I live in a relatively small town. How do I tactfully get rid of my hair stylist when she also cuts my boyfriend’s hair?
Everyday is a Bad Hair Day in Wisconsin
I know someone who has had the same hair stylist for over 40 years. She’s also had the same hair style for over 40 years, and I mean exactly the same style. She is joined at the hip with her stylist, who came to cut her hair in the hospital when she was ailing, came to her house when she was recovering, and then started cutting her children’s and eventually grandchildren’s hair. We can’t all be so lucky. Or so happy looking exactly the same every day.
You have two choices, really. One is the conflict-avoidant way that I usually prefer – but readily admit is the least healthy choice – and that is slinking away without telling her and praying you don’t run into her at the Piggly Wiggly. The other, and far better choice in my opinion, is to tell her that you are ready to try someone new. It doesn’t have to be hostile and my guess is that she sees people come and go all the time and will not take umbrage. You are the paying client, after all. Your money, your hair, your choice. The more you treat it as “no big deal,” the more “no big deal” it will be. Happy hairstylin’!
When I was in college, I had a group of six friends, all women. One of these women – I’ll call her Anne – was not always treated well by the others, so I always made an extra effort to pay extra attention to her through the years. Now, Anne is getting married and has invited two of the other women in the group (who never treated her that well), while she did not invite me (who did). This stings. I don’t want to say anything to her and risk souring this celebratory time, but wtf? How do I get rid of this pit of resentment in my stomach?
The way to get rid of that pit of resentment in your stomach is to take all the money that you saved on a dress, a shower gift, transportation to the wedding if it is not in your town (and when is it ever?), a hotel, and a wedding present, and take yourself on a beach vacation where you can lie on the sand like a sloth and sip umbrella drinks as the waves lap the shore. That is the way to turn half empty into half full!
When it comes to weddings, you can never know what goes into decisions like guest lists. You don’t know what their budget is, how many cousins from Keokuk unexpectedly rsvp’d “yes,” what guests she feels obligated to invite for whatever reason, or if she’s still trying to get in the good graces of the “cool” girls.
And because you will never know, you cannot put too much stock into the whole “invite” thing, even though it is tempting! Also, anyone who has ever been through one knows that, ironically, weddings can bring out the worst in people. Call me jaded, but if I had to do it all over again, I would slip out to city hall, have a potluck in the park, put some Sly on a speaker and dance all the way to the bank. But that’s just me!
Sadly, I was recently at a memorial for one of my sisters-in-law. It was a casual outdoor gathering – a potluck and bonfire – no real service or speeches, which is apparently what she wanted. While catching up with one of my nephews, who is 21, his mother answered all my questions for him. It was so weird. I’d ask him about school and she’d start in with all the classes he’s taking, along with a roster of his extracurriculars.
He didn’t really appear to be uncomfortable, but I sure was. Next time I see them, how can I avoid this controlling mother hen? They seem to be together an awful lot.
Can’t say that I blame you. That does seem weird.
But let’s give your sister-in-law the benefit of the doubt (for now) and assume that she has accumulated a very bad habit from when your nephew was pre-verbal, and she did all his talking for him. I know, it’s a stretch. However, a little imagination may come in handy here.
Even if you don’t have a creative way to separate the son from the mom, you can always make one up! Like, say, calling him from a distance with, “Hey John, would you mind giving me a hand here?” and then ask him to help you move something or drive somewhere. Once disconnected from mommy, you should be able to catch up in a more relaxed way. Confronting your sister-in-law about her odd behavior will get you nowhere fast. I favor the sneaky work-around over unnecessary confrontation. Or else you may have more than one bonfire on your hands.
Call me a coward but call my blood pressure just above “corpse.”
Dear Gabby appears in the RoundTable every Monday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom with wit. And a pinch of snark. She is not a trained therapist by any means, but has seen and loved many in her day. Her aim is to make you think while she makes you laugh. Gabby welcomes all questions and queries and is only too happy to hear your opinion, no matter how much it may diverge from hers. Write to Gabby at email@example.com.