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Salon Snob

What happened to discreet maintenance? 

I recently braved the post-holiday sales at the local mall to pick up a few new bras and what my daughter referred to as “granny underwear.” I normally enjoy going to the mall for a day of mindless indulgence as I ponder the need for another pair of shoes that will go out of season before I wear them. But this day was different; I had a purpose, a timeline, and a budget. This was not a trip of pleasure.

In my hurry to reach the lingerie department at Macy’s, I passed several different kiosks in the mall’s walkways. You know the ones with the knock off handbags, funky designed I-pod holders and the ever so popular aromatherapy wrap for your tired and over-burdened shoulders. I passed them all with a distinct and disinterested glare, daring them to approach me. I don’t know why they annoy me so. As I rounded the corner of the food court, I stopped in my tracks; I couldn’t believe what unfolded in front of me.

There in plain sight of every mall patron were kiosks set up where women and men were willingly being groomed. One lady was in a reclined chair, the kind you normally see at your dentist’s office, getting her upper lip threaded, a hair removal procedure without the hot wax. In a chair right next to her was another woman getting her chin hair removed, which obviously was painful as she winced at every nip. No one had bothered to tell her that her shirt had ridden up which allowed her tummy bulge to make a full frontal appearance.

My pace slowed down as I came upon two men with their feet in the hands of two other men who were performing some sort of stress relieving reflexology. I asked myself, “Where the hell am I?”

There was no escaping the sea of instant salons popping up as I made my way to the Macy’s entrance. There were people unapologetically having their hair straightened, their backs massaged, and I couldn’t be sure but I think I saw a young girl having a henna tattoo drawn on her backside.

I’m trying to understand why getting pampered or in some cases getting much-needed maintenance has become a bit like a fast-food drive-thru. Time and money are hard to come by, but what happen to privacy and a little modesty?

Why can’t these little kiosks set up tents, like in the circus? There a man donned in a red vest and jodhpurs lures passer-bys to step inside and see the wonders. This is crazy; the next thing you know, dentists and gynecologists will have kiosks popping up with promises of “quick and painless extractions” and “the best seat in the house” pap smears.

I am a salon snob. Sure, I do some light maintenance at home. I pluck my eyebrows, wax my lip, and touch up those ever increasing gray hairs, but every now and then, I need attention by a professional. I like the slow process of pampering.

But more importantly, I don’t want the world to see what I have to go through to look like I do. Who needs all of their little secrets exposed, especially in a mall?

So please, ladies in particular, I beg of you, don’t fall prey to the ringleader and his shiny tools. Keep on walking and keep your hairdresser, manicurist, and massage therapist where they need to be, in an overpriced, snooty shop where our inadequacies have some privacy.

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