Beauty, communication, health and wellness, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat, Women

Bringing light to the dark

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

 

Lately, during conversations with friends and loved ones alike, I have found myself thinking, some times even stating out loud, “if more people spoke of the ugly, the world would be a beautiful place.”. What’s the “ugly” you ask? Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Anger. Panic. Addiction. …to name a few. The “beautiful place” being we would all realize that we have more in common then we do not. I cannot count how many times in the last few months I have heard someone say “Really? You went through this too?”, “You mean my kid isn’t the only one?”, “You mean you have had money troubles too?”, “You’ve felt like you were failing as a parent? I thought it was just me!”.

It’s time to start to bring some light to the darkness of our lives. It’s time to start talking about those things you don’t talk about at party’s. It’s time to stop being ashamed and start being empowered. I can tell you, right now, a friend is looking at your Instagram or Facebook wishing their life was as full as yours and their family as happy as yours – all the while, you are trying to figure out how you are going to pay your mortgage this month, or hoping that your child finds the right therapist to help them, and no one is the wiser. After years of trying to keep up with the Joneses, the Kardashians, you name it, I was tired, mentally, emotionally and physically. So, as scary as it was, I stopped trying to be perfect, stopped acting like everything was coming up roses and just let my life be what is was. Sometimes it was funny, sometimes it was sad. Many days had their hiccups and many were smooth sailing. One thing was certain, I sure as hell wasn’t as tired. Life, parenting, marriage, work can be tiring enough, why add more to get less? For all of you out there;

  • it’s okay not to like your kids. You love them, you don’t always have to like how they are behaving
  • it’s okay to understand why animals sometimes eat their young
  • it’s okay if you don’t see your parents every weekend. They had kids and a life before you – they get it. Deep down, they get it
  • you are not the only parent worried about their child
  • at least two people you know have children that are struggling as yours is – be it with their studies, their friends or their mental health
  • just because your friends are world travelers does not mean they can afford it
  • more people have financial strain than don’t.
  • we have all felt like getting in our cars, changing our names and living the vida loca

 

It’s time for uncomfortable conversations – especially for those of us who chose marriage. More often than not, in my own marriage, the problems I thought we had and the problems my hubby thought we had weren’t even in the same realm.

  • your spouse is not your psychic friend. You need to tell them what you need and what you want
  • before thinking for your husband, ask him what he is thinking. Trust me, it’s never what you think it is and usually has to do with food.
  • Gents – if you think your wife is mad at you, ask her if she is. I know. I know. It’s like I am asking you to go into the snake pit. Most of the time, if your wife seems ticked – it’s not about you. Hell, he could be sitting there thinking you are sighing so much because you are mad at him all the while you are mad at windows 10 and their damn automated updates.
  • after hearing of others marriage/relationship woes, remember those are their problems, not yours. Try not to make their problems your own. …just because your bff’s hubby hides that he surf’s porn doesn’t mean yours does.
  • if you truly are not happy, you need to talk about that. Maybe you will stay together, maybe you won’t. If love, respect and honesty are there, it will always work out.
  • remember that your 10% may be their 100% and vice versa.

 

What you may see as a short coming, others may see as an achievement. Admitting your fears may help another face their own. Being true to yourself may allow another to do the same. We give children a night light so the darkness doesn’t seem as scary, so why not give ourselves a night light of our own?

 

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, writing

Tales of Truth – The 20th…yes…the 20th Edition

It’s July. It’s the week of the August long weekend.  A heat wave has hit my corner of the globe. The Humidex is on the rise. Combine all these events and you have the ingredients for a whole lot of crazy.  Oh…and there is a full moon upon us, it is to arrive on Friday. You see, the powers that be have bestowed not one, but two full moons this July. The second full moon is known as a Blue Moon. You know, I used to like that song. Now I feel the lyrics are mocking me… “Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone…”…I bet it did. Well Ladies and Gents, boys and girls, gather ‘ round for the 20th, yes, the 20th edition of That Girl in the Red Coat’s Tales of Truth.

– I hear the chirp of the shop’s door and the flip flop of the woman’s sandals. I look up from my invoice and greet her with my morning smile, wish her a good morning and ask if I can help her. “Yeah. I want my hair cut.”. I let her know that my stylists are booked for the day but we can make her an appointment for tomorrow. “Pfft. That’s not gonna do. Why the hell would you put this coupon in the paper for cheap haircuts if you can’t even take me now?!? I think that’s stupid and yous (her word…not mine) guys are liars! Whatcha think of that?!?!” to which I kindly let her know that our Salon didn’t put the coupon in the paper for “cheap haircuts” and that the Salon she was looking for was at the other end of the plaza. She looked at me for a minute, then flip flopped out the door.

