I've been thinking about a phenomena closely related to airplane confessions known as Shampoo-Bowl Confessions.
You know, you're sitting next to a complete stranger in the airplane and by the end of the ride they know deeper, more intimate things about you than your spouse, mother or closest friend.
Why is this?
I think it's so easy to spill everything because they are completely, unemotionally involved in any way to your life. They won't be involved. They will hardly remember you past baggage claim. It's an unattached, third party observer that acts more as a diary, just in person form. There is no judgement passed, and you are still socially acceptable since spilling now known intimate details.
The best part is... you'll never see them again. How cathartic an airplane ride can be, given your neighbor is a great listener.
As I'm about to enter into the culture of hair, nails and other fantastically shallow aspects, I realize that there's a lot more to this profession that I am increasingly excited about... and anyone who has had their head shampooed knows what I'm talking about.
I meet my hairstylist, whom I hardly know. It's a color weave, so I know I'm going to be approximately 1-1/2 hours with this individual. She sits me down in the hairstyling chair and we start our innocent small talk.
She asks me what I want done today. I begin to trust her. I listen intently to what she plans to do with my hair and pick the colors that I want done. Oh- and while she's at it, might as well add a trim because well, I trust that she won't take too much off the ends.
She starts, and our conversation gets to deeper subjects. Family, friends, work, and school. I begin to talk about things I would only write in my diary. Thoughts that may be mean, or suaded if I was in different company but are more free because she has no emotional or social tie to my personal life. She is only my hairdresser.
Then I'm in the shampoo bowl. It's a pretty personal thing, now that I think about it. I don't let just anyone shampoo my hair. The only other person that's washed my hair is my mother.
I feel trust, and I feel like I can tell my human diary anything. She is, after all, shampooing my hair. Confessions just spill out like word vomit. I can't seem to stop, and somehow I don't want to stop everything that I'm saying. All social filters evaporate. She has dozens of clients, and she may not even remember me.
I feel safe.
Conversation seems to flow. She seems to be asking the right questions and listening intently.
Well, in reality, I can't tell if she's listening or just concentrating really hard on cutting my hair.
Either way I feel better. I know that talking through it has placed my problems in the air and maybe I've found a solution or two in the process of cementing my thoughts through my monologue.
She's done. She styles it. A little poofy, and she may have back-combed a little more than I'm used to, but my soul is lighter and my mind confident in her ability not only as my hairdresser, but my personal psychologist. I think I'll come back to her again. Better leave her a good tip...
I fiddle with my hair and fix my usual part in my rearview mirror.
She was fantastic. I'll even recommend her to my friends.
Yes, shampoo-bowl confessions have quite the impact on the whole hair-cutting process.
I simply can't wait.
I cannot pinpoint the moment I began to pay attention to the opposite sex. However, when I was a little girl I remember being really curious about relationships. Disney movies were a favorite viewing choice in my home and I couldn’t help but notice that every one of these couples lived happily ever after. Moreover, the idea of a Prince Charming fascinated me and I have been on the search for one of my own ever since. I believe this was the foundation of my current predicament. Eventually, as I matured past Disney movies, I observed my parents who have been an anchor to the reality of what constitutes a functional, blissful relationship. They have been able to live ‘happily ever after’ for a little over 25 years. I took upon myself the goal to be just as happy and functional at an early age. Of course I couldn’t be in a relationship by myself, so by deductive reasoning I knew this meant that I needed a boy- not just any boy, but my Prince. Through the years I have made dating an art, yet I remain single. This is because I have become a professional “Serial Dater”. Having two older brothers afforded me the opportunity to take mental notes on the qualities they enjoyed in women. They spoke of how women look best with qualities such as only a little make-up, clean and fragrant hair, a great smile, and confidence. They also talked about what they enjoyed on their dates, like when a girl opened the car door for my brother from the inside after he had let her in. I really treasured the advice, and I hung onto every word my brothers spoke because I admired them. The last thing I wanted was to be a nuisance to them or any boy who had ‘Prince Potential’. Plus, they are boys. They know what they are talking about; so I let them unknowingly guide me in the “how to catch my Prince” quest. I remember a book mentioned by one of my brothers that focused on winning friends and influencing people. I read only the first few chapters, but it gave me some great insights on how I can be a likable person. This information has been particularly great because it has been a key factor in how I get a boy’s interest. I learned about asking questions, because people like to talk about themselves. When I get a boy to open up to me, I know I’ve got his interest. He is pleased that someone is interested in him and begins to feel interested. This is when the game begins. Most everyone who has dated has heard of the “Dating Game” but few people actually know much about the game, particularly the unspoken rules. A serial dater knows all the rules. The Dating Game is challenging because of the unspoken rules and one has to be very alert in order to avoid mistakes. These mistakes happen usually without cognizance, and consequences include a bad impression and/or no subsequent dates with the same individual. Unfortunately, one does not know all the rules at once. It is a long process and takes many date interactions before one gets familiar with the rules. In high school I became very good at getting a boy’s initial interest and so by employing the skill over and over I was able to gain a lot of dating experience and gradually became very familiar with the unspoken dating rules. I made tons of mistakes. One mistake in particular was calling a boy right after our first date. I not only called, but I am pretty sure I texted him several times as well. I was viewed as desperate and clingy and in spite of a wonderful first date I wasn’t asked on another. Why? It’s because I didn’t wait for the unspoken grace period!! A lot of the Dating Game involves a grace period because one doesn’t want to come off too strong in the beginning of a relationship and scare the Prince off. I have since been careful to let the boy call or text me first. All girls approach relationships differently, but they can be categorized into girls who just can’t obtain dates, girls who are “one of the guys”, girls who have steady boyfriends, and then there’s my category- the serial daters. Being a serial dater is not a position for pride. I know there are plenty of girls that wished they knew the secrets to the Dating Game, but it’s been more of a detriment than a blessing. I am unable to make a relationship last past 3 weeks. This is because 3 weeks is about the time it takes for one of us to lose interest. The relationship does not progress because I do not let it. I cannot let one relationship progress above another- it’s not the way serial daters work. A serial dater maintains control in the game and a way to keep control is to make sure all prince potential is treated equal. This is where the conflict comes in, because I’m supposed to be looking for my Prince! If I treat all of the boys equally, how will I ever progress far enough to know if one is my Prince? I think serial dating stems from insecurities. I have a great fear of letting someone get past the first, second and even third date only to find out I am not their Princess. Being a serial dater is a weakness. I don’t know how I became as literate as I am in such a subject as dating, but I realize that progress can be made towards an actual relationship. Progress will come as I focus on becoming literate in relationships and as I forget about the dating game, no matter how entertained I am by it. I also have to realize that there is no perfect Prince. In remembering my parents relationship, I know that it has involved sorrow, disagreement, and life hasn’t always been perfect in their "happily ever after”. But their relationship is functional, and they work together for their happiness. I realize that a relationship is a risk. To be truly full of joy and in love I run the risk of being totally heartbroken because I know that my chances of finding Prince Charming in the first deep relationship aren't good. A relationship must be so much more fulfilling than this game I play, no matter the heartache that may accompany it. Moving to the next level takes a move that I am willing to make. It is a leap of faith as I declare a silent challenge to one boy that must outlast the rest. I hope he can rise to the challenge and succeed, because being a serial dater shouldn't be a permanent situation, rather groundwork to a better one. I will maintain my silent challenge and my Prince may never come, but I think I'm closer than I've ever been before to my happily ever after.