Red Lines, Banalities and Grumpy Middle Aged Men

Salons require appointments.
You call in advance.
You make an appointment.
You are slotted in a open 15 minute slot.
You show up on time. (Always on time.)
You wait.
5 minutes.
10 minutes.
15 minutes.
And finally, the red line is crossed.

20 minutes.

Now, understand the Profile. You slide from Friday into Solitude, the Weekend, off-the-clock. You refuse  all social engagements and avoid the most casual forms of human interaction. (Dogs, owned by neighbors or even strangers, are welcomed.)  All form of human contact is avoided, except that required for errands. One haircut a month.

I stand up, and walk to the reception desk, two ladies standing, chewing gum and chatting and a third is texting.

“Hi, it’s been 20 minutes.”

They seemed surprised.  The Owner approaches.

“Are you ok? Can I help?”

“I’ve been waiting 20 minutes.”

“I’m sorry, Sir. We were busy today. I hope you can understand.”

99% of the time, I let these go. The receptionists (3), are all staring, waiting for a response. I look at him, his look is…well…smug.

“Sir, your stylist will be ready in another 5 minutes. Would you like to wait in the chair?”

Are we conducting Brain surgery here?  Or root canals?

I call him over. 99.9% of the time, I let these go.

He approaches. Too close. Well into my space. Close enough for me to smell his cologne, one spritz heavy.

“Now, let me explain why I’m irritated. The last four appointments, your stylists have been late four times.  And not by small margins.”

“I’m sorry Sir.”  He reaches to touch my arm with his apology, I step back. He notices, and grins trying to diffuse the tension.

“We’ve been very busy today. This usually doesn’t happen. It will only be a few more minutes.”

“Do you prefer that I reschedule my appointment?” Go ahead. Say Yes. And it will be goodbye.

“No Sir, it will just be a few minutes. Would you like to wait in the chair?”

I take two steps forward, now back in his space. And smile.

“Would you prefer that I make it a habit of coming 15 minutes after my scheduled appointment?

“I’m sorry you are upset Sir.”

“I’m not upset with you. I’m upset with myself, wondering why I’m still standing here.”

The stylist walks up.  The Owner pulls him to the side, whispers in his ear.

I’m seated.

An awkward silence continues for a few moments and then the normal banal chatter returns.

“So are your Kids and Grandchildren coming home for Thanksgiving?”

There’s a long pause. I glare at the mirror at him, he catches the look, drops his head and keeps cutting.

“No, Sir. I didn’t mean Grandkids. I thought maybe…ahem…maybe…”

“Shampoo, sir?”

Notes: Photo Credit


  1. Olga Kanigan says:

    I have no words it just takes one person to be late.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Grrr….this stuff scalds me! I hate waiting when I’m on time (which in my world means early), stick to the rules and then w-a-I-t. I feel you Grandpa…um…Dave.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. and a very close hot shave?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I nearly collapsed…. I had this very same experience AGAIN last Saturday. I got assured that YES your 11h30 appointment will not be late. I was there at 11:20, my hair-stylist was just STARTING to cut some lady’s hair. After 10’ I went over to her, said nicely good morning and asked How much longer would it take? Oh, only about 10’ and I’ll be right with you….
    Another 15’ later I got my hair washed by another woman – ARE YOU OK? She said! Not really, I replied, I’ve made my appointment for 11:30, I have guests for lunch and I’m not a happy bunny…. What can I do? The young woman said. NOT MUCH, since my hair is wet and I’m sitting here in a chair waiting for MY cut…. Well, WHEN are your guests coming? I said ‘For 1pm’….. That will be OK, we shall have ‘done’ you long before and you just have to hop home (20’ on foot that is but she couldn’t know). Normally, at this point I would get offered an espresso, but not today! I think I might have overstepped their threshold of politeness and crossed the line of common understanding. Anyway, I made it for 1pm and NOBODY at all remarked that I just returned hot-cheeked and unprepared from the bl…y hairdresser! That was the final straw – rushing in from the cold, opening bottles of wine and dashing about with snacks and not even getting acknowledged for my twice-an-year visit to get my 7 hairs done 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Solution: Go to a barber shop. Any place called a salon spells trouble.
    A Happy Thanksgiving, Dave.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I really find it insulting that so many places overbook and then expect you to accept that their time is more important than yours. Other than that, I enjoyed this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hair stylist? What’s wrong with a good ol’ barber? No appointments needed and you don’t mind waiting a bit because there is lively, testosterone fueled conversation. It’s one of the last bastions of masculinity left in our deteriorating society. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Definitely time for a change. Barbers are okay, but maybe somewhere where you get a nice head massage along with the shampoo to calm you down before moving to the chair for the chatter and cutting! Thats what my hairdresser does.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Good on you for speaking up! And then they make you feel feel guilty you did! 🙄 I would definitely change salons, as they are definitely not going to change their attitude Gramps ha 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  10. …Oh David, I felt your pain all the way through! The woman who “does” my hair has severe ADHD so I practice incredible patience…always late, and so on…. I think I’d try a barber if I were a guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Uh oh. I don’t blame you, DK. Your reaction to this smooth stealing of your sacrosanct time was truly mild. Considering the Profile. And being blamed to be old enough for grandkids. A terrible offence that you took with…shampoo.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. richardkanigan says:

    Can’t stop laughing! the Kanigan temper comes through! What do you need a stylist for? three on the sides, five on the top and you are out in 10 minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ugh…I’d show up late or find a new place, maybe without the word salon ?? There are still barber shops where I live, but they are dropping fast.

