Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

I was never good at the breaking-up part of relationships.

Part of it is that I didn't really date truck-loads of people before Elarryo and I got serious about each other, so I truly lacked the opportunity to be the one initiating the break-up. Part of it is (and this is going to sound really bad) I was also always totally in denial and fabulously reluctant to admit things weren't working out. I usually just hoped things would get better. Part of it was my being flat out immature and also a bit stupid. I mean, STUPID! So stupid I would rationally think things like:

"Yes, I saw him out with another girl. But she's a friend of mine and I'm totally cool with my friends hanging out and getting to know each other without me being around."

Mmm. Hmm. Yep. What a winner. Or how about, "Yeah, I haven't talked to him in two weeks but it IS finals and we're both so busy."

Usually though, the guy did not have these same problems with breaking up. Men are chickens though so suddenly, the answering machine would pick up every time I called. Suddenly I'd page him (hint: this is before the cell phone so pagers were the best technology money could buy) and he would never call me back. Finally it would hit me! I was being "dumped". (I just hate that word!) I'd drag out my Pet Shop Boys tape and play that depressing-ass song "Jealousy" over and over again till the tears would roll down my cheeks. Here, I can type the lyrics for you verbatim from memory:

At dead of night,
till break of day
Endless thoughts and questions keep me awake
It's much too late
Where've you been?
Who've you seen?
didn't phone when you said you would!
Do you lie?
Do you try
To keep in touch?
You know you could
I've tried to see your point of view
But could not hear or see
For jealousy.

Well, it's time for me to initiate a break up and I'm not sure how to approach this. Lots of women have a hard time with this one and I have to admit, I contemplated it earlier this month but I didn't follow through.

You see, I need to break up with my hair stylist.

It's a past due event and I keep putting it off. Unfortunately, it's so easy to keep going to the same stylist when the result is passably decent. People stay with an old stylist for the same reason they stay with a romance they probably should be kissing goodbye: You get used to the quirks and issues of the person you are with and you are afraid of the unknown. When you go to a new stylist you never know if you are going to walk out of there with some jacked up asymmetrical cut that makes you look like you jumped out of the Salt-N-Pepa "Push It" video. And, if you are getting a relaxer or getting your hair permed, the stakes are even could walk out of a new salon with a newfound bald head.

Here are some of my issues:

1) I am supposed to be the one telling her my problems and stories. She's supposed to listen to me and offer advice sparingly. Instead, I hear all about her issues dating older men, her trifling 19 year old daughter, and her asshole ex husband. Now, all this is interesting on some level, particularly hearing about how the dating issues. It's hard for older women. The men just seem to get more predatory and nasty and the dynamic of the man paying for dinner and the woman reciprocating by sleeping with him seems even more heightened. But, my curiousity and sympathy aside, I am paying to hear this?

1.1) She bitches about other customers and how difficult they are. It makes me wonder if she bitches about me when I'm not around. "That Liz walks in here looking like crap and I have to work miracles to make her look halfway decent."

2) She could probably do my hair with her eyes shut. She goes on autopilot when I sit down in her chair. I am never asked if I want to try something new. She didn't even notice that I've been parting my hair differently. Instead, she moved my part to the other side of my head. It's strictly blowdryer and flat iron and I feel awkward and scared to ask if I can try something different, like a roller set.

3) Boring. I sometimes come out looking like I should be wearing some of those infamous mom jeans from that Saturday Night Live skit. Granted I am going through this thing right now where I am feeling a bit tired of looking, in my opinion, so conservative and I'm longing for a bit of wildness so this isn't all her fault. Some of it is me. BUT, she's also not so great at giving hair cuts. We mostly stick to trims.

4) I went there today and I was there for FOUR hours. I'm not kidding. Granted, this is not always considered strange if you are going to a Black stylist but jeepers, this was ridiculous. I finished 3/4 of a 372 page novel while I was there and read the October and November issues of Vogue.

5) She's female. I've had both male and female stylists and I do believe men can hook your hair up better. Psychologists say it's because a woman isn't really programmed to make another woman look better than herself and a man isn't competing with the woman for a mate so he doesn't hold back. I've seen this to be true on some levels but not on others. Actually, the best female stylist I had was that girl that used to work over at Studio 808 back in Evanston. She was hot and knew it so maybe that's why she was also so nice to me and made my hair look perfect. Sexist? Probably. Wrong? Probably.

Why do I stay? Well, she is REALLY good with the aforementioned flat iron. And her schedule is pretty flexible. (I have wondered though if her schedule is flexible because she sucks so much that there's lots of open time in her schedule.)

How do I break it off? Of course, I've contemplated doing the whole, It's not you, it's me. But if I break it off, I need to have somewhere new to go. SO, if you live in Los Angeles and know of a good stylist in the Hollywood area that works with Black hair and isn't ridiculously priced, let me know.


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