Category Archives: Style

Beauty Misadventure: The No-Show

Ladies (I presume you gentlemen will not have an opinion), I could use your advice.

I’ve been seeing the same esthetician for several years — A tints and shapes my brows and tints my eyelashes — and she usually does a terrific job so I’ve stayed loyal, even after she left the salon where I get my hair done to go out on her own. It’s less convenient but I like her.

Today I was scheduled for an appointment that had been rescheduled when A got sick a few weeks ago.  I’d received an email reminder as well as an auto-generated text confirmation, so I had every reason to expect business as usual.

I show up at A’s studio, which she shares with a Pilates instructor in a funky older house.  Something is off.  There’s still a painted sign on the curbside stucco ledge advertising Pilates, so I haven’t gone to the wrong address.  But I do seem to have wandered into the Twilight Zone. The doorbell is taped over and dangles from a dingy cord. And not only is A not there, there’s no sign of life inside.

Peering through the frosted glass door I see that the studio on the left has been dismantled. In place of benches, free weights and exercise bands there are several  washers and dryers — is it turning into a laundromat? A’s room is in the back of the house so I can’t tell if it’s operational. Surely she would have said something…. like maybe yesterday?

I text, and then call, thinking maybe A is working out of her apartment, as she’s sometimes done in the past. But I don’t have that address and she never responds.  After waiting a half hour I leave one more message, give up, and head back home with unkempt brows, faded lashes, and no time to get them fixed before we go out of town this weekend.

As of tonight, I still haven’t heard from her so I’m concerned. Has something happened to her? To her beloved dog? Someone in her family? This is most unusual, even though hers is not a completely untroubled life.

But here’s my more selfish question:  This is now the second time in recent weeks that our appointment has fallen through. To be honest, it’s becoming a pain in the ass. Should I give her one more try? Or maybe start getting these services done at a salon where there will be back up if someone runs into a personal issue?

What would you do??

close up photography of person s eye

Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

Hump Day Hacks

These two ideas are simply genius.

  • Prevent silver tarnish:  Don’t toss those little silica packets that come in bottles of  vitamins, supplements etc.  Instead, put one or two in a closed bag with your silver. The desiccants help prevent corrosion by absorbing the moisture which reacts with sulfur in the atmosphere to create tarnish. This hack also helps keep gold jewelry shiny and bright.
women s silver necklace

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

  • Easy jar cleaning: When you’re stuck with jars of sticky stuff like peanut butter and honey, try this process:
    • Scoop out as much as possible
    • Add a teaspoon of baking soda and fill jar with hot water
    • Put the lid back on and shake vigorously
    • Let it sit for 10 minutes, then dump out the dirty water.
    • Reuse or recycle!
teapot and teacups with tea and honey on tray

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

 

Drama at the Hairdresser

Generally speaking, a visit to the hair salon is relaxing.  Sure, people might get a bit tense if someone cuts their bangs too short, but I don’t think of it as a high-stress environment.

Well, earlier today I got my hair colored and cut and when I got there, the salon was abuzz.  Apparently, a client had gone more or less berserk only a few minutes before I arrived.

It all started when this woman started ranting at the person doing her hair, stating that she “hates lesbians and Americans.” Umm, ok…. not sure what provoked the outburst, but she continued in that vein.  The stylist said that she didn’t appreciate being yelled at, whereupon this woman started swearing, jumped out of the chair, knocked over a sign in the entryway, and then proceeded to swipe all the products off the shelves onto the floor, before storming out of the salon… with hair dye STILL in her hair.  Hoo boy.

Clearly, this poor woman has issues and is perhaps someone who should be under a physician’s care.  I doubt she’s homeless because this isn’t exactly El Cheapo Haircuts and she’d been there before.  So where are her family? Friends? Neighbors? Co-workers? Can’t anyone in her world see that things are just not right and help her? I mean, the woman is running around in public with dye on her head.

Hair-raising.

 

Turkey Day Tips

Happy Thanksgiving, dear American readers! Here are two random holiday tips:

When tempted to shop Black Friday or Cyber Monday, there are two categories one should avoid, as prices will be lower at other times.

  • Jewelry: Prices often increase around holidays and even discounts will be minimal; best times will be early January and then again after Valentine’s Day.
  • Coats: Prices will be lower at the end of the season.  Of course, if there’s something you need AND want, it may be sold out if you wait too long.

When faced with a huge holiday meal, don’t end up more stuffed than the turkey. (This applies to any large meal, especially when family’s involved!)

