A little perspective

This is one of those stupid times nobody tells you about when you’re a kid.

I’m sitting here in some random neighborhood in Durham, NC with a car that overheated because of a stupid hose that disconnected because of a stupid clamp that apparently can’t do it’s job and stay clamped. I know exactly how to fix the problem but I am unable to do so because I don’t have any stupid tools with me. Now I have to wait 30 stupid minutes for a tow truck to come take me back to my workplace, where I had left not that long ago to run one stupid errand.

It’s Walmart’s fault. Their stupid website told me that there was a store 3 miles away from work. It was only when I got there that I realized that there was no clarification on the website that this was a GROCERY STORE ONLY. Fantastic. It was in that parking lot that my car stalled (it’s done this before – I won’t tell you what kind of car it is, but I will never be buying one of those again), leaving me perpendicular to parked cars, not being able to move. I felt so stupid. It took me 5 attempts to get the stupid thing started again, and when I was en route to another Walmart (an ACTUAL super center), I smelled the burn and saw the indicator that it overheated. So naturally I went to the nearest random neighborhood I could find and began trying to remedy this stupid situation.

Alas, I am still waiting for a tow truck.

The whole thing is stupid.

I mean…maybe not the whole thing.

The weather is really nice. The neighborhood seems quiet enough.

Im sitting on a brick half-wall in the shade. That, coupled with the breeze, is quite nice.

It’s a really beautiful August day here in NC.

Work can still happen at work without me; nothing’s gonna fall apart because I’m not there.

My current situation really isn’t that bad, I suppose.

I have a car. Sure, it’s on the fritz currently, but it does it’s job most of the time.

I ate lunch. I drank. The heat is bearable, even if I had to sit in it directly.

Thank God I don’t have to sit in sweltering heat with no food or water.

I’m in a neighborhood, so if my current situation were dire, I might be able to find somebody to open their doors to me for a few minutes.

I’m not without access to shelter. I guess that’s kind of a “win” by global standards.

(Look at that! Just got a phone call that the tow truck should be here in 10 minutes.)

I have a place to go home to that isn’t in foreclosure.

I have kids and a wife that are healthy.

I have food to put on the table.

I have a job to go to tomorrow (although I created that job for myself and I’m my own boss, it’s still a job).

I’m not worried about my electricity getting turned off. I know that I have access to clean water at the turn of a faucet.

I don’t live in a place that I have to worry about walking outside my front door to an unsafe world.

Within reason, I don’t have to worry about getting shot today.

I’m not currently worried about losing my city, home, loved ones to air strike.

I’m not being beheaded in Iraq.

Yes, I can freely practice my religion.

…I guess my current situation isn’t really that stupid.

It’s just not what I had planned for today.

Yes, that IS God laughing.


lessons in etiquette

this one’s been brewing for a while.  y’all know i love you, but there are some things that we need you to do to make your salon experience a little more enjoyable.  i’ve come up with a list of a few gentle reminders that will help in the areas that can be the most frustrating about getting your hurrs did.  well…they help me, too, by making my job a little bit easier.  🙂  most importantly though, they will help you!  i promise!

1.  pre-book.

this is number one for a reason…this is your insurance policy!!  how many times do you call your salon looking to get in next week and your stylist doesn’t have any availability?  it’s frustrating, right?  my least favorite excuse i get for not pre-booking before leaving the salon after an appointment is “i just don’t know what my schedule will be like, i better call back.”  y’all.  let’s just lose this notion that you have NO CLUE what your schedule will be like in 6 weeks (aside from your monday-friday 9-5 job, your son’s karate class on monday evenings, your daughter’s ballet class on friday, and wednesday night church every week).  i just don’t buy it from 90% of you.  considering the amount of people i hear that from, i am surprised at how many have jobs that don’t have a regular schedule (though i am aware that some people have jobs that legitimately don’t have normal work hours).   but when the regular 6 PMers tell me they’ll call back, then call 3-5 days before they want their hair done “any day next week around 6 pm,” you can understand why i’d want to pull my hair out when they get all bent out of shape that they have to wait 2 more weeks, and/or CONTINUE TO NOT PRE-BOOK.  i don’t get it.  and i KNOW getting your hair done is important to you (important enough to schedule 6-8 weeks in advance), because i’ve had convo after convo with people who have a  borderline meltdown when they can’t get in when they need to and/or if i can’t make magic happen and fit a full highlight, haircut, and brow wax in the only 30 minute time slot their stylist has open.  which brings me to number 2.

editor’s note: if you call to make an appointment 3 or 4 weeks ahead of time, that is acceptable.