– Every once in a while, yours truly is alone at the shop and every once in a while, nature calls. I put a sign on the door that states “Thank you for your patience. 🙂 Be back in 5 minutes”. Now, to be clear, I am usually back in 2 minutes. I lock the door because we are a retail shop too and if I am in the ‘loo with my knickers at my knees I can’t stop shoplifters. So, nature called. I went as fast as I possibly could for I could hear someone banging on the shop’s door. As I got closer to the door, the customer had no problem telling me how “F’in hot it is outside” and that it was unfair of me to make her wait 2 minutes. I apologized and let her know I was on my own and that I had to use the washroom. She told me I should work on my bladder skills. …is there a course for that?

– A woman asked me if there was anything she could do to make her hair more greasy. I told her if she didn’t wash her hair for a week it would probably get greasy. She told me she couldn’t go a week without washing her hair because that would be gross. ….wait for it…there you go.

– A woman told me I was making her lose her patience because I couldn’t remember the product she had bought  in the past from her stylist at another Salon. FYI – this was her description – “that stuff, that I like, you know, in the tube or a jar, I can’t remember, but it smells good and my husband liked it”. …even Dionne Warwick and her psychic friends are at a loss on this one.

– A gent complained that our debit machine was too slow. I apologized and let him know it would be a few more seconds. “I’m in a hurry you know!”. So I moved the candy dish over to him and offered him a candy to which he exclaimed “STARBURST! MY FAVORITE!” and then he began to tell me about his first time eating a Starburst, then his first job and then he told me why he was in town. …All I kept thinking was “I thought you were in a hurry…and please, please do not ask me about waxing your balls”.  – those of you who read my blog know of what I speak.

– This month we have litre duo’s on sale in the shop. A woman wanted to buy a duo for her whole family to use. She colors her hair so I showed her the Color Shampoo/Conditioner duo’s we have. “Oh, I can’t buy that. My kids don’t color their hair and if I buy that then I have to get them to start coloring their hair so they can use it too and I don’t want to have to do that.”.  *author’s note –  anyone and any hair type can use Color Shampoo and Conditioner, even if you don’t color your hair.

– I have been asked if I shave the side of my head and put a blue streak in my hair so people won’t look at the scar on my neck. By the way, the answer is NO.

– A customer came in looking for a new shampoo. She let me know she had decided to become a vegetarian and wanted to be sure that the products she uses are not tested on animals. A dog was barking as she was talking (we have a pet shop beside us, so we hear many barks, meows and chirps.). I introduced her to the SOMA line and the ONESTA line – certified Vegan and Cruelty Free. As I was ringing through her purchase, she was telling me how horrible it is that people mistreat animals, then she got in her car and I realized the barking stopped. Yep, Miss. Save the Animals had left her dog in the car while she shopped for her cruelty free products.

– A woman complained that the mousse I sold her was “crap and didn’t give her any volume or body” like I said it would. I asked her if she applied it to damp hair and used her blow dryer. “Yes. Just like you said.”. I asked her how she dried her hair and asked her to show me what she does with her brush and blow dryer (some people use a round brush but brush the hair down and end up guiding the hair straight instead of guiding it up and out from the root for volume). “How am I gonna do that? I don’t have my hair dryer here!” ….sigh

– A woman walked into the shop, saw me behind the counter helping a customer and asked me “Are you open?”

– A gent asked if the tweezers we sell can be used on any part of the body. I now know his wife doesn’t like hairy nipples. He didn’t specify whose were the issue…thank god.

This month I have been asked if I have been saved. I have been asked if I have found Jesus. I have been asked if I knew that I had a scar on my neck. I have been told that I was brave to think I could pull off having the side of my head shaved – think that one was meant as a compliment. I have been told about a nail fungus. I have been shown a nail fungus – took off their shoe and sock to show me. Oh! and a lovely lady let me know that Tea Tree Shampoo can makes things tingle “south of the border”.

Dad's laugh

 

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Tales of Truth Part 11

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gather ’round for another installment of Tales of Truth. Last week was the week of the full moon and Friday the 13th., so you can imagine what yours truly got to hear and got to see. As always, the following tales are based on real events…sigh.

– I hear the chirp of the Salon’s door chime. A regular customer comes up to the counter and says she needs my opinion. I say “Sure! What can I help you with?”. She proceeds to come behind the counter, lifting her skirt as she walks. I stopped her dead in her tracks, put my hand up and said “You can keep your skirt down. Let me guess…you want to ask me if red bumps after waxing is normal” to which she looked at me like I was Dionne Warwick and I was her new psychic bff. “YES! How did you know without seeing?”. ….double sigh

– A woman came in to buy her hairspray and she was concerned about leaving the hairspray in the car as she ran errands because it was such a hot day. I reassured her that if she put it in the trunk, it should be fine. She was quite relieved. As we were waiting for the debit machine to connect, she became a little anxious. “Can you hurry this up? I left my dog in the car!”. …wait for it…there you go.

– We carry products that are vegan and certified organic. I had a customer ask me if they were packaged on a farm. I let her know that they weren’t packaged on a farm, they were packaged in a factory. She then began to tell me that there was no way the products could be organic because they weren’t packaged on a farm.

– I have a dish of candies at our front desk for our customers and clients, to add a little sweetness to their day. A woman asked me if the candies were free of charge. I let her know that they were and to help herself. She couldn’t believe that I would just give away candy so she left a quarter on the counter “just in case I was trying to pull one over on her”.

