If I promise not to ask grammar questions, will you give me a good deal on highlights?

On Friday BluDoor Studios is taking some new headshots for me since the ones I have up now are 3 years old and I feel a little deceptive not showing off these stellar lines and bags under my eyes that Motherhood has bestowed upon me.

I’m behaving just like any woman would the week leading up to having pictures taken- irrationally. I would like to have everything about myself fixed a little bit, whiten my teeth, mani/pedi, eyebrows waxed, hair cut and colored, new outfit, makeup application. Problem is I have the budget for about 2 of these things to happen. I already bought a new dress and necklace yesterday at Nordstrom Rack, where I was treated like a convicted shoplifter.

I was told I couldn’t take the necklace into the dressing room to try on (even though I was in the dressing room right across from the attendant, she couldn’t even hand it to me for me to try on in front of her), then told I couldn’t wear the dress out to the jewelry section to try the necklace on. Finally, I was granted access to walk to a mirror at the back of the dressing room to try on my precious accessory, which maybe makes sense in the retail world, but I’m still not understanding it. <<That is how NOT to sell jewelry… except, well, I did buy it. It was perfect and 35% off.

I can do my eyebrows and nails and even my makeup myself, but I would really like to have something done to my hair. The problem is, I just don’t love my hair dresser. The last two visits have left me with streaky, bleached out highlights and a cut that was right on par with Great Cuts at 5x the price.

Okay, there is a lady that I do love. I went to her when we first moved here (but switched to the other lady because she did cheaper highlights- lesson learned). I had every intention of going back to her, though, until this went down last year during my internet free week experiment for CBS 11.

Day 3, when I have to learn to use a phone again

I was looking over my Day 2 journal tonight and began to wonder if I was using the
word “ironically” right. I run across predicaments like this a lot when I’m writing,
and my first stop, as with many questions in life, is the Google search bar. 

Unable to access such awesomeness for the next 4 days, I scratched my head and wondered
where else I might turn for guidance. Then I remembered I have my friend Tara’s
number. She’s a high school English teacher in Colorado, and also an “online” friend.

Even though I’ve met her, spent a weekend with her and “talk” to her nearly every
day via a message board, I haven’t heard her voice in over two years.
She did say to call her if I needed anything this week, though, so I figured what the
heck. I was sure she’d be thrilled to hear from me. I looked her up in my contacts
and pressed the dial button.

“Hi Tara! It’s Jill!”


“I just have a grammar question for you about the proper use of the word ironic,
and you know I would Google it, but with this no internet thing, well, that’s not an
option. I know you’ll have the answer though.”

“Uhh.. okay?”

I proceeded in a peppy voice to tell her all about the manner in which I used the
word. She responded with, “Errr…. I don’t know….”
Really? She doesn’t know? Huh. I told her more about the journal and the sentence it
was in. She then responded with a very confident, “Yes, yes you are using it right,”
and she laughed.

“Great! Thanks so much. So anyway, how are you? Did I catch you at a bad time? Are
you making the girls dinner?”

“I’m fine. Really busy! Not a bad time, just got done eating dinner with the girls.”
Then she laughs.
Wow. I looked at the clock. It’s only 5 in Colorado. She’s really on top of things!

“What are you laughing at? Is it that big of a shock that I don’t know how to use ‘ironic’?”

She laughs again. She seems nervous. Maybe I shouldn’t have called. Maybe this is
weird for her to talk to me on the phone instead of online.

“How’s the weather? Is it snowing like crazy? The news just said we are getting a
system from you guys that will leave Denver under a foot and a half of snow,” I said.

“Uh… no. No snow here.”

“Oh. Well, I guess you’re pretty far removed from Denver. I keep forgetting you don’t
live that close,” I said.

“Yeah, we’re pretty far from them.”

Sensing that this conversation was getting really awkward I ended with, “Well, I’ll
let you go, headed into Albertson’s to go get toilet paper. Sorry to use you and abuse
you for grammar advice. I’ll talk to you soon!”

I sat there for a minute after hanging up, thinking over our weird conversation.
Something just didn’t feel right. I looked her up in my contacts again, and that’s
when I noticed she had a 214 area code. I scrolled through and noticed all my other
Dallas contacts had 214 area codes. It slowly began to dawn on me that I had not
made a call to anyone in Colorado. Who did I call?? I couldn’t figure it out. I don’t
know any other Tara’s…. do I?
I had to call her back.

Well, of course she didn’t pick up this time, obviously screening her calls now for
crazy women. The moment her voicemail picked up I started laughing so hard I
almost peed.  She was my hairdresser… from a year ago… a hairdresser I’ve been
cheating on with another hairdresser who gives me a better deal on highlights. I.
AM. MORTIFIED. This would have never happened with the internet.

So there you have it. I can’t go back. I could have maybe saved myself if I hadn’t left an apologetic/psychotic voicemail, laughing so hard I could barely get the words out, “Tara.. you’re not the Tara I thought you were…. I’m a client… had your number from a few months ago… keep meaning to come back, I promise!… so sorry!!” There is no way I can show myself in that salon again.
Maybe I’ll just go to Great Clips for an $8 haircut and pretend these gray hairs are blonde.
Kendall is 2, I’m nearly 13 weeks pregnant, and I still use Google daily to answer grammar questions.

50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
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  1. And now I’m shouting obscenities at my laptop and stupid WordPress for not being able to get that block quote to line up right at all. Grrrr…

  2. “This would have never happened with the internet.”

    That was, probably by far? The single most hilarious thing you’ve written here. I actually cackled. Then Jonas looks at me like I might have finally lost my mind. Awesome.

