The best part about a naughty kitten eating your laptop cord isn’t the $80 replacement cord. It’s being ignored by the hipster Apple Store employees. I’m sure they see me and mentally decide that I’m there to talk about AOL or my dial-up connection, but I’ve spent thousands of dollars in that store. I know they have my card on file. Email me the receipt and let me get on with my day please.
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As my hair grows, I snip at it to delay the need for a haircut. I’ve always done it. It works really well until there’s an unintentional mullet on the back of my head caused by the absence of a third eye. At that point, I run to the place in the mall and make a simple request.
“Please bob it without layers except to make the ends curl in instead of out. Keep the bangs long.”
It’s not a difficult request. I always offer to leave with it wet and style it myself. Not to be cheap, but because I can always make a good cut work and it pains me to subject others to my difficult hair. I have had a lifetime to learn where the curls and cowlicks hide. Also, I’m really not that picky about my hair.
My last haircut was during the summer. I had a rare moment without children and I zipped in the mall for a quick chop.
I am never going back to that salon again.
“I need a bob with bangs.” I barely spoke for the next twenty minutes. We didn’t chat about the weather, music, children or any of the normal things you discuss during a haircut. Instead, I was treated to a lecture about my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad hair.
The hair dresser/physician/nutritionist’s chorus was that my hair was too dry, too frizzy, too cowlicky and too damaged. The verses to her song were prescriptions from her vast areas of expertise.
“You need to take hair vitamins.”
“You shouldn’t go so long between salon visits.”
“Have you had your thyroid checked?”
“You should never color your own hair.”
“You should avoid gluten.”
“This isn’t a good style for such damaged hair.”
“How old ARE you?”
“You should drink less coffee.”
I only knew the haircut/lecture was completed when the hairdresser stopped talking to unsnap the big ugly cape that was hiding the obscene gestures I was making while she talked. Silently, I walked to the counter to pay. Three salon brand bottles of product were shoved at me along with the bill that already had the over-priced shampoo added to the total. “You have GOT to use these.”
The next morning, I used the expensive products on my hair and realized something I had been to psychologically bruised to notice at the salon. In addition to layering EVERYTHING, my haircut wasn’t even. I don’t mean that it was 1980′s deliberately lopsided cuteness, I mean that it was an inch longer on one side of my head.
All summer, I used the products. I stayed out of the sun. I took vitamins. My hair is exactly the same as it was before the products. It is also exactly the same as it has been for more than a decade. Now, I’m out of fancy hair product and my lopsided hair is a shaggy mess, but I don’t feel safe going back to the salon that made me feel terrible.
As soon as I figure out where the children have hidden my Fiskars…
From the comments on this post:
“My sister, cousin and I are looking for our fathers birth family. My dad and my uncle are red headed identical twins. We were all told a long web of lies only to find out that they were Georgia Tann babies. All we were told that may be part of a truth was that their birth parents were very poor and “left” three of their children in the care of the TN home on a TEMPORARY basis. Our “granny” ran in the same social circles as Ms. Tann. Our fathers were born sometime around the 1950′s possibly the late 40′s, no one is certain of the exact year. They have a sister, we belive younger and know she was blonde, who we would love to find. Our dads suffered numerous forms of abuse and refuse to speak of any memories of their early childhood but do remember the blonde sister as did my “granny”. In fact our “granny” mentioned to my mother that my sister looked like our dads sister! The three of us are trying to find any information that would help. I have ordered Barbara Raymonds book. We are all still residing in the Memphis area. ANY help, guidance, assistance, etc would be wonderful. My email is: ashandbritt at hotmail dot com.”
This is tax-free shopping weekend in TN. Tax-free weekend is like a ten percent off coupon. It’s a popular excuse to cram all your back to school purchases into three days. People who think shopping is an athletic competition probably love tax-free weekend. For everyone else, it’s far less fun.
Tax-free weekend drivers are horrible. When I say horrible, I mean rude, selfish and completely unconcerned about traffic laws. Imagine u-turns in the middle of the road, traffic jams that have people blocking intersections while the light changes from green to red and back to green again and the special snowflakes who deliberately block other drivers from merging. The parking lot driving is even worse. Mad Max style parking space battles and a steady stream of middle finger waving are unbecoming in a community that usually epitomizes southern hospitality. At one point yesterday, my reward for backing up three inches to see behind the giant SUV on either side of my parking space was a car racing up behind me, stopping directly behind me to pin me in, a 30-second horn blare and a single finger display. Thank you parking lot vengeance lady, you taught me a real lesson about absolutely nothing.
