Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Operation S.B.A.M

It's been over three years, maybe four, since I went to a hairdresser. Every 8 months or so I have been handing Nye scissors and asking him to remove the 'really crap bits'.

I've been wearing the same glasses for that time too. In fact the last time I got a haircut and new glasses were on the same day. I wouldn't have done if I hadn't been staying with my mum and the optician and hairdresser weren't 30 yards away. And she hadn't made the appointments for me.

I've also plaintively whined about needing a haircut and new glasses at least once a month for the last 2 years. I became that abysmal person who complains about something that they never do anything to fix. I hate that person. It's a testiment to Nye's patience that he has been listening to this crap for two years and hasn't slapped me with a wet fish.

It's probably not that much of a coincidence that I stopped making an effort at the same time that my endometriosis got so bad we stopped trying to have a baby. It's not that I didn't care, I cared. I just didn't have the energy to do anything about it.

Also, I hate going to the hairdresser. I have done since I was about 13 and I entered the hairdresser truly believing that I would be transformed into a one of those women from the shampoo ads and left it in tears. Not happy ones. A few more years of dashed hopes were too much for my nerves and I gave up altogether. And the opticians? Well that's just too much looking in the mirror whilst being watched by a bored shop assistant when you don't much like looking in the mirror (because you have crap hair.)

And I'm lazy. Let's not forget that I'm lazy. Choosing a salon, making an appointment, dressing nicely so that the hairdresser thinks you care what you look like and doesn't give you Ann Widdecombe hair, answering inane questions about your holiday plans and whether you came to the appointment by bus or train.... who can be arsed? Really.

But that is over. It's time to make a little effort, if only because if I hear myself moan about how I look, knowing full well I'm not going to do anything about it, one more time I will slap myself with a wet fish.

And so commences Operation Stop Being a Minger.

*Photo of Patti Smith, by Richard Mapplethorpe, via East Side Bride


  1. Hate going to the hairdressers too. Hate it. It wouldn't be so bad if they didn't try and talk you, but they do, and so I dread it more than the dentist.

  2. I finally got new glasses in October after almost 4 years in the same pair and I love them but the cost - ouch... And I hate going to the hairdresser but I blame my Mum for that - too many very short haircuts as a child!

  3. most of the time when I go to the hairdressers I end up looking like a dog. the worst thing I've ever done though was when an inspired hairdresser asked me if I trusted him and I answered yes - never EVER trust a hairdresser.

  4. Obviously I'm the odd one out here, because I love going to the hairdresser. I also have very short pixie hair, which requires fair more regular chopping.

    I hate the chit chat and never partake. I go to the same salon but different hairdressers and they don't even bother now. When I arrive I say a "you're the pro, do what you want, hair grows, I promise I won't cry" to them and then when I sit to get my hairwashed (heaven!) I always say "I love getting my hair washed because I am really stressed out and just want to chill". From then on its eyes closed getting head washed and massaged, demanding magazines when cutting and don't speak until it's done. I swear they enjoy the odd silence too.

    Which is a long way to say: I like this operation. Sounds a brilliant fucking idea.

  5. Anne Widdecombe? Funny...My mother always said, you wear your hair everyday so it's the one thing I always spend money on, but finding the one, and I'm talking hairdresser here, is more exhausting than dating.

  6. ah good luck.

    Hairdressers wield too much power in my humble opinion. It's just not fair.

    My last two cuts have been, unintentionally, asymmetrical. Surely someone paid to chop stuff off your head should be able to chop in a straight line??

    Of course not much beats the shiny hair bubble when it all goes right.

    Best of luck!

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  8. I rarely get haircuts, just because I can't be bothered to spend the money! However, I recently changed my hair color and realized that its a good way to FORCE me to go to the salon regularly when it grows out.
    It takes the decision out of your hands so you can't get lazy for a few months (or years)

  9. That is so true about dressing up for the hairdresser! I hate that it's like if you look casual they don't work has hard. Lol, love it.

  10. Oh girl, come to London and I will take you to my lovely hairdresser. She is so nice, she knows I am not one for small talk. I used to me scared of hairdressers and now I am not!

    I trust her enough to fall asleep and she lets me. In short I love her (and she even makes my hair look nice!)

    (Admittedly I haven't been for almost a year but that's due to lack of funds rather than any other issues!)

    For glasses, totally check out Warby Parker, Bean got his glasses there and I cannot wait to buy some myself. Someone in the US will have to send you them but totally worth it!

  11. I didn't go to a hairdresser until I was 16, thus experiencing a range of 'interesting' cuts courtesy of my mum or sister. So for me the power of a good haircut is strong. Plus I love the little head massage you get when someone else washes your hair... Enjoy the haircut and hope operation S.B.A.M. goes stupendously well for you! (Not that I think you need it as you are already very lovely)

    And finally yes on people who complain but don't *do* anything, I often wish I had a wet fish handy for myself and for others...

  12. Hot mama.

    And if you insist on calling yourself a minger, I've got a haddock saved *just* for you.

  13. yeah i thought this was an ESB hair post when it showed up in reader. ;)

    i feel you, i am *never* satisfied with my haircuts. instead of never getting a cut i change stylists every year, thinking its them, not me.... ha....

