We’ve all had them, right? Those moments in time you’d like to forget and often do until something triggers a non-relatable incident deep within the recesses of your brain. Such was the case recently when Hubby D and I were discussing nothing in particular that drifted into cringe-worthy experiences. Mine, since D hasn’t been cursed with that recollection gene. Nevertheless, here’s one of mine.
Some years ago in my life before that as a writer, I worked in the Central West End of St. Louis and frequented a high-end hair salon whenever the need arose. The stylist-owner who worked his magic on my hair was considered among the city’s best and never failed to send me out the door looking much better than when I came in. How well I recall the salon routine, of first going to the private area to select a protective smock before sitting down in C’s chair. On one particular day I’d skimmed through the variety of colorful smocks, my hand landing on a dark brown that appeared to be a notch above the rest. Not only did the smock match my eyes but it felt good and made me feel special as soon as I put it on over my own top.
Only one other client sat in the salon that morning, an attractive older lady who looked familiar although I couldn’t quite place her. The three of us engaged in a round of salon chitchat about family and the upcoming holidays while C applied streaks of pale blond to highlight my darker blond hair. Then the lady casually commented on the smock I was wearing, how similar it was to one of her favorite blouses; in fact, the blouse she’d worn to the salon that day. Hers had a small hole in the sleeve, near the cuff. Holy crap! So did my smock, only it wasn’t a smock but rather the lady’s blouse. My heart skipped a beat or two. I heard C gasp from where he stood behind me.
After a flurry of apologies on my part, which the lovely lady accepted on her part, I hopped out of the chair and felt my cheeks burning as I made the long walk back to the rack of smocks. My hand shook as I replaced the lady’s brown blouse with a salon smock, also brown.
Not sure who was more mortified—C the owner-stylist or me, the didn’t-have-a-clue offender. Either way, the lovely lady couldn’t have been more gracious when C introduced her as the wife of a former St. Louis mayor, both of whom still served prominent roles as movers and shakers in the city.
Did I ever return to the salon? You bet, many times. One change I did notice: the private area now contained two clothing racks—one for the salon smocks, the other for clients who chose to remove their tops before donning a smock.
So, what about you? Any cringe-worthy moments you’d like to share? Don’t be shy. Let me feel your pain.