Monday, February 22, 2010

Hair Today/Hair Tomorrow

I have come to the conclusion that hair is more important than anyone realizes. It is something we all have to deal with everyday; or, in the case of the chrome dome (by choice or not) have had to deal with.

You have to wash it, condition it, comb it, brush it, style it, and dry it. Some of us get it cut every six weeks, others get it colored every two months (something I would know nothing about), and rug rats not only put gum in it, but cut their own, (and each other's), before the adult in the room has had a chance to put the scissors away after clipping coupons.

There are so many decisions to be made about one's hair: wear it short, keep it long, straighten it, or let it go natural. Every morning you make a choice whether to braid it or tie it in a pony tail, or just let it hang free.

There are hairstyles for everything from how you feel, what you're wearing, and where you are going. To that list, I'd like to add: how people treat you. For example, stop in at Wally World after a workout with most of your hair in a messy ponytail and approach the manager about why there are no Hannah Montana lunchboxes on the shelf. He'll call three neighboring stores to see if he can get one for you by tomorrow (and he'll pick it up on his way home from work today). The next day, walk up to that same manager in your Sunday best to inquire why there is none of the soft toilet paper anywhere in the store, and he'll tell you to come back on Thursday after the delivery truck has been here. This may give you some pause as to why "messy" me was treated better that "well groomed" me. For your answer, you only have to look around and realize the store you are in (and the typical clientele of that store). In all fairness, the reverse would happen if you walked into a Niemen Marcus after a workout with your hair looking like a rat's nest; actually, you might not even get out of the revolving door.

Another hair experience occurred to me the other day when I ran out to the local ice cream store and the ice cream scooper behind the counter wouldn't take my coupons. I was getting nowhere as I questioned her explanation ("we don’t honor those here"), even though they clearly stated the location's address on the coupon. Giving up in exasperation, I paid for the ice cream cone and went on my way. The next day I stopped at the same store (I happen to like ice cream cones). As I fumbled for cash, the (this time, male) employee on duty saw my coupons and asked if I would like to use them. I promptly handed them over as payment. Thinking back to the previous day, I wondered if my appearance (hair tied in a knot) affected the attitude the girl working that day felt toward me. If so, it's true what they say about the difference a day makes; because, today I had a kick-ass hair-day and an employee with good customer service on his mind.

Or was it even my hair that was on his mind.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Borrowed Identity

At one time or another, everyone gets mistaken for someone else. The typical "Hey, don't I know you?" has become the standard pickup line in a bar; a variation on that would be: "you look familiar....." or "don't I know you from......". Depending on your mood, these lines can be quite annoying. If the level of desperation is high, you might not wait until closing time to go home.

There are times when your appearance is screaming: "I work here! Ask me something, anything!" If this is not to your liking, don't wear a goofy hat in an amusement park or a bright colored tee shirt in a hardware store. If I'm not in a hurry and am in a playful mood, I've been known to be the person they think I am. My girlfriend in the goofy hat at the amusement park didn't know what to say when a woman in need of a restroom didn't believe she was not a park employee. My first reaction would have been to direct the woman doing the pee-pee dance to the other end of the park near the merry-go-round (and quickly disappear into the crowd). I've been in the hardware store and heard "can you help me?" three times before it dawned on me the other customer thought I was a rude employee. After I saw his dirty look, my response was, "I'll try"; little did he know that's when my playfulness kicked in. I skimmed the sale paper he shoved at me and told him we were out of Spackle; not to worry though chewing gum works just as good and is much cheaper. If he had a problem with gum and his dentures ("sorry, I thought......") maybe he could use some of his grandchild's play dough ("ohhhh, that's your daughter....."). As I quickly took my leave of the store I noticed my fellow shopper at the service desk asking for the manger.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Keeping the Lid on Household Mysteries

Every man, women and child at one time or another has experienced the mystery of the missing sock at least once in their lifetime; the child will have many more times of this mystery to come. Let me begin with the obvious: the sock never made it to the washing machine. Found behind the hamper, its mate will sit alone on the dryer, dresser or in a drawer until the next load of darks is washed when they will be joined in a ball once again. Other scenarios include being stuck in a leg of jeans, or getting kicked under the washer during the sorting process. The mate will usually get thrown out after a couple of months when all hope of reuniting the pair has been lost. What usually will happen next, a nickel rolls under the dryer and you'll spend 10 minutes with a yard stick swiping the floor underneath; then a flood of emotion will overcome you. Beginning with anger when you discover a receipt for that now unreturnable VCR tape re-winder that you never wanted in the first place. Followed by confusion as to how uncooked macaroni got under there, then the joy that you found a quarter! The warm sentimental moment as you blow dust from a few Lego pieces is replaced by frustration when you realize you're back to square one with one sock again. You reach acceptance when you throw that one out, too and finally satisfaction knowing the pair will be reunited at the landfill.

The missing sock has been known to turn up in the bed sheets. This scenario can be easily avoided if the sorting is done properly; or, more likely, the wash day helper doesn't throw everything together and doesn't forget to use fabric softener. The most fun scenario (as long as it happens to someone else) is the sock-stuck-to- the- back-of-a- sweater; again it's that helper that didn't use the dryer sheet.

This brings me to another oddball mystery if you will; the missing storage container lid (or in some cases, the missing container). When the children were just Little Kiddles, the only cabinet without a childproof lock was where the Tupperware was stored. Many-a-day, one or more of them would stay quietly occupied for about a half hour playing with plastic containers (not much time in the grownup world but thirty minutes without a toddler needing attention can seem endless). Once those children no longer found it fun to stack the mixing bowls, they moved onto building blocks and Legos. They soon learned to throw these things at each other or balance them on a sleeping dog; years later those Legos would be found under the dryer with a dusty sock. That was a nice trip down Memory Lane; now back to the issue at hand: the missing lids. There's a variety of reasons to have lidless containers. Unlike socks, lids don't get lost in the bed sheets or stuck to the back of a sweater; they do get tossed out with the moldy leftovers, warped in the dishwasher and just thrown out because you've forgotten the bottom has been sitting under a leaky pipe in the guest bathroom for the past two months.

While the lone sock eventually gets reunited via the garbage truck, the lidless bowl stays put only to make life a bit more difficult. The current leftovers that fill a bowl are waiting their turn to get forgotten in the back of the fridge. As they continue their wait, the search for a cover goes on until those leftovers are transferred to a much larger bowl or two smaller bowls, both taking up unnecessary space in an already packed refrigerator. That lidless bowl will be washed and put back in the cabinet, only to do it all over again the next day.

There are other household mysteries I may never live long enough to solve: First - why do dishes end up in the sink when the dishwasher is right next to it? Second - Why is only unloading a dishwasher considered next to torture? Back-in-the-day, all dishes had to be manually washed, dried, and put away after each meal.

Oh wait, there are a few more mysteries: Are shoes supposed to accumulate at the back door? And why are slipper socks in the mix? Why does the new roll of toilet paper sit on the sink while the holder remains empty (this also can apply to the paper towel roll in the kitchen)? Why not just finish the orange juice rather than let it sit with a sip left in it? I'm no Sherlock Holmes; there are some things that should be left to ponder, to talk about over dinner. These things tend to keep life quirky. To keep the peace, I'll just put a sock in it!