Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I need to break up with my hair stylist. It’s not that I don’t like her, and I feel awful about it, but I just can’t take it anymore.

I’ve been seeing her for years. At one time, every member of the family was getting his or her hair cut by her. But then Manfrengensen was the first to break away. The economist in him crunched the numbers and figured it was a better investment to buy his own clippers and have me run him over every few weeks. No one can fault him for that.




Then, about six months ago, she opened her own place, and that was the beginning of the end for me. Don’t get me wrong: Her shop is beautiful. It’s done all in white leather and dark granite. But frankly, I hate it. First of all there’s the music. They’ve got this techno-kind-of-house music BLASTING in there the whole time like you’re at a club, and the bass is throbbing like my temples – brum, brum, brum, brum, brum, brum, repeat. Her boyfriend is the receptionist (or is he also a stylist? I can’t really tell. He’s supposed to be a stylist, but I never actually see him cut any hair. Then last time I was there, his thumb was in a bandage, so I asked if that was an occupational injury — like cut with his scissors — but he admitted no, he’d injured it cutting a bagel. Yeah, I want that guy cutting my hair — he can’t even cut a bagel.)

So, not last time, but the time before, I said, “Hey, Franz,” (Franz wearing thes super tight jeans that are too long and the same navy suede jacked with the paisey-etched detail that he always wears) “do you really like this music, or is it just the kind of vibe you’re going for in here?” And he nodded his head (in time with the bass??) and admitted that no, he really liked this music.

Okay then.

Then, in the waiting area (and by the way, there’s always a wait) they’ve got this 70″ plasma TV, which would be nice except that all they show on that screen is people cutting hair! There’s no volume to the TV, so I can’t tell if it’s an instructional video or what (Franz learning his way up from bagel?) but seriously: who the f@#& wants to watch that? Why would I want to watch that? So I can learn to cut my own hair and hopefully never have to come back?

Don’t even get me started on the styling chairs which look great, but are totally stiff and uncomfortable. There’s an area in the salon for coloring that has about six of these chairs arranged so that (I assume) when she gets other stylists working there, they can all color at once. Besides the discomfort of the chair, while you wait for your color to process, what are you looking at? Do they have the chairs facing the window you can feel radiating sunshine behind you, or even a TV (though I admit I wouldn’t want to watch what they’d probably be showing), or anything aesthetically pleasing? No. When you are processing your color, you sit facing the wall of color tubes, where you can watch her mix other people’s color. Wee!

I feel bad leaving her, especially in this economy, especially now that it’s her own place, but I just don’t think it’s my kind of place. Plus, it was always stressful to take the kids wherever she was working Baby Gorillabefore, but now it’s a total nightmare. They’re dancing to the music like it’s some kind of funny when they’ve got to wait wait wait, and who can blame them? I’m always freaking out, thinking they’re going to take a header and smash through the acrylic coffee table that squats about a foot above the center of the floor in the waiting room, or worse, crack their heads open on the marble tiled floor. I think she and Franz are worried about this too, because on this last occasion they both admonished the children in two separate moments to chill. But the clincher was last time because not only did we have to wait forever, first for her to cut one and then the other (we were there more than an hour even though we had appointments), but also — she raised the prices for the kids’ cuts. And they weren’t even that good. I swear, both boys looked like something out of Gorillas in the Mist.

She didn’t even get a chance to wash and dry their hair either. She cut one and then waited to wash his while she cut the other. But by the time she finished cutting the second one, I just wanted to get the heck out of there! She was like, “Are you sure you don’t want me to wash them?” I was sure. I’d spent more than an hour trying to hold the Princess down (even with the toys and books I had brought for her) as she tried to mimic her brothers’ various dance moves and keep up with their climbing and spinning on the white leather chairs in the waiting area. And then — not even a discount roll-back to the old prices for saving her the shampoo and blow dry. After we left, I felt like I’d been hollowed out with a mellon-baller.

And then, a week after that, I had to cancel The Princess’s cut when she had the pinkeye. I left a message on the voicemail a little after 9 a.m.. Was there ever a follow-up by Franz to reschedule? What do you think?

So, we’re done.


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