next child that walks by.

 

  • wave to Santa at the mall. Trust me, he is having a harder day than you.

 

  • don’t fight over a parking space. If the other person is gunning for it, let them have it. If you have to park further away, the fresh air will do you good.

 

  • If the grocery store is out of the size of turkey you need, your family and guests will survive. I promise, the sky will not turn black and the world will not swallow you whole.

 

  • when you make eye contact with someone, say hello or wish them a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays for those weary of offending.

 

  • give to every toy drive you can find. Any toy will do. The dollar store has coloring books and crayons for a dollar a piece. …psst…you spent more than that on the mocha frappe latte concoction you have in your hand.

 

  • give to your local food bank. If you can, a monetary donation is best – the food bank can stretch a dollar farther than you can imagine.

Take a moment to remember how snow once made you squeal with glee, how hours would pass as you wondered how Santa got to every house. Remember the smell of your Gramma’s perfume as she reached out to hug you, or the cackle of your Grampa’s laugh when he got your joke. Think back to the smiles on your parents faces on Christmas morning, thinking they were so happy Santa brought you your favorite toy, only to now know, the smile was for them and you, not Santa and you. When you take a moment to remember the magic and spirit of Christmas, you too will realize it’s not having the perfectly trimmed tree or the biggest turkey that you remember, it’s all the little things that mattered the most.

 

0

The choice is yours

A few years ago I received a sign for my office from my girl, with many positive affirmations collaged together. The one that sticks out the most to me is “Happiness is a choice you make everyday”. So very true, so easy to remember yet so easily forgotten.

Over the past weeks I have heard the following from friends, family and the people I see everyday;

  • I’d be happier if he was nicer
  • I’d be happier if I got a raise
  • I’d be happier if my child behaved in public
  • I’d be happier if people kept their opinions to themselves
  • I’d be happier if I got to see my friend’s more
  • I’d be happier if I had more help around the house
  • Etc… etc… etc…

It seems everyone wants to be happier, but doesn’t want to do the work. Trust me. I know. It is easier to put the blame of our woes on someone else’s behaviour. Been there, done that. Try my best not to do that anymore. For no one, anywhere, wants to look in the mirror, take a long hard look at themselves and admit a fault. …but darlin’, ya gotta. There is no magic happiness pill, no happiness potion, no mystery man arriving at your doorstep with your package of happiness waiting to be unwrapped, it’s all up to you. Before you get all upset or weepy, I do know that life throws curveballs, of this I am certain. There will be illnesses, job losses, flat tires, spilled coffee, baby spit up on your shoulder that you missed, but the President of the company did not. There will be bad hair days, bloated days, adult acne days ….by the way…what kind of sick cosmic joke is that? We cannot control what happens to us or around us. We can control how we decide to let it affect us. We can control how long a harsh word gets to live in our head rent free.  Have your head spin around and spew venom because the dishes weren’t done or the garbage emptied, or don’t. The decision is yours.

Happiness can be created anywhere, anytime. It can.

  • Had a hard day at work and still have to go to the grocery store? Buy an extra canned good or two and drop in it the food bank donation bin.
  • Your teenager is making you crazy and you are at your wits end over the useless arguments…go look at their baby pictures, their saved school artwork…remind yourself of the love there.
  • Just a long, stupid day? Get yourself some instant cocoa, grab your favorite mug and top that baby off with some whipped cream. …sprinkles too if it the day really kicked your ass.
  • Make a Jello. My gramma Leah always told me that. This way whenever you look in the fridge, you can be reminded that you made something that day and accomplished something.
  • Make some cookies or muffins and deliver them to a neighbour or friend, for no reason. Just to do it. Trust me, 9 out of 10 times, they are in dire need of a glimpse of happiness and a the touch of kindness.
  • Send a joke to a friend.
  • Share a you tube video with a friend, reminding them of a memory you share.
  • Post a joke on your Facebook wall in the morning…it will make someone’s day.

Doing for others is doing for yourself. Making others feel good will make you feel good. Carrying happiness with you will allow happiness to spread to those you are around. Plain and simple.

bubbles

1

Share and share alike

Everywhere you look, people are sharing. Sharing “likes” on Facebook, sharing pics on Instagram, tweeting their latest opinion on Twitter, snapping a moment on Snapchat. I often find myself wondering, what is real and what is not. Over the past weeks, you may have noticed that yours truly hadn’t been sharing much on my blog. It wasn’t for lack of material or opinions…as those who know me know all too well, when it comes to opinions I have a deep well to draw from. The reason for my lack of sharing you ask? My life and the lives of those I hold dear needed some attention, some tending to if you will. I also needed some tending to. I realized I had to take a step back and take a good look at what I was doing, where I was going and where I wanted to go. Now, before you all start to create scenario’s in your head to spill at the watercooler, let me make things clear. No one is ill. No one is leaving anyone. No one has been arrested. I came to realize that the powers that be that directed me onto this road after the closure of the shop had given me a gift. That gift being time.