    As for the grandfather comment…see: Mick Jagger, age 73, new dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You know me — I love the grandkids part — they can ask me any time!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nothing pisses me off more than someone consistently wasting my time. Once, I get, an anomaly, but repeated offenses? Uh, nope. Time for a new stylist, pal. Deep breaths and think turkey!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Do you want me to tell you what you would like to hear, or what’s on my mind right now?

    Liked by 1 person

    • What do you think? Bring it


      • “Lightly, child, Lightly.”
        Happy Thanksgiving to you, your beautiful family, and to everyone working at the salon. This wasn’t worth losing the smile off your face or getting you the least bit upset.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hmmm. Au Contraire kind Lady. Your thought reminds me of a passage I found on Beth’s site. I.F. Stone is who was described by some as a “veteran muckraker.”

          “The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. In order for somebody to win an important, major fight one hundred years hence, a lot of other people have got to be willing – for the sheer fun and joy of it – to go right ahead and fight, knowing you’re going to lose. You mustn’t feel like a martyr. You’ve got to enjoy it.”

          ~ I. F. Stone

          Liked by 2 people

  17. I’m reminded of a saying, David… it goes something like: A mild mannered reporter from a quaint metropolitan newspaper fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and the American way! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Oh yo. Not okay. I had one of these appointments and I walked. Out. Never again. The stylists were smacking gum, taking 15 minutes to sweep up the last kid’s hair they cut, walking to and fro, staring at phones. Nobody bothered to say anything to me whatsoever and they avoided eye contact. We can do better, you and I. And I have. And you will. I know it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Tell the receptionist to let your stylist know ahead of time that your generous tip will be theirs IF you are served on time. Then stick to it. Even if you have to wait you’ll have the satisfaction of the last word.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. My heart rate went up reading this. Makes you want to do something regrettable doesn’t it? My worst one recently was having my car serviced whilst i waited, and seeing it not move for 45 minutes after I arrived and then when it had been serviced seeing it sit there another 45 minutes before they washed it (and having it not done properly because by then I was almost shouting at them). I wrote a good email and 2 days later (note) the manager offered me a free service next time so they could prove they weren’t total tossers.

    I say reduce the possibility of a repeat of that: DIY or cut it shorter and only go every 6 weeks!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Michael Zahaby says:

    I’m sensing tension

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Omg.. you have me cracking up. 15 mins haircuts?? and I can see your face..

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I love this so much, I can’t even tell you. When human beings are the very last thing I want to deal with, everything is an insult, an imposition, evidence of youth-slack and reasons I belong on Vulcan.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. happy thanksgiving.
    hoping everyone notices and likes your fresh new hair cut as you sit down to enjoy your holiday dinner 🙂
    This was so entertaining. I’m sorry!! But you did write it really well.
    Brilliant comeback re: “….make it a Habit to come in 15 minutes after my appointment?”
    ps how are those “grandkids” omg!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. No call for that. Find a new place – one that respects your time and business.
    Happy Thanksgiving, David. Best to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. The salon I frequent has a no-appointment policy.
    I can sympathize with “not ready for grandfatherhood”. Unfortunately my daughter decided otherwise. I’ve been working on getting used to the idea for two months and have four months of practice left.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No appointment policy? Presume wait isn’t too long?
      Congratulations on GrandPa-hood. 6 months of practice, smiling. I bet you are a pro already! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It depends on the time of the day and day of the week. My preferred hairdresser will give me an indication of how long I need to wait and a couple of times she has suggested I come back on another day. I know what to expect and go prepared with a book.

        I’m thinking I may need to pretend I just got an award to play the part of the proud Grand Pa. Of all the different aging milestones, it’s the one I have a hangup with. I told my daughter that if I show in a sports car, it’s her fault.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. I went in for a mortgage loan appointment back in 2011. He had me hanging for about 30 minutes while he chatted it up with some chick in short shorts that looked like an American flag.. Like you I wondered why I was still there. When I finally got to his desk, it didnt go too well, and I wish I’d documneted it at the time becuse all I can really remember was saying something about “Old Glory” and telling him “long may it wave” as I was giving him the bird on the way out of there.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thank you for sharing, very interesting

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Waiting is disturbing..

    Liked by 1 person

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