2.  “squeezing in” does not exist.

it just doesn’t.  i cannot create time.  anyone working the front desk at any salon cannot create time.  if i could create time, i wouldn’t be a salon owner.  instead, i’d be a bajillionaire charging large companies HUGE amounts of money to create time for them so they could increase their productivity.  (side note: if anyone actually figures this one out, let me know and i’ll gladly invest in whatever costs you need to start up.  then i’d probably just be a plain ‘ole billionaire).  also, some hair stylists are fast, but they are not superhuman.  they MIGHT be able to fit in a haircut to your color appointment if they’ve decided to work at lightening speed, thus sparing a few minutes to get a simple trim in there as long as you are ok with sacrificing your blow dry.  that’s feasible, though certainly not ideal.  additionally, wanting to be “squeezed in” is ultimately disrespect of your stylist’s time, as well as the time of their other clients.  i know that sounds harsh, but if you have begged your way into getting your hair stylist to agree to try to fit a 1 hour haircut into a 30 minute slot, they will inevitably run late, pushing into the next client’s appointment time (who pre-booked, btdubs) thus making their experience less satisfactory.  it doesn’t seem right to inconvenience another client who tried to prepare ahead of time to have an appropriate amount of time for their appointment.  there is one simple way to avoid all of this.  *see number 1*  [also, it’s best to allow the stylist the full amount of time so they can do their best work]

3.  try not to no-show.

*phone rings around 9 AM*

me: “it’s a great day at the cottage, this is terence, how can i help you?”

caller:  “i was wondering if you had any appointments available for cut and color around noon today.”

me: (screaming internally: WHY DIDN’T YOU PRE-BOOK?!) “unfortunately we are all booked up today.  i can look into next week if you’d like, or i’d be happy to add you to our waiting list for today.”

caller: “i was really interested in something today, so if you don’t mind, put me on the waiting list.”

me:  “sounds good.  if anything comes available, i will give you a call!”  *takes name and number*

caller:  “thank you!”

11:55 AM rolls around and we are waiting on tammy sue to show up for her noon appointment.  it’s noon.  now 12:05.  12:10.  finally 12:15.  we usually give an allowance of 15 minutes after the scheduled time before we call the client.

i call tammy sue.

me:  “hey TS, this is terence from the cottage, how are you?”

tammy sue:  “i’m great, how are you?”  completely clueless (and how?)

me:  “we actually had you down for a 12 o’clock appointment today.  i was just calling to see if you might be on your way.”

tammy sue:  “ohmygoshitotallyforgot!”

me:  (thinking “i don’t do confirmation calls for my health”)

tammy sue:  “oh no.  i am soooo sorry, i can’t believe i forgot.  i’ll call back to re-schedule.  have a good day.”

me: (thinking “weeeellllll you should probably re-schedule now ’cause you’re prolly not gonna get in for another 3 weeks”) “you too, bye.”

now it is 12:17.  even if i called the person who was on the waiting list for cut and color, by the time i called them and they came, there wouldn’t be enough time to fit them in.  (no squeezing, remember?)  two appointments gone.

guys, we are human, things happen.  i completely understand that.  i can’t hold it against you if you get a flat tire, or if your child is sick, or if you were in a meeting that ran way over.  for about 5 seconds i’ll be annoyed, then i’ll climb out of the pit of selfishness and realize that some things are beyond your control.  “forgetting” is a different animal.  don’t do that.  and if something comes up last minute, call AS SOON as you possibly can.  the sooner the better, that way we can fill your spot.  a phone call even 30 minutes ahead of time is better than no phone call at all.

4.  pick up the phone.

i think email is an amazing thing.  it has made certain aspects of my job incredibly convenient, especially since i don’t have a facsimile line.  at my salon, we don’t book appointments online, and don’t have a specified email address for making appointments.  (so if you go somewhere that does have these options, skip to number 5).  emailing to set up an appointment isn’t all that bad in and of itself.  it is more difficult, but really the reason why it’s better to make an appointment by phone is more for your benefit than mine.  it has happened several times that an appointment time will be offered through email, and before a confirmation response is received on our end through email, another client has called and taken the exact spot that was available.  also, consider that every salon has evening hours and weekend hours, so if by some odd twist of fate, your work schedule ONLY allows you to email (boggles the mind), call us on saturday.  we aren’t gonna bite, and we WANT to hear from you and have an actual conversation in order to make your experience more personal.

