No Dumping Allowed!

Most of us have “go to” people, and we are the people that they “go to” as well. You know what I mean, the people we vent with, share our frustrations of life and the world in general. None of us mind because after all, we’re friends. That’s what we do. We share the good, the bad, a little bit of it all.

That said, however none of us particularly like being “dumped on”. No one wants to be the person in the grocery line that the guy in front of you tells you all about how his ex-wife has taken him to the cleaners or the lady behind you tells you she just broke up with her scummy cheating boyfriend. No one enjoys being the ear on the phone from the same mere acquaintance (not someone you call a friend) every day hearing how her mother called her fat when she was young, her father liked her sister better, her friend told lies on her, the bank short changed her, and the doctor did not listen to her. (Now of course, we can freely unload all this stuff on our blogs and if people don’t want to read about it they can skip us, right?!)

It’s a well known fact that hairdressers are the cheapest therapists around. I was a hairdresser for many years. You have no idea the crap people used to tell me. Sometimes, I just stood there with my mouth gaping open. They didn’t really want my advice…good thing since I was not trained “professionally” to give it. I think they more or less enjoyed watching shock swim across my face. I must admit it was entertaining at times. Working with other hairdressers was like being part of a soap opera all in it’s own. Back then I was young, I thrived on drama (…not so much now), and was quite thankful it was their garbage and not mine. Sometimes people would tell me all the sordid office politics not realizing that I also did their coworkers’ hair. Then there were cheating husbands and boyfriends, the attorneys and policemen who were dating “exotic” dancers, back stabbing coworkers, swindlers, users, and liars of sorts…I guess they all needed a place to unload. And then there were the normal people. You know the ones who really came to get their hair cut.

There was this one instance where a young woman accused me of having been at a bar with her husband dancing the night before. I’d never heard of the bar or been there.  In fact at that point in my life, I’d never even been to a bar nor was I much of a dancer. I spent my weekends at frat parties with my husband. (He was a college student and I worked during the first few years of our marriage.) When I told the woman I’d never been to the bar, did not know her husband, and had been with my own husband, she told me it was ok that they had an open marriage. She kept telling me it was ok to admit I was with him. I continued to deny the charges and she told her friend I didn’t have to admit it because she knew it was me!

In all fairness, these people who unloaded on me back then had no idea that twenty years later we’d both have children who went to school together, played on the same sports teams, or were even friends. They had no idea I’d remember their faces, let alone their names, or their stories. So, maybe there is some truth to the saying “only your hairdresser knows for sure”. Yes, I still run into clients even now. And on occasion they recognize me, and I don’t remember them until they tell me where they worked or some tidbit of information they had shared with me. It’s only fair to say that I am friends with some of those past clients even now…no, they were not ones with sordid stories; they were the ones who formed friendships (rather than entertaining me) while getting their hair done.

I find it funny thinking back on it now. When I get my hair cut, I’d never consider airing my dirty laundry, not to a complete stranger or to the person I’ve grown to trust with my tresses. However, I must say I’ve heard a tale or two from a few of the hairdressers I’ve gone to through the years. Don’t think I’m not a talker…oh boy am I! It just happens that I save the good stuff for my “go to” people! Is my “No Dumping” sign worn out, rusted, and unreadable?

43 thoughts on “No Dumping Allowed!

  1. “Sometimes people would tell me all the sordid office politics not realizing that I also did their coworkers’ hair.”—That must have been interesting to hear different sides of the same story.

  2. Sometimes we don’t think before we tell! I have never felt a need or a desire to confide in my hairdresser, but I have learned (the hard way) to be very careful about sharing what should be secrets. Aren’t we people interesting?

  3. People are so FUNNY.

    She “knew” it was YOU because of that RED lipstick you were wearing!!! Don’t say your mom didn’t warn you. 😉

    I do NOT enjoy being a dumping ground for someone who always has a tale of woe to share with me.

    “Tell me something good!”