  14. Same on the hairdresser/glasses. I haven't gotten new glasses in-- get this-- SIX YEARS and I had spent the past three years having my friend Shea cut my hair whenever I needed it. Even when we lived a 30 minute drive apart. I could justify it as "time spent with a friend plus a haircut!"

    I finally gave in and got a haircut at a proper salon last November. I should really go back in soon...

  15. oh man, i'm lucky that isaiah's mah is a hairdresser...but before that...none of mine ever listened to me - an inch meant 4 - paid attention to my style, and most of them just gave me a weak-sauce variation of their own haircuts.

    i hope you find what you're looking for in a stylist, but it's a noble goal no matter what the outcome.

  16. (You're not a minger.)

    I need new glasses SO BAD. Or at least new lenses; I suppose the frames are still alright.

    I've had a whole 2 hair cuts in my life (once at age 16 and once 2 weeks ago) that I've loved. I'm hoping the girl I see now keeps up with the great cuts. It's kind of a huge commitment since I haven't ever seen the same person consistently. And since I used to only get a cut once every year or two.

  17. i just need readers so i buy them with happy abandon and discard them when they crack or bore me...or i leave them in all sorts of weird places.

    but yes...i understand the hair thing. i'm satisfied the day of the cut and the next day i'm wailing.

  18. i need glasses period. i'm not sure driving in a big city when you're half blind is all that safe. i'm getting my haircut tomorrow. my head has been looking very tragic.

  19. You're doing really daughter is 9 months now and I only started Operation SBAM about a month ago!

  20. obviously, i love getting my hair cut........ but i always worry about what to wear, too. if that makes you feel any better. it's important to look terrific, but ACCIDENTALLY terrific. one never wants to look like one TRIED TOO HARD.

  21. Hey Peonies, you inspired me to join Operation S.B.A.M.! After inventing something so fabulous, you've got your first 'follower'. I haven't bought decent new clothes in over 8 years (was living in a hot climate, now living in a cold one) and it's horribly embarrassing to wear the same jumper every day...


  22. wait... arn't you like the most lovely woman in Scotland? Because the pictures that I have seen tell me this is so. Nye must give really great haircuts... does he take bookings?

  23. I hate going to the hairdressers too. I left in tears just 2 years ago and had to go back and get it fixed (so humiliating, I would only go if my husband came with me. lame)

    I've decided to start cutting my own hair. I've been doing my own fringe and keeping some of the layers short on my own so its not that bold a step. If i can avoid paying a hairdresser for the rest of my life i will happily do so!

  24. I used to avoid it. Then I got lucky and found someone I like (even though I pay through the nose for the fancy salon) and now I'm a convert. We have a nice balance going where sometimes we both feel chatty and sometimes we just go about in friendly silence. It works.

    And glasses! You must get new ones. Personally, I think excellent glasses must be splurged upon, every two years. If you're going to have to wear them, you deserve to wear good ones.

  25. i hate the hairdressers. and i need to go so so bad. my excuse right now is that i'm so preggo, the haircut won't help me look any better.

    that won't last long.

  26. ha ha, i can completely relate to the whole dressing up for the hairdresser business and the inane conversation. it puts me off going as well because i just cna't be bothered.

    but it's so worth it when you get a good cut, you feel so much better afterwards.

  27. I'm terrified of getting new glasses and a hair cut because I live in Argentina and I don't know the Spanish alphabet for the eye chart and I don't know how to say please don't give me a mullet either (a real risk here). But then I recently found this quote ( via a reader's letter in The Economist Which is not where one expects to find motivation to stop dressing/ acting like a depressed housewife but it worked for me.)

    “ Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”
    - Coco Chanel

  28. I hate the hairdressers as well, but I've found a good, although somewhat risky and expensive, solution to the holiday chat. Just move to a country where you don't speak the language, after 5 minutes they give up with the questions and you can just read a book. That way you don't have to stare at yourself in the mirror or make inane small talk,

  29. Maybe there are hairdressers where you can go to sleep, like they do at those "special" dentists. On second thought, I think that creeps me out.

  30. Holy crap people, how is it that you all live on the internet and none of you have ever been here:
    Or to any of the buy glasses online places it recommends?

    Call your optometrist. Get your prescription over the phone - they have to give it to you. (Or just go do the optometry part, it doesn't take long.) Then measure a pair of glasses that fits you, and buy like, 5 pairs on the internet for $100. Seriously. Even if two out of five of them are crap, it's still a win. (And EASY. So very easy.)

  31. first haircut in ONE YEAR coming up tomorrow. Something about the caring for another life that really puts the state of your tresses on the back burner, no?

    But I imagine I'm going to feel like a new woman. And I fully support you doing something lovely for yourself too!

  32. Operation S.B.A.M. is the best post title ever.

    Yes to agirl.

    And yes to ESB. (I'm sure I always try too hard.)

    I need a decent haircut too. And new lenses at least, if not glasses.

  33. i just went back and did a search on "SBAM" to figure out what the hell you were talking about.


play nice.