5.  don’t be afraid to try product.

there are DEFINITELY plenty of hair stylists out there who will sell ice to an eskimo.  i understand the hesitation sometimes if you feel like you are hearing a sales pitch, but consider that maybe the hair stylist is trying to equip you with the tools necessary to maintain the beautiful style you were just given.  if you get color, you’re probably spending a pretty penny on it.  as a protection of your investment, maybe try a product that is designed to preserve what you just spent a lot of money on.  or if you just got a really edgy cut, spring for the product that is going to best help you replicate the style at home.  it’s far more than just a sales pitch.  the products the stylists use are part of your look, and are necessary for re-creating it.  just start with one.  🙂  [it should be noted that the cheap stuff you buy at target is vastly different than salon quality products, and sometimes contains ingredients that will work against your desired outcome]

6.  have a plan.

it’s a beautiful thing when a client fully trusts their stylist.  that is what i personally want to see with every person who walks in the door of my salon.  both parties win: the stylist knows they have loyalty from you, and you can have confidence that you’re gonna leave lookin’ awesome.  i love that, and it’s what keeps us going.  one piece of advice i would have for you if you are looking for a stylist who you can trust is to know what you want.  unfortunately, i have seen that when somebody tells their stylists any version of “do whatever you think,” they are only giving themselves HUGE opportunity to be unhappy.  if you aren’t definitive about what you want, how can the stylist have a full chance at getting it right?  it is easy to say “it’s too ‘this’ or ‘that'” when there aren’t any guidelines, and furthermore, it isn’t really fair to the stylist.  having said that, be sure to not go TOO far with it.  in other words, try not to instruct your stylist about how to do their job.  they did go through intense schooling, after all.  lastly, if your stylist is doing an appropriate consultation, the likelihood that they’ll do exactly what you want skyrockets.  sometimes, though, communication mishaps happen, and something with your hair might legitimately be a cause for concern. so….(number 7)  [side note: if you don’t communicate your desires, please don’t say “this isn’t what i had in mind”]

7.  come back if you aren’t satisfied.

i hold this one so close and dear to my heart.  i am not happy unless you are happy.  i don’t want people to leave my salon unsatisfied.  it really stresses me out.  so because of that, it is totally acceptable and appreciated if you call back to get something tweaked if it isn’t quite working for you.  it isn’t a normal occasion that we have to change a few things, but it happens.  believe me, 9 times out of 10, you won’t seem annoying if you call us back (as long as it is within a reasonable amount of time after your original appointment).  you are our billboards.  people notice hair, and most people at least THINK about their own before they walk out of their house everyday, so we want you to be confident in what’s happening on your head.  so rather than feel annoyed in something you would like to be changed, just call us.  seriously!  we want you to be able to hold your head high and confidently tell people: “i have cottage hair.”

having said alllll ‘o dis, we (as in anyone works at a salon…usually anyone, anyway) really appreciate the chance you give us to give you good hair.  we wouldn’t be here without you, and it’s your loyalty that keeps us in business.  we really appreciate that.  in fact, we appreciate you so much that we would try anything within reason to accommodate your needs, even if you are guilty of anything i listed in this post.  these helpful hints are things that can only improve on what is (i hope) an already good experience for you, whether you come to my salon or not.  i would love to hear from you guys any ongoing problems you may have with your salon (without naming names, please).  if any of you reading this feel like de-phantomizing yourselves, leave a comment.  i am perpetually open to ways of improving my business, and the best way to do that is to ask the people!

anyway, thanks for reading, and we’ll see you at your next therapy sesh.  uh, i mean, hair appointment.  😉

5 things about facebook that (i think) need to stop

i love y’all.  i do.  but there are some things that need to stop happening on facebook, so i’ve made a list.  i know there are a bunch of these that have gone around, but i’m hoping that if i create my own, i can move on with life.  and i will acknowledge, i have been guilty of some of these in the past.  the order in which these are listed does not reflect ranking on the annoying scale.