I used to have time. I used to make time. I stayed home with my daughter until she was 5. Back then I would make time for me. I would make time for chats with my hubby, walks, coffee with friends, well, for life, plain and simple. I would make time for me so I could enjoy the time with my daughter, so I could enjoy the multitude of questions posed by a toddler – 100 before 7:00a.m. ( I counted one day – hey it was educational…I taught my daughter to count to 100 didn’t I?). Over the past weeks, I realized that I hadn’t made time since my daughter crossed the threshold into her kindergarten class. I went right back to work, full force. Always moving on to the next thing, finding the next idea. Over coming financial struggles, dealing with plant closures and lay offs, taking any amount of hours given so we could keep our home. Those days are long gone, but the memory of them still reside. I had put myself in survivor mode and forgotten to change the record. I had become so focused on working and keeping my house, paying off debts and having money in the bank that I hadn’t realized that I still had my house, the majority of the debt is paid off and there is money in the bank.

I realized something last week. I am always telling the women I know to make time for themselves. I thought I was. It wasn’t until last night as I was painting my nails that I realized this was the first time in along time I was painting my nails, for me. Not for an Instagram shot, not for work. For me. On the weekend, I was having a really good hair day, so I took a selfie. For me. Yes, I put it on Instagram, but I put it up there for me. If no one had liked it, I would have been fine with it. People liking it was a perk. I did it for me. I have adored photo’s since I was a child. I could and can sit and look at photo’s for hours. I wanted that picture because whenever I look at it, I remember how I felt and remembering happiness is a good thing.

The moral of today’s tale? If you are going to share your moments, your opinions, your snaps and your chats, make them worth remembering, for you. Create moments worth sharing. Do not create moments just so you can share them. Plain and simple.

2

…you’ll figure it out

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September. Although the calendar marks January as the beginning of a new year, many feel September is the beginning of all things new. The kids are back in school, commencements are commencing, the care free schedule of summer has come to an end and the more regimented schedules of work, home and life have returned. This September truly feels like a beginning for yours truly. For those of you familiar with my blog (thank you again for all your lovely support), you are well aware of the closure of the shop. Many were and are still worried about what will happen, about what I will do now. When asked “What will you do now?”, thanks to the above quote by the FAB! Tina Fey, my answer is now “I will say yes and will figure it out afterwards.”. …and I have begun to do just that, and I gotta tell you…it’s been pretty fabulous.

Many changes have occurred, my tag line being one of them. Since I am no longer at the Salon, I have decided to change my tag line from “Mane Tales from the Salon” to “Bringing Enlightenment to the world of Beauty”, for my primary focus has always been about beauty. I write about hair products, hair product reviews, retailing tips, tips on how to be kind, tips on how not to be an ass, or about life in general, all in the hopes of helping someone. Be it with their hair, their business or their self image and self worth. Sharing my experiences may help someone feels better about themselves, begin to like their reflection, feel capable of achieving the hair style they have always wanted, be able to improve their retail revenue and in turn their business, or simply remind someone that they are not alone. If that is not a thing of beauty, I do not know what is.

Over the past weeks, I  have taken a break. A much needed rest for my mind. It was as if the universe, the powers that be, the smurfs – take your pick knew I needed a reset and gave me one. The closure of the shop was a gift, it really was. I had no excuse not to slow down for a moment or two and figure out what needed figuring. The guilt about leaving someone else at the helm, feeling selfish taking time off, that aching feeling that I was forgetting something, all those thoughts and feelings were no where to be found. For months I knew it was time to move forward, but I didn’t want to let anyone down, or leave anyone in the lurch. Thanks to the closure of the shop, I no longer had those feelings, those worries or those concerns. Well, quite honestly, those fears. … which got me thinking. How many of us, in our work life or home life, put these unneeded fears in our way? Worrying about what people will think? What will people say? What will happen? What will I do?

Don’t get me wrong. I still battle those shouts of fear, for I am embarking on the known yet unknown. I know my capabilities. I know I am good at what I do. I know I have much to offer. I know what the next step is to take and I know where that step is. What I don’t know is what comes next – that in itself is the fear talking. So when I hear the fear shouting “Uh Oh! Oh, I don’t know”, I listen for the faint whisper of “Say yes and figure it our afterwards”. It’s always there. Always.

