Confession: I've never actually watched an episode of The Twilight Zone. I'll give you a minute to get this out of your system. Throw things at your computer if you need to. Delete me as a friend on Facebook. Whatever you need to do. It's alright though because I feel like I've gotten the gist of it from riding Hollywood Tower of Terror more times than I can count. Are you throwing more things at your computer now?
That's so not even the point of this. The point is, you don't have to watch the show to live a Twilight Zone kind of day. Today I was traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. I saw the signpost up ahead--my next stop, the Twilight Zone.
But let me back up.
I'd gone to the same stylist for, oh, nineteen years or so back in California. When we moved to Utah I simply scheduled hair appointments with her when I was visiting my family. But, enough time went by and I figured I'd be a big girl about it and get myself a new stylist. There was a salon just around the corner from my house so I made an appointment. When I got my hair cut, I immediately fell in love with the design and the people who were working there. A lot of them had tattoos and piercings and, like, streaks in their hair. While I have no tattoos, only one hole in each ear, and have never had anything but blonde highlights, in this state, sometimes a spike in someone's tongue is a welcome addition.
I went in a couple of times and then they moved halfway across town. I found this out when I showed up for an appointment and the place was dark. When I called, they answered the phone, "Tangled" which was a new name and informed me that they'd moved. I had to hightail it across town to make it. The new shop was much less impressive but I liked the results of the cut so I decided to keep going there.
About ten weeks ago I called to make a hair appointment. The girl who'd last cut my hair was no longer at that salon so I made an appointment with a different girl. She was chatty--which I like in a stylist because it's weird to sit there completely quiet, staring at yourself in a mirror. I liked what she did with my hair. We talked a great deal about how I had an upcoming trip to Hawaii. When she'd finished I asked if I could schedule another appointment with her. She said, "Sure." I said, "Great." She said, "When?" I said, "Right before I leave for Hawaii, how about Saturday the 9th?"
And I scheduled an appointment for this morning at nine.
But then I needed to be at the church this morning at nine so I called last week to reschedule.
"Hi. I have an appointment next Saturday at nine with Ashley. I need to reschedule that," I said.
"Okay. When would you like to come in?" The girl on the other end of the phone at Tangled Salon and Day Spa asked. Which, at the time, I thought was kind of weird because, what, did Ashley just have her whole day open? But I powered ahead.
"Uh...2:00?" I threw out.
"Okay. See you then." I thought it was strange that she didn't ask for my name but just assumed that, since I'd told her I was with Ashley at nine, she would just take the name from that slot and put it in the two o'clock spot.
Whew. That was a long introduction. We're getting to Twilight Zoney part. I promise.
So today I got in my car. I drove myself the 20 or so minutes to the newer, less awesome salon. I hopped out of my car, waltzed up to the door, and tried to throw it open. But it was locked. The salon was dark and the OPEN sign was not lit. I was a few minutes early so I thought that, while it was weird that there was no one there on a Saturday, maybe they all took a lunch from 1:00-2:00 or something.
Thankfully, I had Ashley's card so I texted her just after 2:00.
"Hey Ashley this is Lori. I am supposed to have a hair appointment with you at 2:00 but the salon is closed. Are you on your way?"
A few minutes later I received the following text. "I'm sorry I were not informed..The salon shut down."
So. Um. What? At this point I was completely perplexed because I called them a week ago to change the appointment. And, also, if a salon shuts down does it not call the people who have scheduled appointments and let them know?
"really? I called last week to reschedule from a 9 am to a 2pm and no one said anything. Are you at a new salon?"
I was getting really mad as I sat there and thought about how inconsiderate this place had been. I'm almost certain they had my number but, if by some chance they didn't, I'm easy enough to find. I'm listed just about everywhere. Seriously. We're like a stalker's dream come true. I decided that, since I really wanted the dead ends cut off so that I would have happy, healthy hair to ruin with copious amounts of sand and salt, I would drive down the road and stop at the first place I found that took walk ins.
I stopped at a place called Trimz. The name worried me. A lot. But they took walk ins so in I walked. It seemed like a happening place. There were plenty of nail technicians working on clients and at least five stylists doing hair. I explained my dilemma. The girl who'd greeted me asked every single stylist if she (and one he) could fit me in. There was nothing available today. So I got back in my car and did what any sane thirty-year-old would do. I called my mom to whine.
During the conversation I told her I was going to go to Great Clips, where my husband and male children get their hair cut. "A glorified barber," I told my mom. And then the next text came in.
"Ya I quit a couple weeks ago but thats crazy they didnt tell u...No im not at a salon yet but what did u neeed done?"
I was still on the phone with my mom so together we made the decision that, sure, why not, give this girl another chance. She probably should have called her client to let her know that she wasn't going to be at the appointment but I'm a big girl. I can forgive and forget. Or, I can, at the very least, forgive and try to remember a little less. So I texted back.
"just a cut. You cut it about 10 weeks ago and I scheduled another appt for just before a trip to Hawaii to get it cut again." Ring a bell? Do you remember this? Yes? No?
Nothing. No response.
So I headed for Great Clips. And I called Tangled Salon and Day Spa. It went to voice mail. The mailbox was full. Probably of the messages of thirty angry women who thought they had appointments and found a dark salon instead.
I remembered along the way that there's a place near my house that specializes in tanning. I know they do nails too because I've often looked longingly in their direction wishing for a pedicure for my wretched and horrible toes but I don't budget for pedicures so longing looks are as far as our relationship can go. I decided to swing by and see if they do hair.
And they do. But the stylist had just left for the day. The lady working was super nice and she called another shop to try to get me in and she asked where I'd had the appointment scheduled. When I told her she said, "Oh, yeah, I don't know all the details but some crazy stuff went down. One of their manicurists is working here now. There's lawyers involved..." She was very professional and kind and referred to me as "a client" when she called the other shop. But nothing panned out there. "Does it have to be today? I can get you in with my stylist on Tuesday and she is very good."
We leave Tuesday and it would be a challenge for me to make that work. However, I think I might be going back there based on her kindness alone.
I went to Great Clips. They were very friendly. I only had to wait about ten minutes. She sprayed my hair with a water bottle instead of washing it which was very weird. I tipped her three dollars which is less than I usually tip but, well, the haircut was substantially less too, and she audibly gasped, "Thank you!" If an actual washing had been involved I might have just kept going back to Great Clips.
As I was leaving I received the following text, "I can come to u if youd like..Until I find another salon" Um. That's okay. Maybe if she'd texted me an hour ago, when I told her what I needed done. Maybe if I hadn't just had my hair spritzed and cut. Maybe if she'd showed a little more concern for the fact that I drove twenty minutes to find a deserted shop.
Someone should have called me. At the very least, someone should have told me when I called them a week ago to change the appointment that, "Oh by the way, Ashley doesn't work here anymore and we're about to close down forever." But then, I was, apparently, traveling through another dimension.