Thursday, June 22, 2006
Oh Crap
Anyone reading here with regularity knows I am not a foo-foo girl. You also know that recently, necessity demanded I make an appointment at a beauty salon to have my hair “done.” I can count on one hand the number of times in my adult life I’ve visited a salon and equate the experience with going to the dentist.

I picked a random salon from the yellow pages, then grilled the receptionist about the stylists as if I was scheduling open-heart surgery. “Give me someone patient and empathic; someone not wild; someone who will listen to my concerns and not approach my head like a makeover show,” I requested, and then booked my appointment.

I have to digress here to discuss my daughter. Like her mother, she is, at heart, a tomboy. Through fourth and fifth grade, she hung out with a pack of boys. They were a neat group of kids who made it their mission to act as ambassadors for every new kid at school, greeting each one, inviting them into their group and teaching them how to navigate the playground and social circles of elementary school. The teachers began to depend on my daughter and her friends to ease the transition of newcomers. And, two years into the tradition, the kids began to realize they were doing something special.

The day Justin transferred to their school, they welcomed him into their group. My daughter happily relayed the days’ events, telling me all about the nervous new kid and how they’d put him at ease. I was a proud Mommy.

But the next day, my daughter came home completely distraught. “I sat alone on the playground today. My friends wouldn’t play with me,” she told me, tears streaming down her cheeks. I prodded for information: “Did you have a disagreement with the boys? Did someone do something mean?” Finally, she confessed. The new kid she’d welcomed into her group was horrified a pack of boys would welcome a girl into their midst. In one recess flat, he’d convinced my daughter’s friends to “ditch the chick,” that “cool boys don’t play with girls.” And, just as quick, the merry band of ambassadors permanently disbanded.

My daughter’s trauma might have ended there had this kid not shortly become the bane of her existence. He teased and tormented. He sat behind her on the school bus, making her ride an elementary school hell with his physical and emotional jabs.

I told my daughter that Justin would, by the time high school arrived, kick himself for treating her so dispassionately; that he’d eventually mature, look at my gorgeous girl and feel like a total shmuck for being such an asswipe. I instructed her to look forward to the day he might sheepishly ask her to a dance or game and she could look him in the eye and say, “Remember fifth grade? Bite me.”

Unfortunately, seat assignments for the middle school bus again placed Asswipe directly behind her and the tormenting continued. My daughter kept it to herself until she could take no more and, finally, asked for my assistance. By this time, I’d lost all compassion for the little twerp and was ready to throttle him. I promised to call the school and report him first thing Monday.

Then, I headed to my appointment at the beauty salon.

As I sat squirming through my “beauty consultation,” I had Asswipe on my mind. I visualized ratting him out to the authorities. I imagined a confrontation with his mother, upon which I’d tell her what a little shit she’d raised. My new perky hairdresser, immune to my mood, animatedly waved her scissors in the air, proclaiming she was about to perform a fabulous transformation. I relented, handing over all authority for the outcome (hey, she was holding scissors!) She began whacking, chopping and chitchatting as I busied myself with fantasies of revenge for the actions of my daughter’s bully.

“So, where ‘bouts do you live?” she asked. Whack. Whack. Whack. I told her the name of our road. “Wow! Me too,” she proclaimed, “Small world!” She shared she and her family had relocated from out of state the prior year, how difficult the adjustment had been for her terribly sensitive and sweet son. Whack. Whack. Whack. I shared our relocation story. We noted our kids were the same age and attended the same school. “I bet they’re on the same bus route,” she suggested, as suddenly, thing began clicking in my mind.

Oh, crap.

“Hmm, probably,” I responded, “what’s your son’s name?”

“Asswipe,” she said.

Okay, she didn’t say “Asswipe,” but she said HIS name, that little twerp, the bane of my daughter’s existence. And she said it as she brandished a lock of my hair and a snapping pair of scissors above my head.

Oh crap! Whack. Whack. Whack. Should I say something? Whack. Whack. Whack.

But I wanted neither short nor technicolored hair. “How long’s this color-thing going to take?” I asked, hoping I could escape without incident.

“About four hours.”


So for four hours, I sat in that chair, at her mercy, staring at the framed photo of Asswipe proudly displayed on her workstation. My fantasies of confrontation (which isn’t my style and would have never come to fruition anyway) faded into acceptance of the fact my appearance had become forever dependent upon a positive relationship with this woman, my stylist.

Once home, I reported my dilemma to my daughter, who reacted with an unmitigated glee that confused me. “Ha! Wait ‘till I tell him his Mom and my Mom are FRIENDS!” she announced.

