Before I applied to cosmetology school I worked as an assistant to a photographer who specialized in graduation, marriage and saucy portraits. I was in charge of posing the clients and the photo finishing. One woman blinked in just about every shot he took, there were 10 photographs where I had to switch out her eyes using three pictures where she actually had them open. I could fix a black eye and cold sore like nobody’s business. Photoshop out a black eye, try it. First you have white out the bruising and then add shading and depth back in. It’s really fucking hard to make it look like a realistic eye. A giant cold sore on the edge of a lip is almost as hard to erase, especially when dramatic lighting is used.
The photographer had just moved to the states when he placed me at his first portrait studio. I mention this because if I had stuck with it, I’d be making 10 times as much money as I am now since the photographer is a damned millionaire with several studios. Here’s the deal, if you’re good at something, keep doing it.
Okay getting on with it, instead of building a life in photofinishing I decided to quit working for him, apply for cosmetology school and get a job waiting tables. Horrible decision.
My first week there, everyone made fun of me for never coloring my hair or waxing my eyebrows. I have natural auburn hair and thought it was already pretty. I prefer thick eyebrows.
My second month in I started a fight with a girl but didn’t know it until four months later. She was snoring in class. I slammed a notebook down next to her head and turned back around. I thought that was the end of it, apparently not. I had 7 ladies hating me for months and I didn’t know it until one confronted me 4 months later. ”You know Lisa was really sick that day you slammed the book down.”
“Back in September, she was really sick and you slammed a book down next to her head, that was fucked up.”
“It’s January, and I didn’t pay 15 grand to hear some asshole snore all day.”
Pedicures were required. I hate feet. My first pedicure was a 50 year old man. When he took his shoes off I stood up and walked away. The instructor came up to me, “What’s the problem, what are you doing?” Dazed, “His toenails are brown and chunky.” My instructor walked over to the man looked at his feet and said right in front of the guy, “Oh those are fine you can work on his feet.”
The first nail was pretty much liquid, once the cuticle pusher touched it, it went right through the nail. The second nail actually came out. I pushed it back in and told the guy we were done. I didn’t have to do many pedicures after that.
Everything in the school was white, the floors were white, our uniforms were white, our underpants were white, our shoes were white, etc. We weren’t allowed to have drinks on the salon floor. So of course I had the grape juice that blew up all over it. I was carrying it in front of my leg when I lost grip while taking a step. I drop kicked the juice across the salon, it exploded on impact. Purple covered everything and only one person said something, “Oh no! I’ll help you clean it.” Not a word from anyone else. All this seems impossible, but since I bought the juice out of a vending machine, I believe it had to have been pretty fucking old in a bottle weakened by age.
In beauty school, sometimes you’ll have regulars. I had Mrs. Regen, the biggest bitch to ever live, who never chose anyone to be her regular stylist until she met me. Mrs. Regen, hated Irish people, “Oh I hate our neighbors, they’re Irish and have that stupid Irish sense of humor, what did you say your name was?”
“What?! what kind of ridiculous name is that?”
“An Irish one.”
“You know why I don’t tip.. I worked too hard in college to give it to a person who didn’t work as hard as I did.”
One day Mrs. Regen came in with a broken nose and two black eyes. I was elated, somebody finally kicked her head in.
“Oh my goodness what happened?”
“Those damn gophers in my front yard.”
The image of this woman getting the beating of a lifetime by two furry gophers was magnificent.
“My husband didn’t take care of them when I told him to, so I tripped over their pathways, and you know I bought a heating pad, which didn’t work, I looked at where it was made, Mexico. They don’t know what they’re doing down there, bunch of idiots, and now my face is swollen and bruised.” This bitch fell in her own front yard and somehow it turned out to be Mexico’s fault.
The day I graduated, I cried. For the first time I actually cried tears of joy.
After my experiences at school, I absolutely hated being a hairstylist. I chose to take a job at a barber shop. A few months later all my hair fell out and I moved out of town.
But that’s another story
.. and I've never been the same