1.  vaguebooking

you know what this is.  somebody posts a status that goes something like this: “well that’s just great.  SO annoyed.” or “omg i just heard the best news ever!!” or “ugh hopefully i won’t need surgery :(”  these wouldn’t be so bad if there were elaboration about each of them, but nope.  they put it on facebook for all to see then leave anyone who cares enough to “like” or comment in purgatory…which is the goal of these posts.  the way i see it, vaguebookers are looking for two possible outcomes:  1.  they are trying to communicate a specific (although veiled) message to somebody that they HOPE will see it without actually having to directly communicate with said person.  or 2.  they are seeking attention.  plain and simple.  maybe it’s that if somebody tries to dig into their personal business (which they have clearly announced they have, without giving details) they feel special.  or important.  i don’t know.

*exceptions: if you decide to post a status like this, then give an explanation in, say, the comments section, carry on.  then it wouldn’t be vaguebooking, now would it?.


2.  political posts

i almost feel like this needs no explanation.  my main problem with political posts and debates on facebook is that the parties involved have far too much keyboard confidence, and if somehow they ended up in a room together, they wouldn’t be brave enough to be as mean and hateful as they are within the safety of the cyber world.  i wonder if people realize that what happens when they post some obnoxiously arrogant and/or sarcastic political article/post actually doesn’t work in their favor.  rather than appearing right, smart, sane, educated, or elite, they appear harsh, immature, snide, or patronizing.  the reality is, a lot of people are already secure in their political views, so posting anything political is likely your attempt at saying something about yourself.  maybe it’s a need to be right?  maybe you feel like once you hit “post” you are somehow validated, and once it’s out there, it can’t be removed.  facebook gives it permanence, which might make you feel more secure in your view.  i don’t know.

*exceptions: non-biased, purposely educational posts (i’m not actually sure those exist), or if you have a legitimate question about something you may not understand


3.  poor sportsmanship

a little friendly trash talk is fine, so is an overabundance of team support.  these are great.  what drives me nuts is when people turn into babies about stuff.  seriously if i hear one more “tarhole” “dookie” or “bandwagon” i might scream…or any other immature expression you come up with.  your team loses, cry me a river.  i often wonder what came first…the craziness and character lapses that happen over sports, or the huge sports industry itself?  i guess it doesn’t matter…they feed each other.  and posting articles, videos, or any other form of media that explains why your rival team is just so horrible isn’t a good luck, either.  like the political posts, this, too, only reveals qualities about yourself as opposed to the winning and/or rival team.  perhaps being so negative and upset somehow makes one feel better about a loss?  i don’t know.

*exceptions: none


4.  the play by play

i’ve seen this come in 2 forms: the first is the outline.  this is a post that usually comes in the morning…”woke up, peed, stretched, walked downstairs, sat on the couch, yawned, realized i need to get moving, watched tv, ate something, let the dog out, went upstairs, showered, got dressed, dried my hair, brushed my teeth, did my make up, put my shoes on, went back downstairs, walked outside, got in my car, turned my car on, backed out of the driveway, drove to work, found a great parking spot, walked inside, and sat down at my desk.  it’s gonna be a long day.”  or, it may be an announcement of what you anticipate your schedule will be for the remainder of the day.  the second is the update.  “just got to work!” “eating lunch!” “it’s almost 5 o’clock!” “getting in the car to drive home!” “just got home, time to start making dinner!” “dinner was awesome!” like come ON.  i’m actually having a hard time coming up with a reason why people do this.  is it to seem busy?  i don’t know.

*exceptions: maybe your phone is dead and your family might need to know what you’re doing?  but then you can’t update them in the moment, unless you just so happen to be near a laptop or desktop while you’re at burger king for lunch.  hmmm


5.  selfies

here we go.  i’ll give my comments under each photo.

– first off, the taste bud.


just keep your tongues in your mouths.  please.


– the model mayhem profile pic.


you are not a model.  (unless you are…in which case you STILL shouldn’t be posting selfies because there should be plenty of photos of you taken by actual legit photographers)


– the dreaded duckface.


i just don’t understand how the duckface trend even got started.  i mean LOOK AT THAT PICTURE!  I LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT!!  why do people do this????  imagine if you somehow didn’t know about this whole duckface issue and you saw a picture that looked like this.  i mean, you would think it is dang weird.  BECAUSE IT IS.


