My girlfriend doesn’t half have some bad luck. This morning after she had showered and almost finished brushing her teeth the water in our flat went off. It was one of them moments where I was selfish: I put that I had not yet showered or brushed my teeth AND was about to go for a haircut (so you need to be clean and have cleaned your head area – aka your head) and was going out after work (so would preferably not be doing so while stinking), I had put all that on one side of the ‘who is having the bad luck here?’ scales against her ‘I’m going to have to rinse my mouth out with this water that is in a bottle a metre away’ situation. I am selfish, though, it’s all I ever tell anyone when am getting to know someone (and they are whining on about them having lost family in 9/11*).
Fortunately I did have a shower after going for a run last night so I wasn’t in a completely unclean state. I gave it as long as possible for the water to come back on before I had to leave to make my appointment on time. You can’t be late for an appointment you have made a big deal out of needing to be at the earliest possible time – which is what I had done. My other thing was that it was to be with the girl who has done my hair the last few times – lets call her Jenny – as I like my hair after she has cut it. (Yeah, I know YOU think it looks shit but I like it, remember the stuff in the previous paragraph about me being selfish?) When I arrange my appointments I always check it’s with her. “You don’t need to worry about it, your phone number brings up your details when you ring and we book you on with that person,” they have told me.
I arrive in time and am told my person is running late, stuck in traffic, so can I just take a seat. While this is a bit annoying for the reason of not being early, as I made it clear I had to get in early to get to work, I wouldn’t be that annoyed by this as people can’t control getting stuck in traffic**. What makes the reason for the delay odd is that the woman who cuts my hair is stood about a yard away from me asking a woman what she wants doing with her fringe.
Subtly, I ask the receptionist who I am waiting for as the person who normally cuts my hair is already here and definitely not stuck in traffic – unless I have completely misunderstood the phrase and for the last 20 years when I have thought someone was stuck in slow moving traffic they have, in fact, been cutting someone’s hair. “Yeah,” the receptionist confirms, “we’ve got you down for (let’s call her) Janet.” I point out that I asked for Jenny. The receptionist says that I probably did but that there’s been a mix-up – can I wait 45 minutes? I now (a) feel I can be a bit annoyed at enquiring about the reliability of the fail-safe booking system that seemingly has no power and falls apart if two stylists have names that sound a bit similar (b) don’t want to be the person who has someone rushing (supposedly) through traffic to get here only for me to tell them I am guessing they can’t cut my hair the way I want it cut, even though they are a professional hairdresser and I’d rather sit there – sit there looking at this woman I am turning down as she will have no-one’s hair to cut. I will just have to sit there trying to avoid eye contact and when that momentarily fails doing an embarrassed half-smile.
So, I say, “no it’s OK I can’t wait that long, I am sure it wil be fine.” I probably should have said the ‘that’ with a bit of emphasis to make the point that I am already (fucking) waiting longer than I should be. Instead I just look annoyed and turn down the offer of a brew – despite being quite thirsty. I have definitely won this battle.
PHILIP (EVENTUALLY!!) GOT HIS HAIR CUT BY JANET, HE WASN’T SURE ABOUT THE CUT (MAYBE IT WILL GROW ON HIM!! LOLZ) BUT HAD QUITE A NICE CHAT WITH HER ABOUT DISLIKING EVERYONE HE EVER MEETS. EVER THE OPTIMIST, HE GOES TO WORK VIA HIS FLAT TO SEE IF HE CAN HAVE A SHOWER BUT THE WATER IS STILL OFF MEANING A THOROUGH WIPE DOWN WITH SOME BABY WIPES IS AS GOOD AS CAN MANAGE – HE COMPENSATES BY USING MORE BODYSPRAY THAN USUAL ,WHICH MEANS HE USED A LOT.
*Get over it – am I right?
**Though if I have ever been late for something that doesn’t involve long distance travel I think it would be fair for someone to ask why I didn’t just set out earlier. Oh I’m sorry did the owner of the salon ring you at quarter to nine and tell you that you had to work today? And she was talking about a feature she’d seen on breakfast news that morning; maybe not have that cup of tea and a toast and get to work on time, an unreasonable person would say, and while I wouldn’t be that unreasonable person if I was stood there when they said it I would think it wasn’t that bad a thing to say and that the person being rebuked couldn’t really complain.