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Cutting Costs

I called Gadabout Day Spa to make an appointment with my stylist, one Ms. Mustard. Seriously. I've been seeing her for years. My sister and I have a joke about "getting the Mustard cut," as in, "I got an appointment to get my Mustard cut on Tuesday." Getting my Mustard cut is something I don't thrift on. My loyalty to a good stylist is based on how well she cuts short hair, because I used to wear my hair very short. Anywoos, I started seeing Ms. Mustard about five years ago, when my dad gave me a gift certificate to Gadabout as a thank-you gift for typesetting his resume. Five years ago she was one of the lower-echelon stylists, so her patrons paid $24 for a hair cut. Neighbor, that's a ganga. Over the years she's been promoted to higher tiers until I paid $29 for my last haircut.

The problem with Ms. Mustard is that her hair cuts are so good that they hold their shape much longer than they ought to. My last hair cut (the one for which I paid $29) was way back in June of 2006. I called Gadabout last week to get my Mustard cut.

Roxy: Thank you for calling Gadabout at Sunrise and Kolb. This is Roxy. How can I help you?

Me: I'd like to make an appointment with Michelle.

Roxy: OK. What time is good for....whoops! Michelle doesn't work here any more.

Me: Gack! Glrbl nunf. Oh! What happened?

Roxy: She left for medical reasons.

Me: When?

Roxy: Oh, a while ago. A couple of months.

Me: Is she working somewhere else?

Roxy: I'm sorry, I don't have any forwarding information. Would you like me to set you up with someone else?

Me: Is she alright?

Roxy: From what I hear she's doing better. Would you like me to set you up with someone else?


Roxy: Hello? Should I make an appointment for you with another stylist?

Me: (wringing hands) OK, sure. OK.

Roxy: I have an appointment available with Marissa on Tuesday at 5:45.

Me: Wha? OK.

Roxy: Marissa's been with us for about six years and has an extensive clientele. Her cuts are $36.

Me: Wha? OK.

More conversation as Roxy takes my personal information and I eulogize on Ms. Mustard's phenomenal haircuts. I remember when my stylist in CU disappeared for awhile, how lost I felt. I was wearing shorter hair back then and really needed the trim by a qualified professional every six weeks.

But now I'm wearing my hair longer. Anyone can cut longer hair, right? I don't really have to pay $36 for a haircut, do I? That gal at Cost Cutters did a good job on Jack's hair. What was her name? Katrina? Michaela? Tatyana? I could go see her, just get a trim, see how she does. That will cost me only $12.95. Plus I don't need an appointment. I could go now! I will go now!

Now I'm determined that I'll get a hair cut, so I bribe Jack with library books and a kids'-size chocolate-with-gummy-bears from Cold Stone. It's 5:30 on a Saturday afternoon. Jack seats himself in the lobby while I approach the counter. "I'd like a hair cut," I say, feeling oddly like a recovering martini alcoholic ordering a Schlitz. "Is Tatyana working?"

"No. She called in sick. She'll be here on Tuesday."

(But I'm here NOW. I'm getting a hair cut NOW!) "Oh. OK."

"All ready for you."

The stylist's name is Monica, and she's perky in a dark way. I follow her to a chair where she drapes me with the leopard-print smock and I ramble about how I haven't had a hair cut since June and I need the dead ends cut off, shaped up, maybe a few layers or texturizing to alleviate some of the heaviness.

Spritz spritz. Snip snip. "Not much off the length, right?" she asks. "Right," I confirm. Thus starts a speedy conversation:

Monica: Been to the Gem Show yet?

Me: No! I've lived here for seven years now and I haven't been yet.

Monica: Me either. I've only been to the Swap Meet once. We went when they had an indoor sale, you know? Where they sold pianos. We bought an electric baby grand for $600. The rhythm button is broken so it won't play by itself but I play it all the time. I played piano all the time when I was a child. But my problem is that I have small hands. I have an octave and one reach if I've been playing for a while and I'm really limber. But I had to stretch and contort to do that. Every time I get my nails done the tech asks me, "What happened to your hands?" I tell them, "I play piano." (snip snip snip) Your son is so well behaved. Parents never make their children read anymore. I read all the time. Right now I'm reading my friend's manuscript. It's got a lot of sex scenes in it and even though she's never written anything before the sex is flawless. Just the right amount of detail to let you know what's happening with the characters but not too much to make it disgusting. Here's a mirror you can check out the back.

Me: glglglgl

Monica: It's a good cut for you. Your hair likes to flip out.

I paid Cost Cutters $12.95 and tipped Monica $5 (I'm not thrifty when it comes to tips). Then we went home and I pondered a new career, because Monica made me look EXACTLY like Andy Gibb.

Still. It's a heap big savings, because now I'll wait another six months for this mess to grow out before I pay Marissa $36 to get my Mustard cut.


Momma_Dee said…
It would probably be thriftier in the long run to hire a detective agency to track down the Mustard. Did you not learn anything from my special Sam's one time only haircuts over the years? And also that Woody Woodpecker thing I had done down at Park Mall? The one where I had to wet my hair down in the nearest bathroom. Anyway your picture of Andy Gibb is hysterical. When they chat so much it's usually to distract you from the fact that they can't cut hair.

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wotd: temporize

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