Alas, the extra special behavior is not limited to people traveling to and from their retail destinations. The behavior inside stores is a veritable cornucopia of personality quirks that are too unpleasant for any sitcom characters.
Have you met the Moses shopper? This person expects everyone else in the store to stop standing at a display rack and move out of the way for them. If you don’t automatically part a pathway for the royalty that is Moses, they will TELL you to move. It doesn’t matter f you just stepped up to the rack and are reaching out to pull something down. When Moses approaches, you must cease your shopping and wait. Moses does not wait.
When hopping backwards to wait for Moses to commandeer someone else’s spot in the store, watch out for the children who nobody else seems to be watching. While I give these children huge points for whatever imaginary game they have created while stuck indoors on a perfect summer day, they are quite literally tripping other customers. With speed that would make Dash Parr jealous, the self entertained children of shoppers zip in front of, around and between unsuspecting shoppers without warning and offer zero apologies for the people bowled down in their wake.
There are also children who aren’t bouncing off customers like pinballs in an arcade. Sadly, there is at least one parent in every store who uses their child’s stroller as a battering ram and bulldozer. The sting of a stroller being deliberately slammed into your ankle is intended to clear the path, much like the Moses shopper, but it doesn’t take a physicist to know that this behavior could result in someone falling ON the stroller with a very small child trapped inside. Stroller bullies don’t care. Maybe they think that the mountain of clothes on hangers with jagged edges and sharp pins in packaged shirts that are carelessly thrown atop the tiny child will protect that child when someone’s grandmother collapses on the stroller after being rammed in the back of their knees.
The most vile and unredeemable character in the stores is the shoplifter. Everyone sees them. Nothing seems to deter them. We need to rise up and collectively shame the parasitic shoplifters. Evil eye doesn’t phase shoplifters, but what if we all agree to evil eye AND point silently at shoplifters until they slither out of the store and crawl back home without loads of stolen merchandise.
Honorable mentions go to the shopper behind you who sighs loudly and complains every time you stop your cart for a millisecond and the shoppers who completely block an aisle with their carts while they chat and laugh as though the coffee cups in their hand were cocktails.
Shop faster and shop slower simultaneously. Shopping is fun, except when it isn’t.
StacheMan: “Cool costume. What’s the event?”
Man in full Link garb, complete with pointy ears and an ocarina: “Busking.”
Me: “Do you know what that means?”
StacheMan: “I’ve heard the word before, but… no.”
Me: “He begs for money. People pay him to take his picture.”
Me: “After Dad reads this, he’ll explain to you that busking is street performance.”
Earlier this week, The Colbert Report’s guest was Paola Antonelli, MoMA’s Senior Curator of Architecture and Design. The interview was to talk about the Applied Design Exhibit. She talked about something that caused Internet buzz more than a year ago. Massoud Hassani’s Mine Kafon is brilliant, tragic, beautiful and haunting. Mine Kafon makes tears roll down your face while you smile. It is functional art. Not everything that someone declares art is easily understood. This is art.
Art is… feelings that you can *touch.
*Museums define art differently. They don’t even let you touch the wall.
I am posting this information any and everywhere I can. My brother was a Georgia Tann baby. The documents from the state of TN say that he was born Raymond Lewis Bradley on Sept. 14, 1947 at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, TN to a Vera Bradley of Chattanooga, TN or Sprata, TN and Cecil Cruse of Jamestown, TN or Detroit, MI. He supposedly was surrendered for adoption at the Florence Crittenden Home. Another document says that he was surrendered at the Vine Street Orphanage. Supposedly there are other relatives: Grandparents Everett and Callie Bradley, Uncles Bethel Bradley and James Bradley, and an unnamed male sibling that is 6 years older, all from the Chattanooga area. If this matches any information for anyone searching for a stolen baby boy, please feel free to email me at the email address listed. Thank you, Ayn Maddox
The weekends are the only time that I can get out of the house, but Saturday mornings all the children are home so, Saturday mornings are spent at home, surrounded by family. Late Saturday afternoons, we head out for adventures. This adventure began in one of my favorite places, Hippie Holler. Although serious decluttering will begin January 2013, I’ve already sorted several decades of leftover school project supplies into boxes and buckets for friends. The bucket with yarn and fabric needed to be delivered to Hippie Holler. There, the remains of the yarn that we wasted gluing to shoeboxes and posterboard would be transformed into useful things, like blankets. Although the best thing about Hippie Holler is the beautiful people that live there, the second best thing is their upcycling lifestyle. I wish that I could spend an entire day documenting the whimsically enchanting community. I never get more than a dozen pictures clicked before creating a ripple in their calm. “What agency do you work for?”
