Scene: Hair Salon. You know, one of those fancy kinds that don't have half a mangled Mr. Potato Head in the corner for your kids to play with. The kind that have artsy prints on the walls and matching decor. In other words the exact opposite of my house. My goal? To get my hair cut and to NOT have an awkward conversation.
Me: (Sitting down in the chair while repeating my mantra "Don'tSayAnythingAwkwardDon'tSayAnythingAwkward" over and over in my head. Silently. Because if I said it out loud that would be awkward. Then mentally award myself 10 points for realizing if I said my mantra out loud it would be awkward. Also? Mental high five. ) Hi!
Hair Stylist: (smiles, begins to brush out my hair) So, what are we doing today?
Me: Well, (nervous laugh) it kinda needs to be fixed. (change silent mantra to "Don'tTellHerIt'sBeenTwoYearsSinceYourLastHairCut") I'm kinda tired of the whole pony tail thing doing this. (Pull hair out of Stylists hands and yank back into an eye changing pony tail. For visual effect. Loose 5 points for being awkward.)You know? I have two kids so it can't be a lot of work or anything. Something easy.
Hair Stylist: (taking hair back out of my hands) We could do some layers here and....(insert more hair talk here) So, have you been to our salon before?
Me: (still repeating silent mantra of "Don'tTellHerIt'sBeenTwoYearsSinceYourLastHairCut") Nope! Never been here but I've run by a lot. (...silence... Note to self: Stylist does not run. Do not talk about running. Award myself 5 points for being aware of other people's conversational interests.) I tried to come in two years ago or so, but just walked off the street, but you guys were full. Which was totally fine! I just happened to have a random sitter that day, well, not like off the street random, I mean, I knew her and all, she's my friend, it was a surprise babysitting offer so that's what made it random, anyway, I was just trying to get things done that I hadn't had time to do since my youngest was born, you know, get my hair cut, buy a second pair of pants, go to the optometrist, stuff like that. But, you guys were full. Which I completely understand, busy and all! I just haven't had a chance to come back since. So, it’s been like two years since I’ve gotten my hair cut. (Crapazoidal. Loose 10 points for blundering my silent mantra. Loose 20 points for making it sound like I blame them, in a passive aggressive way. And? Loose 5 points for telling the stylist the pants story. Vow to stop talking. Also? No mental high five.)
Time passes. The Hair Stylist is now cutting my hair and attempting to engage me in conversation again. Because she’s a brave brave soul. Or bored.
Hair Stylist: So, what do you do?
Me: Oh, I stay home with the kids. My husband works over in Seattle. (Award myself 10 points for short concise non awkward answers. See! This isn’t so hard!)
Hair Stylist: What does he do?
Me: He programs computers. (Five points!)
Hair Stylist: Cool. How does he like the commute?
Me: It’s long, but we’re excited about the fast ferry running this summer. (Award myself 10 more points because I’M TOTALLY ROCKING THE NON AWKWARD CONVERSATION!! Also? Mental boogie dance. Like they do in football. Because a mental high five just doesn’t seem big enough.)
Hair Stylist: Yeah, I know what you mean. My husband does the commute too.
Me: What does he do?
Hair Stylist: He works for Pearl Jam.
Me: (Scrambling around in my head. Silently. Because unsilently would be awkward. And I am queen of the unawkward conversation now! Pearl Jam?Pearl Jam?PearlJam?PearlJam???? I know this! Come on.... Pearl...pearl...pearl...OH! Dude! PEARL! Jon told me about that! It’s a computer language! Her husband probably works for some start up in Seattle!) So, he’s a computer programmer too?
Hair Stylist: (...silence...more silence...probably more silence that I didn’t notice because I was too busy mentally awarding myself 50 points and doing that boogie dance thing in my head.) Um....So.... Ah.... How old are your two kids, again?
Then, 30 minutes and half way home later, I realized what I had said and lost every single non awkward conversation point I had earned. Also? No mental high five. Or mental boogie dance.