I suppose the word "fired" implies that I am not a coward, but rather some confident CEO who says, "You're fired!" as though I have a personal grooming staff (I don't) and I am not someone who will do anything to avoid confrontation (I am). In truth, I did not fire Kimberly as much as I stopped going to Kimberly, and then sneakily called the salon on her off-day to get the formula she used on my hair to give to my new colorist.
Until recently, if Kimberly had called to ask me where I had been for the past eight months, I was prepared to say that I had moved out of state -- another lie. So, now, two complete thoughts in, I've lied twice and stolen the codes like some Fantastic Sam's version of Edward Snowden, but now I'm ready to come clean.
My problem with Kimberly started when I realized that she wasn't the greatest multi-tasker in the world. Doing my hair should take about 90 minutes, and Kimberly would take over two hours, which is a symptom of –- "wait for it" -– the many unnecessary dramatic pauses she liked to take while telling a story. Add a blow-out and we were in it for three-and-a-half hours.
At first, I found the drama between Kimberly and her boyfriend Alex tolerable, maybe even a little juicy at times. She was right; Alex was a freaking douchebag. He was not a man; he was a boy. He was not marriage material. He drank too much. He was emotionally unavailable (typical Sagittarius). I didn’t know what he was going to do when his unemployment ran out, but I’d be damned if he crashed at Kimberly's place every night even though her dog Paris loved him like crazy and those pictures of them sleeping on the sofa together were "totes adorbs." Listen, if Alex can afford to go to the bar every night with his friends, he should be able to take Kimberly to Olive Garden once in a while.
Then there was the matter of Kimberly's best friend, Sam. When Kimberly told me that her best friend was moving in with her, I said it wasn’t a good idea -– but she didn’t listen to me. I mean, we know Sam is a hater. We know how jealous she gets. I’m sorry if Kimberly is just more outgoing than she is, but Sam doesn’t have to be all “Miss Grumpy-Pants” at the club when everyone else is obviously trying to have a good time. Those texts that Kimberly showed me were way out of line. Even if all Kimberly's friends really did think she acted like a bitch in Vegas, Sam didn’t need to tell Kimberly as much IN A GROUP MESSAGE. Besides, Kimberly was hungover and lost her favorite shoes. What did Sam expect?
Another problem was that Kimberly's salon only had 2-hour street parking, and too many times I found myself outside, feeding the meter in that ridiculous black cape with foils in my hair. If there had been less speechifying and more bleachifying, I could have gotten in and out with one batch of quarters. Plus, I was embarrassed to walk down Venice Boulevard looking that way, even though Kimberly's other clients did it all the time and she thought that it was "freakin' hilar."
I'll be honest. I'm not all that precious about my time. I could sit, read, text, infinitely cycle through email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest -- basically, do nothing -- for hours and not care. Really, you'd be turned off by how little I am comfortable accomplishing.
It was the forced interaction that drove me away from Kimberly. No one should have to submit to listening to anyone for that long. I literally pay a guy $135 an hour to listen to me; I'm not going to pay $50 an hour to listen to you. That's poor money management.
Even if I had a more generous conversationalist as a stylist -- say, someone who wanted to know where I was from or what I do for a living -- I don't think I would like small-talking with her longer than a few minutes. And I like small talk. I'm the first person to break the ice when someone gets on the elevator going the wrong way. "Looks like you're going for a ride!" I'll say. I never start a meeting on Monday without asking, "How was your weekend?" or "So, what did everyone think of last night's 'Lindsay?'" It's just what you do -- and then, business as usual.
It's not that small talk is an art; it's that too much small talk is an abuse -- particularly when the object of your small talk can't leave. I tried dropping hints to Kimberly, saying, "Me? Oh, I'm fine. I have this great book that I can't wait to read today!" or "I'm just looking forward to relaxing," to which she would say, "I hear ya, girl!" right before launching into one of her "epic" stories from the bar, explaining why she was so hungover and how Sam, in typical Sam fashion, stopped reporting to work at the Cheesecake Factory -- as though employers were just beating down Sam's door to come work for them.
Also, it seemed that the more familiar we became, the longer our appointments took, as Kimberly would shoot off a few urgent Facebook messages, replay an entire Voxer conversation with “The Australian” -- because, seriously, who sounds that hot? -- or step outside for an extended cigarette break while the bleach soaked through my scalp and highlighted my cerebral cortex.
And so, what should I have done? If I told Kimberly that I wanted quiet, wouldn't that translate into two hours of uncomfortable silence? That's not any better. Actually, maybe it’s a little bit better.
During the first appointment with my new stylist, she asked me why I left the last person, and I explained that Kimberly talked too much when all I wanted to do was sit there and read a magazine. The new girl doesn’t say a whole lot. I know that she likes enchiladas. She might be a Virgo? She probably has an idea of what a total nightmare I am; I just hope she keeps her mouth shut about it.