 

 

 

 

1

Tales of Truth – the final edition

Well, here it is. The final edition of That Girl in the Red Coat’s Tales of Truth. I thought I had heard, seen and smelled (yes … smelled) it all. Over the past weeks, I have been proved wrong. With the full moon, a heat wave and news of the shop’s closure, it has been an interesting 2 weeks around the shop and I must say, I know for sure there is a higher power, because yours truly has been able to hold her tongue and keep it professional. So, gather ’round ladies and gents, boys and girls, for it is time for Tales of Truth.

  •  A woman came in looking for hard wax to do her own Brazilian wax at home…I guess she is really getting into representing the host of the summer Olympics. Anyway, as I showed her our selection, she asked me if instead of using a spatula to apply the wax, could she just use her fingers, like the last time. I asked her “The last time? I thought you said this was your first time?”. “Oh, it is. The place I go to, the girl says using her fingers was easier.”. I took a breath, swallowed the little bit of puke that came up and asked her if “her girl” wore gloves. “No. She just applied the wax, ripped, then put her finger back in the wax and did it again”. …..*THAT GIRL IN THE RED COAT tip – if your “wax girl” is using her fingers and double dipping with you, she is with everyone else. If you do not see gloves and a spatula….RUN!!!

 

  • Since the shop is closing, we have our products on sale. The signs say Everything on Sale. A woman came in and asked “Is everything on sale?”. “Yes, everything.”. She tilted her head to the side and said “So everything right? I’m not gonna get up to the counter and then you’ll pull the rug out from under me and charged me full pop on some things?”. I told her “That’s correct. Everything. No rug being pulled out.”. “Well, I’m gonna add up my total on my phone and it better match yours!”. …they matched.

 

  • A woman asked if she could return a product she bought a month ago and then buy it back with the new discount.

 

  • I was asked “Since you are closing, does this mean you won’t be open anymore?” …I am still trying to figure that one out.

 

  • A woman started to spray every hairspray she picked up. I let her know they weren’t testers. “What’s it matter? You’re closing anyways!”.

 

  • A woman came in for her hairspray. I let her know that unfortunately we had sold out of it and the owner was not ordering any more product. I shit you not, she leaned on the counter, turned her head to the side, spoke out of the side of her mouth and said “Listen, you order me 12. Sneak an order in. No one has to know. I’m good for it.”. …okay there Fredo.

 

  • We open at 9:30 a.m.. At 9:45 a.m. I hear the chirp of the Salon door and with it a shriek of “NO!!!!!!!” – so loud one of my stylist’s shut off her dryer and walked away from her client to see what the shouting was about. “You can’t close! You can’t! Where will I go now? You have ruined my whole day!!!!”. …and good morning to you as well.

 

  • “You’re not closing.” a woman said as she came in the shop. I told her the owner had decided to close. “No she didn’t. You’re not closing!”. It took 5 minutes to convince a woman that the shop was in fact closing.

 

  • A woman came up to the counter with her product and told me “I have a bone to pick with you! I was in last month and you said nothing about closing. You let me buy product at full price! I am not impressed!”. I let her know I understood her disappointment since I didn’t know a month ago either. …she stopped talking after that.

 

  • “Well, aren’t you just the most annoying thing today!” – what a woman said to me when she saw the shop is closing.

 

  • A woman came in, stared at me, stomped her feet, pouted then sat in the chair by the front door for 5 minutes staring at me without saying a word. (I know it was 5 minutes, because I timed it). When she finally stood she looked at me and said I was being unfair for closing the shop. I let her know the owner had decided to close and before I could explain why she told me “If you cared, you would have made her stay open. This is horrible. Now I have to drive further for my products!” …took every ounce of restraint to not say “time to get off your cross, someone needs the wood”

 

  • “Well, aren’t you shit out of luck. All you can do is this and now the shop is closing.” …just another gem bestowed on yours truly. …you would be happy to know I didn’t hold my tongue on this one and assured the woman that I was not just a girl standing in a shop.

 

  • As I rang through a women’s purchase, I told her the total and as she gave me the cash, she smirked and said “Shop’s closing huh. No job for you!”. …I know of the soup Nazi, guess she is the job Nazi.

 

  • “Where am I going to get my shampoo now?!” – something I hear at least 20 times a day. When I let them know they can check the local Salon’s “Can’t you call around to all the Salon’s for me?”….sometimes, there are no words.

Last but not least, the woman who flashed me her red bump riddled bikini line came in and said “Sorry to see you’re closing! Who’s gonna help me now? Who am I gonna show my issues to?!?”. …I…shit…you…not.

 

Tales of Truth