There are many things British People have a reputation for, some good, some bad.
Resilience in a crisis, the ability to form an orderly queue, moaning that it rains all the time, yet as soon as the sun comes out, it is too hot, being able to complain about the minutest of things, to name a few.
There is also the terrible behaviour we are known for; the drunk fuelled binges in Ayia Napa and Magaluf, vomiting into the gutter at 10 in the morning after partying all night, football hooliganism and knife crimes as examples.
So what is the difference between these British Quirks, or just good manners?
When I was young, my Mother taught me “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” and this an adage that I try to live by and certainly have taught my own children. It is far nicer to give a compliment than to be negative.
But does this always pay off?
A recent trip to a hair salon proved this point.
I was booked in with a vintage stylist for a fringe trim and a put up. This was in preparation for one of the biggest events, “Twinwood”, which started the next day.
I turned up ten minutes before my appointment, only to find the salon was not yet open and another stylist standing outside. She explained that the girl due to open up was running a bit late…
I should have seen this as an omen.
Eventually I was sat in the stylists chair and asked for a straight fringe just about my eyebrows. She sectioned up the top of my fringe, showing the lower layer.
My heart sank. It was certainly not “just” above my eyebrows. In fact it was only about an inch long.
But what could I do?
It wasn’t like she could glue my hair back on, so I sat there as she snipped and snipped away. Eventually my fringe was done and she asked how I would like it put up. I requested a poodle.
For those who aren’t into vintage styles, a poodle is a curly hairstyle that is pulled up onto the top of your head a la Lucille Ball.
I should have panicked when she had to Google it to see what it looked like.
Again, not wanting to cause a fuss, I sat there as she beautifully curled my hair. Maybe this was going to turn out alright after all…..
I wish I could say it did.
Sadly I ended up with two Victory Rolls on the side of my head that looked like wings and some pinned sections all at the back of my head. Definitely not a Poodle Do.
Added to that was my fringe. My “I would like a straight fringe, just about my eyebrows” was a super short curved fringe. I looked like Dave from the 70’s band Slade.
I mean, I know I wanted vintage but the 70’s is clearly not my era!
Now there may be some people out there who would have immediately complained. Me, I don’t like confrontation or hurting someone’s feelings.
I thanked her, paid my £40 and left the salon without a peep of a complaint.
It was only when I sat in my car ten minutes later, in floods of tears that I slightly regretted not saying anything.
Things certainly weren’t made any better when Baby Bear got home at lunchtime and said “What the F**k have they done to your hair?”
She asked what I had said when the stylist was finished and I told her I had said Thank you and paid up.
She called me a total mug and asked what I was going to do about the mess.
Well, there wasn’t much I could do. The fringe was gone and only time would change that. I just had to hope that my Vintage chums who I was camping with could help me with the rest of my hair disaster.
Now, in a previous job I was the supervisor of a busy supermarket Customer Service Desk and can handle complaints with the best of them.
I can even write a cracking complaints letter. So why haven’t I?
Well, I could say it’s not worth it. That my hair will grow back. That what is done, is done.
But the truth is, I just couldn’t be bothered.
I deal with enough stress and dreadful situations in my current job that I REALLY don’t need to get stressed over something that in essence if pretty trivial.
As they say, “Baby Llama don’t need no Drama”
I am too middle-aged to cause a fuss, and it is simply not nice. Now if that makes me a mug, then so be it. The stylist did her best with what skills she had. Whilst they weren’t up to the vintage styling I am used to, she did try to give me what I want. And I can appreciate that she tried. She simply didn’t have the vintage experience to get there.
And after all, who hasn’t had a bad experience at the hairdressers before? Those dodgy streaks in the 90’s where you thought you were Britney, the poodle perm of the 80’s that meant you ended up looking like Deirdre from Coronation Street or those Sinead O’Connor buzzcuts?
Genuinely though as distraught as I was on the day, there have been no lasting effects. My wonderful Pal Lucy Stanton from Era.Go.Again performed wonders on my hair for the start of Twinwood and in fact, the whole weekend and it was an amazing festival!
Last weekend I was at Londonedge and went to see “Jesus Hands” herself, Miss October Divine of The Pinup Academy. She literally can perform miracles with the worst hair and she certainly did that. Even my fringe looked amazing when she was done, and I had a perfect poodle too!
Whilst I will be returning to Twinwood next year, you can be sure I won’t be returning to that particular salon for my vintage styling again……
What do you think? Should I have caused a fuss? Was it worth the stress?
I would love to hear your comments on it!