The Overeducated Grumbler

by Terris Schneider

illustration by Priscilla Yu
illustration by Priscilla Yu

  This month, I was going to write about Bill C-11 (you know, the bill that could bring SOPA-like online piracy laws to Canada), and how we all need to put a stop to it. Instead, I got caught up in a gluten-free, non-dairy baking dork fest. If the bill passes, I will be dreadfully sorry to all of you.

  I will regale you instead with a story about one of the most awkward and terrifying experiences known to mankind: a trip to the hairdresser, or hair stylist I should say (less of a dirty word). If my hair didn’t get afro-big or knotted up, I would probably never go, but alas, this is not an option for me. When I lived in Kelowna, I always saw the same hairstylist who did a great job so it wasn’t such a traumatizing experience. Now that I live in Vancouver, finding the right stylist has been a daunting task. Here’s how my past year of hair adventures have gone:

  SALON #1
  Walk into this first salon. Greeted by unfriendly receptionist, introduced to an even grumpier stylist. She does my hair for over four hours and doesn’t utter a single peep. Isn’t this what you have trained for? You entered this profession knowing that you have to make small-talk, or that kind of conversation where you’re just getting to know someone. If you don’t like it, why are you doing this? Horribly awkward hair cut is over. My hair looks incredible! Go to the reception desk to pay.
 “Pay me $500!” says receptionist.
 “Oh, dear lord,” says I. I slump away uncomfortably, looking amazing. Next!

  SALON #2
  Checked the prices for this particular salon and their reviews on Yelp, and head there a few months later. This is going to be good! Their receptionist is much friendlier, and they even sell some cool clothes in their salon. I’m greeted by the hairstylist and she seems friendlier than the girl at Salon #1. Still not the most friendly, but actually making an effort. I decide I want to cut my hair shorter, but by no means do I want the back to be too short. I don’t think I can pull off a bob – I am lazzzyyyyy when it comes to doing stuff with my hair. As she cuts my hair, she cuts the back too short. I look like a dumpier, tomboy version of Victoria Beckham.

  SALON #3
  I grow out my hair for four months to try and end the reign of the bob. For some reason, I decide to trust Yelp again in making my next hair salon decision. This place is a very cool-looking salon, with kitschy decor and Broken Social Scene playing in the background. The stylists kind of have an elitist attitude that trendy people have, but it suits the setting. My hair stylist pokes fun at my last haircut which I chime in on, but am secretly embarrassed about. She raves about how she’s going to make me over, fix it, and give me the best haircut of my life. She’s really got me pumped. When she’s done, my hair looks exactly the same as it did before. Luckily, I wasn’t overcharged.

  SALON #4
  I never look at Yelp again. This time I only wait a month and a half, and find a place downtown. This salon looks like an art gallery and has cool paintings on the walls. Everyone is really friendly and nice, but I have another silent hair stylist. I sit there reading a magazine for three hours. Now I’m up to date on all current trends, movie information and anything pop culture related. The colour she puts in my hair is amazing, but as soon as she starts styling it, I go through the following states of panic: 1) Oh, god. This woman is going to butcher my hair. 2) Well, wait, now that she’s blow drying it, I think it will be okay! 3) I spoke too soon. Oh no, please, not the poofy-look! Do I look like someone who can rock the poof? I’m wearing an over-sized grandpa sweater for God’s sake. Just because I have blonde hair and am larger in the chestal region, does not mean I want to look like I’m going to the Grand Ole Opry. I walk out of the salon, looking completely insane. Luckily, the prices were reasonable and the colour looks good. I can go home and style my hair myself, anyways (I’m not going to. See comment of me being hair-lazy).

  From now on, I think I’m just going to let my hair flow into the crazy lion mane that it’s supposed to be.