Tuesday, January 6, 2015

i'm a happy idiot

No, this isn't Pintrest. You didn't stumble upon a page with recipe suggestions for making an Italian dinner tonight. This is It's Been a Slice. You're in the right place.

I went to get my haircut this morning, something I do, like clockwork, every six weeks (It takes a lot to maintain this unnaturally startling red color!). While I sat quietly chit-chatting with my regular stylist*, I listened to the conversation around me. It was fascinating... and not in a good way.

One stylist, Candy, stands out as especially dim. She speaks loudly, directing her inane statements to no one in particular, as though she is delivering a monologue. This morning, while dragging a comb through her own hair, announced to the entire salon that she had purchased whole wheat pasta, the cherry tomatoes, some pine nuts and chopped-up calamari. No one responded — interested or otherwise. Then she continued — inquiring aloud — "what is the difference between whole wheat pasta and regular pasta." Again, no response — until another stylist offered a nonsensical reply that actually amounted to nothing.

Soon, Candy's 11 o'clock appointment arrived. A woman sat down in Candy's chair and her young daughter took a small seat nearby, occupying herself with some sort of electronic screened device. Candy fluffed the woman's hair, assessing her follicle canvas, and asked, "How were your holidays?"

The woman explained that she and her family went to Cape Cod.

"Is that near Cape Ann? " asked Candy, in the same loud voice, despite her customer sitting mere inches from her.

"I really don't know," the woman replied, then added "It's near Hyannis."

"Oh!," Candy interrupted and exploded, "That's Kennedy country! That where the Kennedys are! Yeah! The Kennedys are there! Yeah! The Kennedys!"

The woman offered up an awkward smile. Candy turned to work on the daughter now. "What did Santa bring you for Chrsitmas?"

"An iPad," the little girl answered shyly.

"Oh!," Candy shrieked, "You must have been really good!"

Soon, the conversation turned to movies, with Candy grilling the poor girl about which was her favorite of the Disney roster. Without waiting for the young lady to consider the question and answer, Candy blurted out "Frozen, right? It's Frozen! You like Frozen, right? Yeah, you like Frozen."

Then, without waiting for the little girl to weigh in on the one-sided Frozen debate, Candy changed the subject to her own fondness for the 1982 film ET. "Oh, you would love it!," she screamed at the girl. The girl shied away with a timid half-smile. "Oh, yeah," continued Candy, her attention now back to the mother, "Remember how little Drew Barrymore was in that movie? Yeah, that was a classic! She was so young. Your daughter would love that movie! Love it! Drew Barrymore! Ha! Little Gertie, remember? Yeah, she would love it!" She no longer needed anyone else in her conversation.

The mother offered the same half-smile and did not add a response, choosing instead to remain quiet.

I wondered, to myself, how can someone who makes such inane and idiotic statements function in everyday life? How did she pass the job interview? How can anyone live in the same house with such a person? There is no thought, no sense, no constructive addition to the conversation. No nothing. Just random, stream-of-consciousness thought with no discernible filter.

Look, I know I'm not the brightest person that ever lived. Not even close. But I know my limitations. I know what I can contribute to a conversation. I know when my input is helpful and when it is not.

And, despite what you may think, I try not to sound stupid. I try.

I have been getting my haircut and colored by the same young lady for over five years. She is the only one that I trust not to cut my ear off or wrongly mix the batch of dye. While she is very sweet, she isn't exactly next in line for a position at NASA. In her defense, the other stylists would have a difficult time spelling "NASA."

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