  4. “It’s a well known fact that hairdressers are the cheapest therapists around. I was a hairdresser for many years. You have no idea the crap people used to tell me. Sometimes, I just stood there with my mouth gaping open.”

    OMG…THANK YOU!!!!

    As you know I too was a hairdresser, therefore I know exactly what you mean. I always felt that I should have charged my customers TWO fees. One, for cutting their hair. And another one for being their psycho-analyst – HA!

    Even now, being in retail, customers will quite often tell me their life stories; things I should NOT know.

    Great post, Suzi! Brought back a lot of great memories for me as a psycho-analyst-hairdresser.

    Have a FAB weekend…..X

  5. I think my hairdresser tells me a lot more than I tell her. She married a guy who she met on the internet in a chat room. He lived in Mexico. She married him and now he lives here with her, but he can’t find a job. And he’s possessive and jealous. Eee Gads! But she’s a young Mexican woman and she’s coping. For now anyway.

    • I’ll bet the stories are much more interesting now with the internet involvement…at least back then people couldn’t look me up on Facebook, only in the phonebook!

  6. I tell the Lord. You have to be respectful and be selective with only the important stuff and make it succinct because the Lord has to waste His time listening to all the stupid stuff from stupid people that think they have problems instead of the REAL problems that I have. I am sure that the Lord appreciates my consideration because He sometimes grants me extended private time when He is tired of listening to the stupid people.

  7. Based on this post, I would have thought you had been in our office this last week. Boy has it been a dump! Lots of dumps going on….including a 22year marriage. Pretty crazy!

    And I do know what you mean….I just saw my hairdresser last night. I love her to death and we sure shared some stories. 🙂 Ha.

  8. How funny! When I had short hair, I got my hair cut by the same person and I did tell her about my life. I was a cliche!
    Now I have very long hair and get a hair cut twice a year, and I don’t say a word. Saved by my hair!

  9. I worked retail for a while and saw this pattern…I think many of us carry a lot of around and don’t have anywhere safe to put it; i.e. people who won’t gossip or backbite or use it against us later. However boring it is to hear someone’s tale of woe, sometimes it’s a gift to let them talk and they really appreciate it….a stranger is less likely to judge you and simply listen….In a nation where many people cannot afford or don’t use see a therapist, they still need to get stuff out.

  10. When I was a hairdresser 2 of my clients dumped on me every week. One about her cheating husband and his fancy woman, the other about her lover who was married to a frump
    .
    One week they had appointments back to back. I put them unders dryers next to each other. The one with the married lover jumped up and pulled her rollers out and said she had to leave she was feeling sick. When I was combing out the other woman she told me the first woman was her husbands mistress.

    Needless to say I was very careful about when they were scheduled after that little episode.

    • Oh my goodness, what a predicament! This cracks me up! Once I worked at a dental office and this man who’d been coming forever brought his “wife” in for quite a bit of work…we did the work never questioned her relationship and billed insurance. About six months later a woman who claimed to be his wife came in for work to be done under the insurance…we asked for her identification and she was really his wife…talk about a snafu, not only with them but insurance!

    • I find myself wondering how the scene would have gone if one had started her confidences in the hearing of the other …

      It must have been hilarious hearing it from two sides like that! Better than a TV soap.

  11. I think there seems to be a bit of “safety” there for some when they open up to strangers since they don’t really know them. I’ve never been one to share private things with strangers. Just seems a little weird.

  12. What is it about hair stylists that makes people bare their souls?! There must be some unwritten confidentiality clause. But now, one never knows if what they say will end up on the Internet for everyone to read!

  13. True about go-to friends.

    I am not sure if my hairdresser/s ever felt “dumped” on. I enjoyed listening to the stuff going on in their lives. I would talk about what was going on (“Work is busy/slow.” “Going to a festival this weekend.”) but never had any juicy stuff. The only thing juicy in my life are my joints (that’s what Nia does for ya!). And if I know juicy stuff about other people it is for them to talk about not me.

    Hairdressers and bartenders are the therapists, right? What about manicurists? They probably get earfuls too.

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