– whatever these are.


nice…throat.  ??


cute teeth…and nostrils.  i can almost see your other eye!


ok.  where’s your face.


looking straight to the bosom of Christ.  hallelujer!


– the bathroom shot…wait, is this about your outfit?


this one probably annoys me the most.  what goes through your head?  i HOPE it isn’t something like “omg i’m so cute today.  i need to put this on facebook…people need to see this.”  i mean just typing it sounds ridiculous because i can’t imagine somebody actually thinking or feeling that.  you get dressed and think you are just IT and have to show the world?  scary.  seriously, this quality is scary for the human race.


– the sexy eye patch.


sooo you’re blind in one eye?


– the sleeping selfie.  (how does this work?)


you’re sleeping, eh?  who took that pic again?  oh.


– probably my favorite…the money shot.


hey buddy, is that the 10 bucks you owe me?

y’all.  i just don’t know.

*exceptions: if you work as a photographer, please take some pictures of yourself…you should be on the other side every now and then, if your hair has just changed drastically, if you are in costume and/or crazy costume/stage makeup, if you are with a friend (which wouldn’t really be a selfie…just make sure you are doing NONE of the above), if a butterfly happens to be on your face at the time, more stuff like this

**editor’s note: i COMPLETELY forgot to list baby bumps as an exception (not sure how i forgot that), but please, we all truly want to see the beautiful life growing inside of you 🙂


so now that i’ve made you feel like a total idiot, please know that i recognize that there plenty of things that i should probably stop doing on facebook…which makes me feel like an idiot, because i don’t know what they are.  i think the bigger thing that we should all probably start to investigate (definitely me) is why we think what we post on facebook is important.  why do i think somebody needs to see my outfit today?  why am i concealing details about my life while also putting on display that i’ve got drama going on?  what is my gain from it?  i understand how easily facebook can become a diary, because it is a huge platform for expression of many different things.  maybe it would help us all to remember that it is also public.  i don’t know.


25 things you may or may not care to know about me.


1.  i love pineapple!

2.  i’m tall (duh)  i usually tell people i’m 6’5″, which is not completely accurate.  i’m more like 6’4.5″

3.  i’m the youngest of three boys.  and yes, the third time was the charm.  🙂

4.  i usually harmonize.  singing the melody is boring to me most of the time.

5.  as if #4 wasn’t indicative enough, i’m a dork.  and proud of it.

6.  at least once in the past, i’ve eaten an entire large pizza on my own.

7.  i broke my arm when i was 8 or 9ish when i tried to do a back handspring.

8.  it required surgery to be fixed.

9.  here is the scar:


10.  since we’re on personal injury, one time i jumped off a mini trampoline TOWARDS the front steps of the house i grew up in…definitely landed on my knees and smacked the side of my head into the corner of one of the brick steps.  one of my finer moments.  🙂  i have a scar from that, too, but i won’t show it to you.

11.  i’ve never been stung by a bee…or wasp.

12.  i don’t know if it’s the dancer in me, but i get incredibly annoyed by the term “the splits.”  it is A split.  can you do A split?  glad that’s cleared up.

13.  i HATE having the hiccups.

14.  i have a rook piercing.  look it up.

15.  i’ve always had an issue with how people support, adore, and worship the arrogant.

16.  somehow i have a weirdly proficient ability to remember names.  i will say, i’m not as good at it as i used to be.  i think it’s probably because i see so many people day in and day out at work.

17.  i’m a scorpio.

18.  pretty much the only thing i’m afraid of is tornadoes.  it’s practically my only fear, and that fear is probably better described as terror.

19.  i love roller coasters.

20.  i love swimming in the ocean.

21.  for a brief period of time in my senior year of high school, i considered going to college to major in music…to be a choral singer.  i am DEF not good enough to sing by myself.

22.  i hate extreme cold.  i am hot-natured so i typically prefer to be cool, but windy winter days make me wanna gauge my eyes out.

23.  i cry sometimes.  not enough to be a baby or girl, but enough to be an emotionally healthy male.

24.  i am 1/4 polish.

25.  i have the worst of all sweet tooth’s.


moment of honesty: i originally wanted to come up with 100 things, then found that to be too ambitious so i narrowed it to 50….same problem.  turns out, i’m just not that interesting.  25 is the best i got.  maybe there will be parts 2-4 to come.