On Restraint of Pen and Tongue

I was not looking forward to my hair appointment. I dislike being fussed over in general, and am not great at sitting still for any length of time. However, having made the commitment to go with a more polished look Post Fire, I drove to the salon I went to 6 weeks ago to have my mature blondes replaced with my REAL hair color, and get an actual style. That first time had been okay. The stylist was clearly good at her job, and I liked the result. We even had a decent book conversation. Today, I wasn’t dreading seeing the stylist, just the process. I even had a small gift for her in my purse. I try and go the extra mile for people who deal with the general public when I can.

I stepped in the door, turned to greet her and was met by a scathing, hate filled glare. It could’ve frozen pipes in the middle of Florida in August. Most sane people would have turned around and left. However, I seem to have a store of bravery that is specifically triggered by mean people. Maybe it’s my version of spite, but I just won’t be driven off by hateful attitudes.  I lean in.  The last memorable time this kind of mean was directed at me I told the person if they shook their finger in my face again, I was going to break it off. In this case, I took a less violent approach.  I smiled and walked over to the pool of simmering resentment and asked if there was a problem. “You’re LATE”, she replied.  Turns out I was late, by thirteen minutes.  Not on purpose, I just had the time wrong, I thought my appointment was 3.30, it was at 3.15. She proved it to me by whipping her cell phone out and showing me the text she had sent me confirming the time.  I promptly apologized for wasting her time. She said, “Well, it won’t be the worst thing that happens today”.  Yikes.

The gift stayed in my purse, and I decided to ride it out, because I’m a glass half full person. Poor choice.  She whipped out the cloth and tied it too tightly around my neck, and then was aggravated when I asked her to loosen it. She soaked my back with the rinse and didn’t offer me a towel. Her coup-de-grace was cutting off quite a bit of hair.  I made the mistake of telling her NOT to, as my hair grows at a glacial pace and any haircut for me is an extreme commitment.  As she cut years of re-growing off, she pointedly let me know that she was in such demand that she was trying to get rid of people.  She smiled thinly at me and said, “But don’t worry, I’m not going to charge you the extra fee for annoying me like I do some people”.  This woman needs a vacation, I thought, and held my tongue. She then proceeded to blow my hair dry on high, which hurts like hell.  I kept my mouth shut through that too.

The best part was when I asked when I should make my next appointment. I couldn’t help myself. Her face puckered like she was sucking a basketball through an air hose. She pulled out her book and we booked it, then I paid her.  It was $10 more than it was last time. Guess she charged me that fee after all.  In case you’re wondering, no I am not going to keep it, and am still mulling whether I need to go on Yelp and help her thin her appointment book.

That last bit — that I am still mulling it over and not taking action and instantly writing a poor review — is me having restraint of pen and tongue. Glibness and sarcasm are a part of my makeup and when they make an appearance, I am later forced to make apologies. Not that I am against apologies in general.  I just prefer to be either nice or right and not have to make them.  In the hairdresser’s case, I was walking a fine line.  I could tell I was irritating her just by existing that day, but on the other hand, it is her job. So did I handle that well, or was I a doormat in disguise, with passive aggressive tendencies?

Another recent time of restraint (aside from the DMV adventure, outlined in last week’s entry), was when Craig and I decided to go and try having a nice lunch somewhere. It had been a rough morning for both of us, and we needed a fresh start. We are lucky that we both work for ourselves so we can play hooky when we want to. I’d been wanting to go to the Farmer’s Market downtown here for a while. It’s cute, but there was no produce out the day we went which was what I was hoping to find.  We decided to lunch at a farm-to-table restaurant called Mudhen, which I immediately had a fondness for, as it shares the same name as a fun Theatre League 16-inch softball team I pitched for in Chicago in the 1980’s  And if that doesn’t date me, nothing will.

It was late for lunch, around 2pm so the restaurant was not very busy. The menu was pricey but we split things, so that wasn’t an issue. We were seated at a dirty table, and given a sort of oh you’re clearly not hip enough once-over glance by the waitress when Craig asked if they had just plain coffee as opposed to the $8 mugs of “bullet-proof” coffee that kill your appetite and make you buzzy in one gulp. She reluctantly got Craig the plain coffee and after a second ask, we both got some water.  We ordered a BLT**. Seemed simple enough. Sadly, I can’t tell you what it tasted like, as it never made it to our table.  We tried to catch our server’s attention, to maybe get some more coffee and water while we waited for our overpriced BLT work of art that was taking over 25 minutes to construct, but she darted away and hid in the back. Finally we had had enough, tossed $5 on the table for the coffee, and got up to leave.  Only then did an impeccably groomed manager swan over. He graced us with an offer to see what was going on with our food as if it were an immense favor. It was his inclusion of the sentence, “You weren’t waiting that long” that really got us going. Craig had some words with him while I went outside and cried. It was a rotten way to be treated, like we were not good enough or educated enough to eat at Mudhen. I think I want to write a Yelp review of it. While my hair escapade was unfortunate and petty, I don’t want to imperil someone’s livelihood. Maybe she was just having a bad day. However, taking an overpriced, full of themselves restaurant with poorly trained staff down a peg or two. yep I think I have been restrained enough for one week.  Looks like I have a bit more writing to do.


** BLT SALAD for 4

(I serve this with pita chips for those who don’t need to worry about consuming bread products.)

Chop up any type of greens you want, but include iceberg lettuce – about 8 cups. The smaller the chop the tastier the salad.

Chop 2 large beefsteak or 6 Roma tomatoes and add.

Fry up either Bacon bacon or Turkey Bacon. I use a half a package and cut into strips before frying. I fry in olive oil, and then add extra at the end.  Dump this hot onto your salad.  It ends up being about 4 T of olive oil best guess.

Squeeze the juice of an entire lemon (2 if they are small) on top, and add a bit of salt and pepper.

Toss and top with a chopped avocado. Or two if you are an avocado lover like me.


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2 thoughts on “On Restraint of Pen and Tongue”

  1. Vivian Hayward

    Sorry you have had some upsetting encounters with service folks who should be as polite & accommodating as possible. You handled it beautifully ..I
    Salute you!

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