– Later that same day I had a woman ask if the candies were free, I let her know that they were and to please help herself. She dug through the bowl and took all the red candies, 10 in total. How do I know it was 10? She counted out loud…people, I shit you not…this really happens.

– From time to time companies will offer a bonus size hairspray that retails for the same price of the regular size bottle. The bonus size can be up to 300 ml more than the regular retail size bottle – it’s like getting two for the price of one. I had a woman get down right angry that all I had in stock were the bonus size cans. She didn’t like them and thought they looked tacky. I let her know that although she may not like the look of the bottle it was a great savings. Her exact words to me were “Who are they to decide that I want to save money?”.

– As I was ringing through a purchase, my customer complimented me on my hair. I thanked her and let her know that our stylists in our Salon do my color for me. “Oh, is that why whenever I come here I hear blow dryers and the chatter?” …I just smiled and handed her a Salon price list. As she was leaving she looked back and said “Thank you! This makes so much sense now.”.

– A woman came in looking for nail polish. I took her over to our OPI and China Glaze displays. When she noticed my sign “please do not try on polishes, please ask for assistance with the swatches” she remarked that she couldn’t believe people would actually open up products and try them out. She chose her polish and said she was just going to look around. Not ten seconds later do I hear “ppffffftttt” – I came around the corner to her trying two different hairsprays, one on each side of her head “Oh…I am just trying them out. I just want to see which one holds better”.

…triple sigh.

 

Dad's laugh

 

Beauty, Business, communication, entertainment, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, writing

Full Moon Monthly

Gather ’round ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Yes, it is that time again, another month has passed and a full moon is upon us. I used to think I was psychic, I could feel the shift of the tides, the shift in the karma of those around me. Now I know it was PMS. I know this because since my hysterectomy (getting the stupid cut out as I like to call it) I no longer get that psychic/one with the universe/could cry at the drop of a hat/punch someone in the face feeling once a month. I just see and hear some odd things and the calender confirms it…full moon.

A woman came in to the shop with three children in tow. Her daughter (age 4) saw our display of demo flat irons and curling irons and ran straight for them. “Be careful sweetie. Those can get very hot and you could burn yourself. Don’t touch them, let us help you”, to which the mother looked at me and told me “not to tell her children what to do.”. …it is 10 a.m..

The phone rings. A woman has called the shop looking for a product that helps psoriasis. I let her know of the many shampoo’s we sell that are formulated to help with such a scalp condition – Smart Solutions Problem Hair ‘n Scalp Shampoo is our best seller and has helped many of our clients and customers. She then asks me if I think it could help her. I let her know that without seeing her it is hard for me to say, but I am sure it would be fine. “I can’t get in today” she said and then began to describe in great detail the size of the flakes that she had on her head “about the size of a nickel.”. I thanked her for the description and let her know that from her description, it should be just the product for her. …it is 10:20 a.m. – I shit you not.

From time to time I do not carry a certain product, so I put in a special order for our customers. There is no extra charge, and I will hold it for them for 2 weeks. I called a customer this morning to let her know that her product had arrived. “Well! I can’t get in today!” she said. I reassured her that I would put the product behind the counter for her and that I can hold it for her for 2 weeks. “Bet you will charge me extra for holding it!” she says. I let her know there is no extra charge. “You’ll forget who it’s for and sell it to someone else!” she says. I reassure her I have put a sticky note on the can with her name on it. “What if another Carol comes in and you give it to her?” (names have been changed to protect the innocent…and my ass). I tell her that I have her phone number with her name on the sticky note so that won’t happen. “Bet it will rain the day I get there!” to which I respond “well, you got me there Carol”. …it’s 11:30 a.m.

A woman came in the shop and asked me if I knew why her hairdresser messed up her hair. After a few seconds, I just frowned and said “I’m sorry, I don’t know”. “Why won’t anyone tell me why she did this to my hair?”. So I asked her if she had spoken to her stylist to which she replied “Oh no. I can’t do that. I might hurt her feelings.”. …12:15 p.m..

Our Salon is closed on Mondays. It was quiet in the shop so I thought I would go back in the Salon and help the stylists out by going over the floors once more and making sure the back bar bottles were filled up and towels were folded and ready for the next morning. I hear the chirp of the shop door and come around the corner and greet the customer with my standard “Hi there! How are you today?”. “I want my hair cut.”. he says. I explain that the Salon is closed on Mondays and ask if he would like to make an appointment for another time. “Salon ain’t closed. You’re in it.”. I smile and answer “You’re right! I am in the Salon, just tidying up a bit preparing for tomorrow, the stylists are off today, so the Salon is closed.”. “No it ain’t…you’re in it. If it was closed you wouldn’t be in it.”. I take a breath, Smile and say “You’re right, the Salon is open, because I am in it. The stylists are not here, it is their day off.”. To which he says, “See, told you it ain’t closed”. Then he walked out.  …I have stopped looking at the time.

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

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.