I tend to be a creature of habit when it comes to my hair–or rather, when it comes to my hairdressers. When I find someone I like, who listens to me, understands the kind of color I like, and does Nice Stuff to my hair, I become extremely loyal to that hairdresser. (This kind of loyalty extends to other service professionals in life as well, e.g. mechanics and gynecologists. When you find someone whom you trust, especially in an area of your life that can have drastic consequences for a job done badly, you tend to stick with them.)

I stuck with Wade for over 12 years, until after I had Anna and I just couldn’t handle the four hours it would take to get my hair done by him. He was great, but he always overbooked, and then would work three clients at a time. It wasn’t the end of the world when I was kidless, but after-kid it was unbearable. When Anna was about two months old and my roots were three inches long, my sister took me to her hairdresser, Lauren, who was extremely competent, worked quickly, did not overbook, and did wonderful things with my hair.

Unfortunately, when a hairdresser is quite good, word gets around, and it becomes harder and harder to get an appointment with them. Complicate that with a couple of health problems that back appointments up, and it’s suddenly a three week wait to get an appointment. (Plus, my schedule is such that I can only get my hair done in the late afternoon or on a Saturday.)

So, I asked my sister to ask around and see if she could get a Name, preferably of someone who works on my end of the parish. As most women know, it’s important to have the Name of a hairdresser when making an appointment at a new salon, otherwise you get shunted off to whoever is newest, who also is usually straight out of beauty school. Sister came through and called me last week with a Name and a Salon, and I cheerfully dialed the salon up and requested an appointment. All was going well, I gave the girl on the phone all of my information, got an appointment for Tuesday, and then the girl confirmed everything with, “Okay, I have you down for a cut with Tricia on Tuesday at 4:30.”

Oh, and a color too, I replied, repeating what I had requested from the beginning–a cut with all-over color. (What, you thought this Red was real??)

“Oh… Tricia doesn’t do color.”

Gah. At this point I looked in my rear-view mirror (Yes, I was driving at the time. Don’t worry, I use a headset.) and saw the horrible length of my roots and the grey that was glinting accusingly on every third hair. I sighed and asked if there was someone else–who did color–who could take me, adding, “And please make it someone good!”

“Oh, yes, ma’am. All of our stylists are quite good.”

Uh huh. “I’m sure they are. I just don’t want someone straight out of beauty school.”

“Oh, no, ma’am. Of course not!”

I am so screwed.