Monday, September 23, 2013

Random observations about hair and Flea Markets

It is a very bad habit of mine, but I tend to wait WAY too long between haircuts.  One: I'm lazy.  Two: I'm usually broke, and my darling stylist charges WAY too much money.  Especially since he's not at a salon anymore.  Even though I love him, and he's been doing my hair for over ten years, I also really miss a salon - the shampooing, the pampering, the shampooing.  So, last weekend, I did the terrible thing I've been dreading.  I cheated on my stylist with a salon.  I feel so cheap.  Well, not cheap, exactly.  You can't really use the word 'cheap' when describing anything related to hairstyling in NYC...
Warning - this will probably be FAR too much information about my haircut.  :)  I did an internet search to find a nice salon near my apartment.  When I found one that had won a Time Out New York award, I thought that sounded fine.  I made an appointment online for last Saturday.  Late Friday night, they sent me a text to confirm the appointment.  Good thing I didn't go to bed very early on Friday.
After doing a little necessary pre-Flea Market shopping, I went Saturday to my appointment.  The salon was nice and airy, and I was happy to see I was neither the oldest customer there, nor was I the youngest.  It looked like a nice mix of neighborhood gals.  The stylists and the staff seemed very friendly.  I took a seat and waited a bit for my appointment.  The receptionist offered me many choices of beverage, but I decided to wait a bit.
I waited maybe fifteen minutes past my appointment time, but with today's smartphones, I kept myself occupied.  Finally, an attractive gentleman introduced himself, apologized for being late, and took me over to his station for a consultation.  After he told me his name, I realized the owner of the salon would be doing my hair.  Well, ok then.  We chatted for a few minutes, I told him what I thought I might want.  He said the shape of my current cut was fine, it just needed trimmed and perhaps texturized on top.  I agreed, so he sent me to be shampooed.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, a salon shampoo.  There's nothing like it.  I just adore it.  And this gal was quite good, with a nice strong style and a bit of a head massage included.  Very nice.  She then took me back over to the station and began blowing my hair dry.  I thought that was a bit odd.  But I figured the owner/stylist liked hair to not be dripping wet.  But she continued to blow my hair dry, then she got out the brushes and begain styling my hair.  All of sudden I began to worry I had only made an appointment for a consultation and not a cut.  So I asked her, by using the international sign of turning my fingers into scissors, was I getting a cut, too?  She said, yes, he would be cutting my hair.  Whew.
I'm not really very chatty when I get my hair cut.  I like to chill out and just be quiet.  Also, since I don't have my glasses on, I can't see a thing, which makes me uncomfortable and also makes me hear less well.  I have no idea why, but it's true.  The owner/stylist, though, sat in a chair and brought my chair to his level.  While he trimmed my hair, he chatted away.  I tried to keep up my end of the conversation as best I could, and he was quite charming, but I was grateful when he stood up to do the rest of my hair, and he stopped chatting.  All of a sudden, he says, "you have much more hair than I thought.  I'll thin it out," and he proceeded to swipe the scissors, over and over, through the thickness of my  hair, along with trimming the length. 
All in all, I was probably in the salon 45 minutes.  When I put my glasses back on, my hair was a bit shorter than I expected, but it was much better than the out-of-control monstrosity I went in with.  When I went to pay up front, the bill was higher than the pricing on the website, because the owner had cut my hair.  Hmmmm.  So, I'm sorry to admit, I did not tip the owner.  I did a little internet research, and there's no consensus on that, so I do feel vaguely guilty.  But I did give the shampoo gal a larger tip than I usually give a shampoo gal, since she also blew my hair dry.  All told, I spent more than I had expected when I walked in, but still less than my dear longtime stylist charges.  So, in six or eight weeks, I'll have another dilemma - do I go back?  But I'll have to cross that bridge when it comes. 

Yesterday was the annual Broadway Cares Flea Market, and boy I wish I had also had my hair dyed when I got it cut!  So many photos, so much gray hair!  But I digress.  I just love the Flea Market - it's always such a fun day and, as always, I had a lot of great volunteers to help at our table.  Happily, the rain stayed away and we all had a good time.  Even though it was pretty windy in our area, it was mostly warm and a great day to be outside.  We sold lots of merchandise and our table was really busy all day, which isn't always the case.  Our celebrity book signers were both delightful and I think the people who stopped to meet them enjoyed themselves.  As always, the Halloween candy I put on our table was a big hit, and it was funny seeing the miscellaneous merchandise that Broadway Cares gave us to sell - Drowsy Chaperone luggage tags, Mary Poppins magnets, Spamalot compasses, Rent tattoos, Lion King mint tins (that had no mints in them) - and one of my wonderful volunteers brought funny swag from the movie company where he works.  All in all, we had an eclectic and fun mix of items.  There were a couple of crabbypants throughout the day - one guy told me I lost his business when I wouldn't let him start shopping AN HOUR AND A HALF BEFORE THE START OF THE FLEA MARKET.  Sigh.  And one guy just would not meet my price on an item.  I know it was a flea market, but still.  It's for charity.  Everything can't cost ten cents, especially a script signed by the author.  Hello. 
Considering most of the stuff we sell is priced at around $1, we did really well!  We didn't make as much money as last year, but oh well.  I also forgot to get a photo with all of my volunteers, especially a handsome chum who is always such a big help to me, but there's always next year.  I purchased more magnets for myself (last year, I got Free Man of Color, this year I got Macbeth and The Nance), and I also couldn't resist buying something from a young Newsies sales/paperboy.  He was pretty adorable.  Even though my feet were killing me last night and my back is really stiff today (standing for eight hours just isn't in my wheelhouse anymore), it was a great great day.  Thanks to everyone for all their help and support.   

LIVE UPDATE:  Yet another reason to love NYC?  As I type this, they're broadcasting opening night of Eugene Onegin at the Met on the big screen across from my office.  I'm listening to opera as I finish blogging (sorry it's a blurry photo, but you get the idea).  I really and truly love it here...


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