Something very curious has started to happen to me and I noticed it most recently at the hairdresser.
Now I know that there are ways to communicate effectively with your hairdresser.
– discuss the look you are aiming for with your stylist before you are whisked away to the washbasin
– bring a picture of the style you would like (so much easier now with Instagram or Pinterest)!
– tell the stylist a bit about you – need a smart style for a corporate environment? Something ‘wash and go’ if you’ve got kids?
– ask how easy your style will be to maintain at home.
– if you are having your hair coloured, ask how frequently you may need to return for root coverage and maintenance.
No, I’m talking about the strange phenomenon of finding myself unable to speak and tell my hairdresser and his team what I want.
For example, my hairdresser likes to cut my hair dry because he says it’s easier to chip into thick hair but I prefer a ‘wet’ cut. Do you think I can tell him this? “I’ll cut it dry, as usual” he says. “OK then”, I squeak.
I have a dodgy jaw and hate having my hair roughly washed so I always ask the shampooist (quite politely) to avoid being too enthusiastic when shampooing. “Oh yes” they always say.
Two minutes later my head is pinging back and forth like a football and I’m thinking “I really should say something” but I don’t. And then regret it.
Everyone else gets a coffee. Do I ask for one? If I’m feeling brave. Perhaps I’m not their favourite customer but I am always polite and never forget to tip at least 15%.
I can’t decide if it’s some latent social shyness I’ve developed, some odd menopausal symptom perhaps. I suspect it’s one the Husband will be very happy about but surely at 50+ I should now be able to ask for exactly what I want without giving a stuff if I am being ‘difficult’ (a British term which usually means demanding the service you are actually overpaying for)!
On the other hand, there are things I definitely will ask for.
Don’t try seating me by a draughty door in a restaurant or serving me an overpriced glass of house red from a bottle that contains last night’s dregs.
Don’t push in front of me in bus queues or swear in front of my kids.
But, if the dentist makes me wait for 45 minutes and then apologises, “that’s OK” I’ll chirp. If a sales assistant tells me the item I want “is not there if it’s not on the shelf”, I just shrug in resignation.
What about you? Have YOU lost your voice?
Do we get less assertive as we get older? Whilst having one of the highest levels of disposable income?
It doesn’t make sense, does it?