  3. Hahahahahaha! That is so funny! I have totally called my friends for grammar advice before, btw. I just keep my contacts updated a little better, I guess.

  4. OMG, this is great!! Please tell me you saw the 30 Rock episode with Jon Hamm where they discuss the use of the word “ironic.”

    Cheating on your hairdresser is tough…my girl just went on mat. leave (for the 2nd time) and it was like stealing. I really don’t want to go back. My new guy told me you should change people every two years, lest you end up looking the same…too bad he doesn’t know that applies to him, too!

    Good luck with the photos. I do the exact same thing (teeth, mani/pedi, hair, makeup) any time we take prof. photos…seriously, next thing I’m going to do is Botox. It’s hard not to get carried away.

  5. I was once corresponding with an author and musician whom I greatly admire, Frank Portman, and he complimented me on my email address at the time, calling it, “fairly brilliant.”

    Within 24 hours of that compliment, I had accidentally sent him email of a fairly NOT brilliant nature meant for my boyfriend at the time, also named Frank.


  6. LOL! That’s hilarious. As for the photos good luck! I’m all about Aveda. You can’t go wrong with them. My Aveda was in Snyder Plaza in Dallas, but I’m sure any of them are great.

  7. I remember that and loved it.

    But head shots? Really? Aren’t those for models and actors? I’d sooner spend the money on the extra pampering and skip professional photos.

    • Actually, they’re pretty common for writers/bloggers, too. I’ve been asked to submit mine 4 times this year already. Plus, I’ve worked out a deal in exchange for advertising for them 🙂

  8. Oh my, that totally sounds like something I would have done! Too funny.

    In all honesty, I think leaving the voice mail would have cleared the air in my books. You stated that you keep meaning to get back to her. For all she knows you were highlighting your hair from a box, she never has to know.

    On top of that, she most likely won’t ask you what the hell was up with your hair. She wants the business just as much as you want to give it to her.

    Good luck with you pictures.


  9. Thanks for the laugh (with you, not at you). Good stylists are priceless and should be snatched up, awkward phonecalls be damned. As a military wife, moving every year or two means finding someone I like is nearly impossible. And Husband’s unpredictable work hours mean I can’t keep up with coloring because I can’t plan appointments – he may not be home to watch the kids. In ten-plus years, I’ve gotten ONE cut that I loved…and we moved three months later. So on behalf of all the military ladies like me, who are stuck with boring, au naturale color and daily ponytails (because we can’t find a stylist…or we randomly tried one and got a disastrous cut and are now growing it out)…I say call Tara! It’s your patriotic duty.

  10. Haha, I feel your pain. I’d been going to the same girl as the rest of my entire FAMILY (mom, dad, and brother), then when I moved 20 minutes further away, I found a new salon much closer to my house. I’m totally happy now, because I never quite left the other girl happy with the results – no matter how hard I tried to explain what I wanted, I ended up with something different the day after I washed it myself. So I say, find yourself someone you want, and don’t worry about stylists’ feelings. They can fill your slot easily. You deserve to love your hair.

  11. Too funny! Maybe that was the universe’s way of telling you nicely that you do, in fact, need to suck up your embarrassment and go get some decent highlights! At least when she sees you she’ll be amused and it will make a great icebreaker – rather than her giving you the hair whore side-eye.

    I’ve been a hair whore recently. I know that look. It should be avoided. Especially if the person giving it is pointing scissors aimed at your head.

  12. I work at Nordstrom Rack in downtown Portland, and I believe I am one of the more polite and patient employees. However, you would not comprehend the amount of jewelry and accessories shoplifting (among other shoplifting) that we encounter. Prior to working there, I did not realize how much it actually went on, but now that I’ve been there for 4 months, my eyes have opened up. People hide jewelry in their baby strollers and use their babies as distractions. They hide jewelry in pockets. The list goes on.

    I have a 4-year college degree and am working my way up into the company. I do not appreciate being treated like a “stupid” fitting room attendant who is unwise to the ploys of greedy shoppers. People think they’re “special,” but I admit hundreds of people during one 8-hour day, and I don’t care if you like me or not.

    The employee who held your jewelry was not trying to insinuate you as an individual was a shoplifter. She didn’t know you from any other shopper. Unfortunately, because of the amount of stealing that occurs, we must have a “guilty until proven innocent” approach.

    At my Rack, we allow people to try on jewelry as long as it doesn’t enter the fitting room stall.

    For some perspective, we had the same lady pee in the carpeted fitting room both today AND yesterday. A well-groomed, decent lady. Oh, and she has peed there in the past AND at other Racks in the area. And of course we employees must clean it up.

    So please put yourself in our shoes for once. We don’t appreciate being the bad guys, but people don’t always make it easy.

    • Elis, I understand. I worked a tiny bit in retail, too, and I can put myself in your shoes. I was just a tad annoyed when I wrote this, and was more annoyed that I couldn’t even keep my dressing room door open have the woman hand me the necklace, put in on in front of the mirror while she watched and then hand it back.

      As for the woman peeing in your dressing room?? OMG! I’m so sorry you have to deal with crazy people like that. Don’t you guys have restrooms? I could swear I’ve been in one at our location.

      • Thanks for understanding. Sorry if I sounded a bit irritable myself…long day if you can imagine.

        There is a restroom. Unfortunately, our store was not designed by Nordstrom, but occupies a space that was formerly a Copeland Sports (before they went under). It takes up part of the first two stories of a tower, and the restrooms are upstairs, at the end of a long hallway. There are no separate employee restrooms. Additionally, they’re password protected like most restrooms in downtown. Secret: the women’s code box has been broken for months so you can just go in. So yeah, we don’t exactly make peeing easy, but it’s the nature of the space. :<

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