  • Your brain can only crave 3 or 4 foods at a time.  So before you load up your plate, circle the buffet or table and decide which are the items you most want to eat and only take your favorites.
  • Don’t gobble, gobble! Eat s-l-o-w-l-y and take a 5+ minute break after you’ve eaten. This will give your stomach time to tell your brain whether you’re still hungry.
  • If actually hungry, or you simply want to be polite, go back for round two but only take small tastes of any remaining foods you didn’t sample.
  • Love sweets? Plan ahead to leave room for dessert and don’t fill up on everything else.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday — I’m thankful to be connected to all of you!

Traveling With Others

Traveling with another person is the ultimate blind date. Do you like to do the same things? Are they overly assertive or passive compared to you? How would they handle a stressful situation?

With luck, you find a partner, spouse or friend whose rhythms match your own. But what about a trip with another couple, your extended family, or someone you don’t know well? That’s a real litmus test.

Mostly, I’ve had wonderful experiences. A trip to London with S forged a friendship that’s lasted for decades. DH and I took a European vacation early in our relationship and learned that we were able to cope when things didn’t go as planned. And our recent visit to Charleston was successful because my friend T and I talked frankly in advance about what we all wanted – or didn’t want – to do there.

luggage-3297015_640

Other trips have been a challenge. Beware of these types of travelers!

The Sloppy Drunk. I’m all for having a good time. But when my ex-husband fell into the bushes after a booze cruise and had to be dragged out by a sailor I should have saluted that red flag and called off the wedding. Live and learn.

Druggie Howser. Similar to the Sloppy Drunk, Druggie will score whatever he can, wherever he travels. An ex-beau bought weed and hashish from a complete stranger when we were in Morocco in the 70’s… did ‘ya learn nothing from the movie Midnight Express??

Sir (or Lady) Bossypants has researched every heritage site, museum, etc. within an inch of its life and is a self-styled expert on all topics relating to the places they insist on dragging you to and Will. Not. Shut. Up. About.

The Slowpoke moves at a different – dare I say, glacial – pace. Unless you are a very patient person (unlike myself) this will drive you stark staring insane.

The Obsessive Planner follows a rigid schedule. By which I mean never, ever deviates from it. You’re enjoying chatting up the owner of a local art gallery? Too bad; gotta get to the next thing on the list. NOW.

Mr. Spontaneity, on the other hand, NEVER wants to plan ahead. You might arrive in another country without a hotel reservation, as happened to a friend of mine many years ago. In high season.

The Hysteric. S*** happens. Train schedules change. Planes get grounded. Connections get missed. Places are unexpectedly closed. You do not want to travel with someone who is totally unhinged by this. Trust me.

Morning vs Night. My father was a morning person. My mother stayed up until 2 AM and slept until noon. On family trips, we had to squeeze all activities between 1:00 and 8:00 PM. Know which one you – and your traveling companions – are, and plan accordingly.

The Cheapskate. Bargain-hunter in the extreme. Will only eat street food, go to a museum on the one free day, stay at a Motel 6, or take the bus even though you risk arriving at your destination after closing.

Hey Big Spender. There are two subcategories: Ms. Moneybags (who can afford it) and Mr. Moocher (money is no object because you’re footing the bill). Watch out for anyone who has no understanding of – or respect for – your finances.

Michelin Or Bust. Michelin-starred restaurants can be terrific — unless you have a sensitive stomach or wallet. Our last Michelin meal was so rich, both DH and I tossed our (artisanal) cookies within an hour of returning to our hotel room. Next time, we’ll suggest our friends dine alone, check out the simple place around the corner and meet up for an after-dinner coffee.

The Bottom Line: Pre-Planning

  • Discuss expectations and set ground rules in advance, even if it feels awkward. Especially if you’re traveling with another couple or someone you don’t know well.
  • Be honest about how you want to spend your time. Be open to compromise unless an activity will bore or annoy you. For example, don’t go shopping just because your friend loves it if you know you’ll hate every minute. A reluctant companion is no fun for either of you!
  • Benefit from others’ expertise. Some of our friends are serious foodies and love to research the newest or best-reviewed places in town. I’m happy to let them pick the restaurants since I don’t care all that much.
  • Eating out with others? Get separate checks. You won’t feel guilty if you have that extra drink or order something more expensive.
  • Travel with people who have similar resources. If you’re on a budget, make sure you don’t get sucked into spending outside your own comfort zone. On the other hand, if you always stay in a suite you may feel resentful if you get a standard room like theirs to be “polite”.

Enjoy traveling this big, wonderful world of ours!

world-1303628_640