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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Look, I'll Pay You For It

There’s a woman – we’ll call her “Donna”, since that’s her name – and I love her.

She listens to my stories and tells me hers. We chat about garage sales, discuss how great the parties in the 80s were, and have bonded over our mutual amusement regarding women who stuff themselves into clothing far too small and men wearing baggy pants far too big. We have confided to each other our morbid fascination regarding the minds of serial killers. She always tells me I’m beautiful, and I always believe her.

Who is this fabulously astute woman?

She is my hairdresser, and she is one of the reasons that I love living in the city.

A city is really made up of little neighborhoods, and the client/provider relationship within it is special. Donna and I live less than a mile from each other. Her shop is in a reasonable walking distance from my house. She fits me in on literally a couple hours’ notice, charges me a ridiculously low fee for anything she does to my hair, and amuses me for free.

For my part, I come in every six to seven weeks, am on time, tip at least 15%, and endeavor to be amusing in return.

I called Donna late Saturday morning, hours before I had to be at the Ritz Theater for the evening’s SNOball event. I confessed my lack of planning, my wish for my hair to look differently than it usually does, my unprecedented sloth-icity in not having called earlier, my willingness to make up words to describe my need of her.

She took pity on me, and by 3:00 she was doing my hair.

What? What’s my point?

My point: times are tough. Spend your money in your neighborhoods, cultivate loyalties, and do something special for the big parties.

You just never know if there will be pictures.

31 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

London used to be like this, but a lot of our local services have been chased away by high rents and taxes :-((

darsden said...

Pearl, you are beautiful, good friends tell the truth right to ya. She's a keeper.

I have a local appt. on the 5th and believe me I love her but she makes me PAY big time. I entertain her and I have to leave the tip, hey what's the deal! (so how ya spend this around Pearl?)

Anyway, waiting for your pictures!

darsden said...

should say spin this around but actually Spend "my money" is the key word anyway...

La Belette Rouge said...

Really nice moral and you got good hair in the bargain.;-)

kimber p said...

I think I'm cursed when it comes to hairdressers/stylists. It's terribly hard for me to find one I love and that gets what I want out of my hair, and when I do the shop either closes or she moves to another shop with no forwarding information...it sucks. I'm thinking of going bald again w/o the chemo this time....lol

Kavi said...

Spray the money around. It adds to the standards !

And i can see that you are doing your bit. Not only to spread the money around but also spreading the cheer around !

Which is great news ! The world needs more people like you !

:)

Douglas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Douglas said...

I go to a barber. Well, not really a barber anymore... too damned few of them nowadays. So I go to place that claims to do "families", women, men, (rotten little bratty)children. And women, young ones mostly, cut my hair. I tip 20%, I am polite, but I miss barber shops. I really do. We men have no place to go anymore. I mean, c'mon, have you ever seen a Playboy magazine in a unisex hair salon?

I like small towns because they're like your big city neighborhoods. Only without the air pollution and the noise.

rachael chatoor said...

Totally with you sister.

I even travel out of my way to my old stomping grounds often, to take some of my business back to little village where I grew up!

Nice to have a great hairstylist, LOL, I go maybe once a year, talk about sloth-like hair. ;)

mbuna53 said...

I thought that was a new hairdo, very nice.

Think it might be time for me to get a hair cut.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

Yeah, looks like both of you benefit!! That should be the final outcome!

DarklyFey said...

I used to have just such a hairdresser when I lived in Calgary, but alas, times have change, and I pop into First Choice once in a blue moon. I would rather have a private, local hairdresser, but around here, the cost is exorbitant. Local is definitely the way to go, though.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I don't trust anyone local (little language issue there) so I spent my {many} dimes to get my haircut while we were on vacation. Dumb maybe but hey I feel better for having a decent haircut again!

Jenny said...

Such a good point. With less money around to spend we should make it count, local shops and helpful staff deserve our custom.

Eskimo Bob said...

Being a local business-owner and from a small town I realize and utilize local business.

I have a dependable hair cutter - she's not a barber, not a stylist, but she cuts my hair. I have thick, coarse Eskimo hair, so it demands an extra special touch otherwise it becomes a clipped hedge or chia pet.

Did you get a chance to kyfe a "new" fur coat?

Sweet Cheeks said...

I love our local businesses. I firmly believe one hand washes another is a small town like mine. We just bought furniture on Friday at a small store about 3 miles away. The salesman's family are farmers that supply our local stores with their veggies...It's just a big circle I tell ya.
Glad your hair was stunning. Bet you were the Belle of the ball.

adlibby said...

That's nice! Now that times are so tough I try to be mindful of how much I appreciate the small businesses around my area.

On the issue of hairdressers though, I sometimes feel like I'm compelled to be chatty and entertaining... that annoys me! That's totally their job!

Joanie said...

I love my hairdresser. She's been doing my hair for 10 years or so. I have a standing appointment every 5 weeks and she gets a humungous tip (I used to be a hairdresser myself). I've even followed her twice when she changed jobs. I did try to get her to change her name but she wouldn't (her name is Pam, same as the slu... uh person my ex left me for) I am always entertained when I go to her salon, msotly from the young girls who work there and their drama! I love her in spite of her name. :)

The Jules said...

Why are they called hairdressers?

Your hair's still nude when they've finished.

Vodka Mom said...

you're damn right about that, sister. Damn right.

♥ Braja said...

Pearl? Pearl!! Where are you my lovely?

I agree: I'm all for it, not going outside the village, kinda thing. Was a time when we imported everything (we meaning the westerners), and I was a little against it...now I'm totally anti it...if you're going to choose to live in a certain place, surely it means adapting your mind to accept that what surrounds you is what is available in your life? This, I feel, is one of the greatest problems in the world...this sense of entitlement, an attitude of "I can have anything I want and will get it from anywhere," when availability is at a touch of a button, have it sent in, delivered, taxi across town to a "better" hairdresser....you know what I'm sayin'? I said too much. Go write a book Braja....

Mary Moore said...

You are beautiful.

And you're right. Keep the $$ where it's needed.

Michelle said...

Pearly-Q were there??? Pictures, i mean??

Because i am wanting to see how pretty Donna made you look!!!

K???

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

She's right--you should believe her!

And Douglas is right, too... for the menfolk, it ain't the way it used to be...

Frank said...

By nature, I am usually more on the conservative side. However, my hair lady looks like she just stepped off a Harley. She has the greatest stories and actually is interested to know how I am doing. I tip her close to 50%, because she is so exact in her work that to me it is worth it. Entertainment and a hair cut... if only she served popcorn. : )

Lilly said...

I know exactly what you mean and I will be visiting mine tomorrow. I would rather not eat than not get my hair done every so often!

Gadjo Dilo said...

I agree. Keep it local. The woman who used to cut my hair did it for free, 'cos I bought her the scissors.

De Campo said...

This is precisely why I keep my neighborhood palm reader and voodoo priestess on retainer.

Beth said...

A good hairdresser is hard to find. And by good I mean being able to cut my hair out of the usual brillo pad it naturally migrates to.

Lisa said...

yes, cultivate loyalties indeed xx

smahl said...

Pearl I totally agree with the great small town feel and how everybody scratchs each others back. That is why I look the way I do I give up on the cuts so my wife can take care of her many great clients like yourself.