My husband is what I would refer to as a Cheap Bastard. Don’t get me wrong – it’s part of the reason I married him. I’m a firm believer that there is something wrong with paying more than $12 for a t-shirt and I pride myself on the myriad of ways I find to save money (ironically, CB is embarrassed by some of these methods). That said, CB has a habit of picking the most inopportune time to start complaining about some cost or necessity.
Me: Let’s stop at the store on the way home, we need a few groceries.
CB: What? Can’t it wait?!
Me: We’re out of milk, bread and cereal, and the dogs have been eyeing up the baby since they’ve been out of food since last night.
CB: We get a paycheck next Friday, can’t it wait until then?
Me: Sure, but when the dogs go wild with hunger over the next ten days I hope they remember this conversation and start with the meaty one.
CB: Okay. Wait, am I the meaty one?
If groceries set him off, my beautification needs are an endless source of cheap-bastardly concern. I am blessed with hair that takes on a Wookie-like demeanor as it grows out and it needs to be cut a bit more often than CB would like, especially since I continue to refuse his offers to cut it himself. In fairness, the cost of getting this mop cut and highlighted has begun to resemble the GNP of a small island country. After some hit or miss debacles when I first moved here, I managed to find a stylist I love and have followed her through several salon changes, each unfortunately more expensive than the last. Having a touch of the CB condition myself, I do make every effort to save for and strategically plan hair and face needs well in advance, make sacrifices (many of my shoes are on their third re-soling) to offset the expense, and when asked for gift ideas always mention either my hair stylist or esthetician.
Despite my efforts, last week I raised the haircut issue and was once again greeted with “can’t it wait?!” with CB pulling out a slightly whiney voice that made me want to punch him in his face. Or maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t had my hair cut in a YEAR and I’d been reduced to wearing headbands and ponytails every single day for months. Either way, it was getting done, and concessions were made. Which is why I found myself in a gritty salon, sitting in an unfamiliar chair and staring into the mirror to see an unfamiliar stylist into whose hands I was about to place my complete hair trust. All around me were ladies getting short cuts, or long hair put into beehives, and lots of raspy gossip (seriously, it was like a bad John Waters movie). I came armed with several examples of exactly what I wanted done and prayed that the stylist could understand what I was saying to her better than what I could decipher through her very thick accent. And I just kept thinking, praying, that whatever this woman did, it had to be better than another week of headbands. Yes, definitely had to be.
I’d like to think she did a good job, as opposed to my hair just being so hideous before that there was nowhere to go but up. For his part, CB took great pains to tell me how great my new hair looked and how I’d never been more beautiful. They didn’t offer me wine or snacks like my old salon, but based on the snippets of conversation I caught, I’m guessing they wouldn’t mind so much if I brought my own. I wonder if my old stylist is looking for somewhere new to park her scissors.