For Chip: He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. —Unknown

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Salon

It is Saturday night and I am five years old.  My mother is scurrying around and is about to wash my hair.  I remember seeing a commercial about beautiful hair after using Prell.  My mother would wash my hair and then lay out Sunday clothes and pretty shoes for church.  I liked getting pampered and having my hair curled and my nails polished. It was a warm feeling of having someone care about you.                                                                                                                                

I am at the nail salon now on Sunday and I am going to get my eyebrows waxed.  This was not needed when I was eight but now had become a routine.  The nail salon is the same one I go to every few weeks to have my nails done.  I ask to have my eyebrows waxed and am ushered back by someone I do not recognize.  It is a small little room with a bed and I wonder if the sheets are clean.  I quickly ask how long she has been there and she says two months.  Ok that sounds reasonable and she probably came from another salon.  She offers to wax my entire face for just a few dollars more.  I say sure and she starts waxing my forehead.  I really do not think there is any hair on my forehead but she says they do everything on the face . Suddenly I feel a tug in the bang area.  There are a few more tugs but I cannot tell what is happening.  When I ask what is going on she tells me that she got wax in my bangs.  I ask how do they usually remove wax and she says that oil is the only way.  I realize I have a heap of oil all over my bangs.  When I touch my hair it feels like it is wrapped in sticky tape.  I am feeling helpless.  She continues waxing parts of my face that I doubt have microscopic hair.  I talk nervously about how my mother used to use aloe vera for everything.

Suddenly at the end of the session she says she will be right back. How ironic that I had mentioned aloe vera.  When she returns she has a huge leaf and she repeats the word "aloe vera".  It is cold and was taken from the freezer. Its a bonus treatment.  She says aloe vera is for burns.  "Oh really" I say.  For a second I feel like I am at home when my mother used to go outside and  get an aloe vera leaf to fix the problem.  I did not know that nail salons kept plants in the freezer like a biology lab.  I ask what she thinks of laser hair removal and she said that your skin is much too sensitive for laser.  "Really" I say.   "I never thought of my skin as being sensitive".  I ask what she is going to do about the wax in my hair.  She says she will get  it out but it seems to have turned into a dilemma.  I am now picturing a bald spot in the front.  I finally ask if she has a brush or comb and maybe that will work.  She says  "oh yes this is going to do the trick".  She finally hands me a mirror.  I am horrified to see my bangs dripping with oil.  My hair looks black and Halloween scary. Then I notice I do have sensitive skin.  I have two big burns on either side of my chin.  Most people would call the manager.  This is like crying for help in a prison.  I am sure there will be no sympathy.   When they hand you a mirror they always tell you that now you look ten years younger.  I paid and even gave a tip because I wanted to escape while I could still get out alive.  It's been three days and my face looks like it took a spill on concrete with nasty burns.

Is it possible to get nails done and have the same pleasant conversation that you have with a hair dresser.  How's your dog? What is for dinner?  Doing anything this weekend? This is not happening at the nail salon so best just to accept it.  How is it possible to be so focused on your work that you have no emotion with the person you are working with.  This is America where service is valued.  Why do I put up with this?  Could I pay a few dollars more and get someone that cared or would that be out of my price range?  Why must we accept service that lacks the human touch?  Is it possible to experience the same care that I felt in my little house on Columbia in the Heights and enjoy once again the concern that you cannot buy.  I am not asking for much but just some kindness, a little emotion and if I am lucky maybe a smile.  It would be wonderful if it felt like home.

Feels Like Home Lyrics
Artist(Band):Randy Newman

Something in your eyes
Makes me wanna lose myself
Makes me wanna lose myself
In your arms.

There's something in your voice
Makes my heart beat fast
Hope this feeling lasts
The rest of my life.

If you knew how lonely my life has been
And how low I've felt so long.
If you knew how I wanted someone to come along
And change my life the way you've done.

Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm on the way back
Where I come from.
Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm on the way back
Where I belong.

A window breaks
Down a long dark street
And a siren wails in the night.
But I'm all right
'Cause I have you here with me
And I can almost see
Through the dark there's light.

If you knew how much this moment means to me
And how long I've waited for your touch.
If you knew how happy you are making me.
I never thought I'd love anyone so much.

Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm on the way back to where I come from.

Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm on the way back where I belong.
Feels like I'm on the way back where I belong. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Brothers & Co.

John & James

Jeff & James

James, Jeff & John

John & Granny in Austin
John & Charlie

Mollie & James