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The Junk Drawer 22: Reflections on Pop Culture and Awkward Social Commerce Situations

I was taking a break from work and caught part of an episode of The Sopranos on A&E earlier.  I will say this about The Sopranos:  it is genius.  Definitely from Season 1 – not sure if it was the pilot or the second episode – the scene is Tony and Christopher in Tony’s back yard.  After sternly telling Christopher that selling his life story as a screenplay is out of the question, he then throws an arm around Christopher and says “Hey!  It’s a beautiful day!  What could be bad?”  Cut to a close up of Livia riding with Uncle Jun.  Genius.

So I’m without hot water.  Was up early this morning boiling water for a bath.  With all the mopping and towel-wringing I did on Friday night I was really worried that my back would act up (fingers crossed, so far so good).  I decided that I would head to the local cheap cut place this morning to have my hair washed and dried.

So I go to this discount franchise and it’s 30 questions at the front desk.  After giving my phone number several times – when she moved on to my address I said, “I really don’t want to do all this.  I just want a shampoo and a blow out.”  I got the evil eye.  I’m not a confrontational person and even when pushed I strive for politeness – but had it not been for the fact that I desperately wanted my hair washed and wonderful feeling of hot water running on my head, I would have left right then.

The evil eye to small talk segue is not an easy one, even under the best of circumstances.  Add to that, I’ve got a soft talker chit-chatting while a hose is spraying and later a blow dryer is blowing – and needless to say I’m not holding up my end of the conversation.

And all this while, something is not right.  I can’t put my finger on it but I know it’s more than me not giving my address.  And the gal doing my hair says, “My name is _________, by the way.  So did your hot water heater go out this morning?’

And as I’m telling her about the hot water heater, my eyes fall on the cosmetology certificate from the State of Texas, and I realize that the gal doing my hair is a dude.

And all of sudden I’m wondering if s/he has been thinking that I was testy about sharing the address information because…

Here’s hoping a hefty tip was able to convey that it doesn’t matter to me, it really doesn’t.  I just didn’t want to do the questionnaire, all I wanted was a shampoo and blow out, so that I could return home and get to mess that is my desk.

We can file that in the hefty “Keep Austin Weird” folder.

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