I hate the constant harassment that codes gives people who transform things headed for the landfill into homes and a community. People like Rollo, Michael Reynolds and Dan Phillips can’t afford the SuperPac it would take to rewrite the codes and rules for homes made largely from reclaimed supplies. That must change.
The next few stops went from the weekly restocking of laundry and dish soap, to purchasing the first Christmas gift of the season. Christmas is the source of much stress and anxiety right now and it’s compounded by a headache and sore throat that have been slowing me down for the past two days. Doug decided that food would make me feel better, so we went to our favorite date night spot for half price sushi. Unfortunately for us, our spot was completely booked for a private party. Doug turned down my suggestion that we skip our weekly restaurant treat and announced that I would be trying a new restaurant.
We attributed being seated in the lounge instead of the main area to our casual clothing. The lounge area music was slightly too loud and a toddler in the room squealed and yelled a steady stream of happy noises. The waiter was practically bouncing off the walls with perkiness. As the food arrived, we heard a commotion in the main area of the restaurant. I could see a line of employees moving toward one location and wrote the noise off as some bizarre variation on the birthday song. I took a few bites and the commotion got louder. Even with the screeching toddler and the loud music, it was clear that someone was definitely screaming. As Doug and I turned toward the source of the activity, a waitress ran to the bar and shakily asked, “Does anyone know CPR?” Doug looked at me and I said, “GO!”
I didn’t even know the name of the restaurant. I walked to where Doug was standing over the two men working on the fallen man. A crowd of people stood beyond that ring. Like orbits of participation, the people shouting “save him” were outside the ring of people shouting numbers, who were outside the ring of people consisting of Doug and the other hands on helpers. It was a solar system of helplessness.
Maybe we should keep a pile of sheets in the corner of every room so that people without the skills to help, can tear strips, like hysterical bystanders in a movie birthing scene.
Three employees dragged the fallen man’s screaming female companion outside. The employees were crying silently. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized the employees were all barely in their twenties. Their enthusiastic restaurant skills were useless in this scenario. In my mind, only an AED could bring this man back. I know the odds without one. I stepped outside and looked around. The dark unoccupied bank across the street had an AED. I was certain of it. The only other place that might was the nearby Krispy Kreme. Before I could even ponder the time it would take to run there, I heard a laugh. A large group seated in the lounge area was oblivious to the human tragedy occurring a few feet from where they ate and told funny stories. In the far distance, I heard a siren.
I ran inside the room and began shoving tables and chairs out of the area around the still, silent man as I heard Doug yelling, “Don’t stop!” Everyone in the room was frozen, listening to the siren getting louder and silently begging the emergency workers to move faster. The room seemed to sway and an unwanted song played in my head as the three men trying to help shouted and worked rhythmically together, as if they were the engine on a sinking ship. The first paramedic walked in and gently pushed the head of the man looking up from rescue breaths so that he would resume forcing air. I walked back to my table.
Doug sat down silently and we stared at our plates. The toddler was still shouting. The clueless party continued laughing. We paid our check and left. Everyone in the main room quietly left with us. The ambulance remained. The paramedics quietly and slowly went through their required duties. The lack of urgency was sobering.
My headache cranked to eleven instantly. Unlike the migraines that I have had my entire life, this time it felt as though my eyes were going to pop like balloons. I got in bed, put a pillow over my head and fought against the scene that kept replaying in my head. I was in the bed for twelve hours, but I barely slept. Today feels dull and thick. We aren’t talking about the Christmas shopping that we were supposed to get done this weekend. We are just breathing in and breathing out.
Because we can.