The next day, she reported his reaction:


Sometimes, things have a way of working themselves out.
Rhonda Ruminated at 2:48 PM | Permalink |

15 Ruminations:

  • At 5:06 PM, Blogger Nikki


    How I wish I had your self restraint! I would have run off at the mouth and gotten out of that chair looking like a pink haired troll.LOL

    Brava to your daughter for letting him know. I hope that made things more bearable for her.

  • At 7:26 PM, Blogger Ruth Dynamite

    Perhaps it was divine intervention?

    I love a happy ending. Good for you, your daughter, and, especially, your hair.

  • At 8:40 PM, Blogger Kathy

    What a great reaction from your daughter. She is wise beyond her years. I bet she turns out to be more and more like you (and lucky to be) every year. It kind of reminds me of an epidode of 70's tv somewhere, where things are handled on the kid level and have a good outcome. Your daughter is a genius in the making. Hugs to her!

  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger 34quinn

    OMG!! that entire story from beginning to end was not only mind boggling and impressive ...but I could totally relate.

    From the minute you decided to do your hair to the tension at the injustices at the playground to the kids that are really doing all the right things.
    I love to hear how for once it is actually going to work out for a good kid. your daughter is amazing!

    I so need a haircut I have been saying that now for over 3 months in a couple more I will actually get the nerve to go again.

    Both of my boys have had similar problems...why is it always a new kid ...
    my oldest son had a new kid come to class, he befriended him and for about a month the kid was at our house every day..he said all his stuff was still pakced up etc.and he would have my son over when they were settled in.
    well my son, was a good pal to him for weeks, I met the parents briefly they seemed very interested in all the things my son does. Once his house was up and running, gee no more comming over and no invitation to return the favour to my son...but it got worse than that...He then took over my sons friends, his social activities etc. His father not only enrolled him into the same martial arts school but also would bribe my sons then"girlfriend" over to his sons place after school for icecream etc. etc.with his son.
    These people practically gave his son my sons life.his friends, girlfriend etc. I had to help my son deal with it, but I said if your friends can be bribed away like that they aren't good friends anyways( didnt take the pain away though)and also that I was not about to become a person that bribes people to befriends with my boys. You either want to or you dont. It was hard as a parent to show your kid how wrong this was when they are hurt and for no good reason. Over time in the end the kid did end up with none of those kids around..but my son also moved on without them as well.

    I find it frustrating that kids can be so mean..but when parents add to it...It then becomes insane..I honestly thought I was losing my mind..I thought what parent does this???? what planet are they from ???..but I just hope what goes around comes around.

  • At 10:11 PM, Blogger Charlie

    So. Did you get the senior haircut discount like I did?

  • At 11:04 PM, Blogger Rhonda

    NIKKI! NIKKI!: I could use a little more of the "bite my ass" quality you possess. I'm a whimp.

    However, had things not resolved relatively on their own, I would have risked pink hair.

    RUTH: Ha! Yes, very good for my hair =)

    KATHY: She's a good kid. I made this light hearted, but those kids really hurt her. Fortunately, middle school brought new friends.

    QUINN: I hear you. I see way too much of parents behaving badly. The biggest female bully at my daughter's school has a mother who acts, not surprisingly, just the same as her daughter. Your empathy towards your son's experience will go a long way. You did good.

    POOPER: I refused to make this piece go over 1,000 words, but if I had, I would have encluded my hairdresser's comment when she unveiled my new tresses.

    She said: Look there, I made you look not a day over forty!

    Super, considering I'm two years under forty.

  • At 9:11 AM, Blogger Nikki


    SNERK - yeah right

  • At 8:37 AM, Blogger Attila The Mom


    Soooooo you ever going back? LOL

  • At 11:39 AM, Blogger Kim Ayres

    YOu were wise - it's never a good idea to tell a woman who has your hair in her hands that her son's an asswipe

  • At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Beki

    Good job you kept quiet - she may have cut your hair very tightly via your neck!

  • At 10:19 AM, Blogger Pendullum

    You are a wise woman... Never confront a woman with shears...
    Good luck with Asswipe...
    Schoolyard politics is such a minefield...
    Amzing that all of us got through it...

  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger Mel

    HA! HA HA HA! That's hysterical. :)
    But oh, how my heart ached for your girl... is the band back together, or is she still the odd one out?

  • At 4:00 PM, Blogger

    That's hilarious.

  • At 4:43 PM, Blogger Rhonda

    Thanks, everyone, for the comments.

    Atilla: I'm going back, sheepishly. By now, she knows who I am too, so it should be, uh, interesting.

    Mel: Welcome! No, they are disbanded, but she's moved on to middle school and a new group of friends so I don't think she'll need therapy for the whole ordeal =)

    Pendullum: Welcome to you, too. And, you are right, I don't remember my own school yard days very fondly.

    Hi Kim, it's good to see you again . . .

  • At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    What a great can't make up something that amazing. I'll dine out on that story I'm sure. Nacho Linda