Saturday, November 13, 2010

In which I put on my big girl knickers...

Confrontation can be... well... confronting for me.

Actually, that's not completely true. Surprisingly, if I get wound up enough, getting really angry and tearing someone a new asshole is pretty easy, I dont't have that thing where you walk away and suddenly think of all the things you wish you'd said, I tend to walk away thinking, "Oh, wow, you made the truckie cry, maybe you should have gone a bit easier". What I find hard is to find that middle ground between being a avenging Fury, and meekly accepting something you're not happy with.

Assertiveness, I believe it's called.

And so today, I am strutting around quite proud of myself, because I have finally put on my big girl knickers and faced an awkward situation, and confronted my hairdresser.

While all my female readers let out a knowing, "Ahhhh...", let me explain for any male readers out there.  Hairdressers are like priests, you find yourself confessing secrets and chatting away about very intimate subjects (like, just today; sex, body image, weight loss, miscarriage and celebrity fake tans) and when you find a good one, you will go to extreme measures to stay with them.

I have been bereft of a good hairdresser relationship since I moved from Brisbane ot the Gold Coast, and so was thrilled when I turned up for an appointment today at a new salon. The vibe was welcoming and stylish, with a homespun feel (the salon is a converted house, the flowers were fresh and the CD playing was Megan Washington, i.e. perfect). I was further thrilled when I immediately 'clicked' with my haidresser, B, and we were soon chatting away like old mates.

So, when I left not feeling like I had got my money's worth, I was a little shattered. I have quite dark black hair at the moment, after a short-lived fascination with wanting to look like a Latina bombshell,

and want to start going lighter, as I have been most of my adult life, ending up something like this...

Obviously, this will be a bit of a process... "It won't happen overnight" etc. Still, I did think after dropping THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS at the hairdresser, I might see a noticable difference! I know it a massive amount of money, but this was my little reclamation of my 'old self' and my treat to myself, a little luxury and pampering now that I am working and slogging my guts out during the week. Plus, I am starting to feel more like my old self, not the dark, stressed girl of late, so want my outside to reflect that too.

Anyhoo, enough validating. When we had finished at the salon, I was pretty dissapointed to see that, yes, my hair was a bit lighter overall, but not so noticeably so. I had expected, after our discussion in the beginning, that I would see more caramel pieces, rather than just an being a slightly lighter shade overall.

I brought it up at the time, but admittedly in a fairly wishy washy way. I had come to really like B, and I hoped to become a regular of the salon, so I didn't really want to rock the boat too much, or make her think I was mean, or unappreciative. Is it just me or does it seem slightly silly that I am comfortable paying so much money out for something as ultimately trivial as hair, but I can't have a grown-up conversation and say I'm not particularly happy about a service?

Anyway, B assured me that as my hair dried, I would see it actually is a fair bit lighter. I am really happy with the cut she gave me, and my hair feels lovely after the treatement, so I swallow my reservations (hey, maybe that's the real reason we put on weight???), thnak her, pay my staggering bill and leave.

Half an hour later, I feel terrible. I go to my Aunt's house to pick up GG and notice her surprise that I spent 4 hours at the hairdresser and still look essentially the same. I check out my now dry hair in the mirror and yep, I can notice it's a little lighter, but just barely.,

By now I feel awful, regretful, horrified at the amount of money I had spent and hating myself for not speaking up. I really wanted to go back in time, or else go home and eat chocolate and pretend it never happened.

Instead, I slapped myself upside the head and gave myself a stern talking to. "Quixotic, you are a grown woman. You are smart, accomplished and resourceful. Stop acting like an insecure teenager, and get your 33-year old butt back there and tell them you appreciate the effort she made, love the cut, but feel you haven't got value for money, and want either half your money back, or another head of foils for free.".

Feeling absolutely terrified, I front back up to the salon. B sees me and grins, heading toward me with a questioning look.


I feel 3 inches tall, but the thought of all the things I could have done with $300 dollars keeps me from trilling maniacally "Just forgot a card!" and bolting out the door to safety.

I gather up all my courage and speak... I tell her this is incredibly awkward for me, I love what she's done, but for the amount of money I paid, I would have liked to see a more noticable difference. I smile. I giggle a little bit hysterically (so shoot me) but essentially keep it together.

B is an angel, She stays calm, and friendly, brings her manager over and asks me exactly what I'm unhappy with.

I am dying, plus now I have another person present, but swallow hard and again re-iterate that I love my cut, and am happy with what she's done so far, but would've expected to see more of a difference.

B explains exactly what she did for me, and the manager agrees that yes, that's what she would have done, but also agrees my hair colour doesn't look that different.

I tell them I understand not everyone's hair reacts the same to colouring, but nonetheless, I would like to see more of a difference.

B suggests another head of foils in a few days, with a more 'piece-y' look and some caramel highlights.

I resist the urge to tongue-kiss B.

The manager agrees and I book another appointment, feeling a rush of happiness that I have actually acted like a grown-up, proper big girl and calmly and assertively solved a problem, rather than just slink home and dump a bottle of peroxide through my hair and avoid ever going within a 10km radius of that salon again.

B even thanked me for coming back, because she'd have hated for me to just leave it and be unhappy with her work, now she gets a chance to give me what I want.

REALLY resist the urge to tongue-kiss B.

I felt empowered, magnificent and not a tiny bit proud of myself. I was also IMMENSELY pleased with the great service and professionalism B and her manager showed. They have a brand new regular that's for sure!

The best part of all this? That GG was with me during the whole conversation, and got to see a woman stand up for herself, confront a problem calmly and assertively and get a result, all without being overly dramatic, passive-agressive, abusive or shouty. Win/win all round!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Have a little faith...

Well, hi there! After another marathon session of blog-abstinence, I thought it high time I wander back on over.

So how's things? Everyone good? Yeah... cool. Oh me? Oh you know, not much, this and that, running round after GG, the usual... oh there is one little thing - I GOT A PERMANENT JOB!!!!!!!

Honestly, the relief is amazing! I feel a sense of security, and hopefulness, now that I can actually plan out a budget and do all those little things, like buy food and electricity.

It's very full on, I get up at 5.30am and rush, rush, rush til I put GG to bed at 7.30/8.00pm. Then I try and get some stuff done around the house (quietly!) before I pass out at a nanna-worthy bedtime. It's not ideal, but it's what we need right now, so I imagine I will stick around til GG starts school in a little over a year.


What was that sound you wonder?? That was me falling out of my fucking chair that my tiny little baby will start school IN A LITTLE OVER A YEAR!!!!!!! The last year of kid-dom feels like it passed in oh, about a week, so it will be no time before I'm covering books in contact and trying not to cry at the school gate.

There's no way I will subject her to before-school care, going to school, after-school care and then maybe an hour or so with Mum before bed (all whilst I'm trying to get dinner, bath her etc.), so we will have to re-visit our situation then, it's just not fair to her, to start this major chater in her life without more support from me.

At least for now we can start paying off some debt and have a decent Christmas.

This really couldn't have come at a better time. I had been trying so hard to stay postive, to trust that everything would work out, but it had gotten to the point where I was starting to question myself. Was I a total idiot for thinking this way? To trust in God or the Universe or Dr Phil that everything would be okay if I had faith and stayed positve, what sort of ludicrous, deluded thinking is that? Shouldn't I be running around shrieking. "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!", dissolving into hysterics and hating my life?

Nope, apparently not. Faith is the way to go it seems, it'll just test your resolve til you get there.

A bit of an asshole, Faith is, it seems. Playing with you like that, toying with your emotions.