Have you ever left the house without your pants?
A regular weekly client of my boss came into the shop one day and I thought she looked a little off. But being a bit off was pretty much a regular thing for Bree. She was an older woman and a classic Drama Queen. If there wasn’t something wrong then well she was “stressed” because of course there was something wrong she just didn’t know what it was yet and that was stressing. *sigh* This type of client is not uncommon for some stylists to have. Closely related to the Emotional Vampire client.
Bree was at one time a fairly stylish woman, at one time is the key. She was quite thin, had bright copper hair in an extreme asymmetrical cut. She always wore black après pants (think leggings only heavier) , black boots with a low square heel and a long, heavy, knobby knit, cowl neck sweater in a primary color (the late 80’s were enshrined in her closet). One day Bree entered the salon and I glanced at her and thought something is wrong, she just doesn’t look right. I quickly averted my gaze because to strike up a conversation with her usually meant you would be trapped in a 2o minute discussion of what was wrong or could be wrong or was going to go wrong soon.
She sat with my boss had her hair done, conversing the entire time about how horrible things were and of course nothing suggested would improve things. And this was the almost the exact conversation from the week before and the week previous, etc. etc. It isn’t like Bree would actually do anything different to change things and it wasn’t anything she did, it was always someone else’s fault, naturally. So yeah nothing I really paid much attention to, I had heard it every week for years.
Bree always used the bathroom after her appointment, but this time there was something new. Bree came to the door, opened it a crack and whispered/screeched out my boss’s name. WHF? She would not come out. Just her head was poking out and she was more and more frantically repeating boss’s name. So boss went in to the bathroom and a low agitated conversation could be heard. Boss comes out, goes to our back room, gets her long leather trench coat, returns to the bathroom and finally Bree emerges wearing my boss’s coat. Huh?
Now it Bree is sitting in the reception area wearing my boss’s coat and writing out her check. I kid you not it would always take Bree ten minutes to write a check. Seriously. She never had it prewritten and it took ten damn minutes for her to write it. (I never got behind her if I saw her checking out at the grocery store.) Curiosity got the better of me. I sat next to her and said “OK what the hell is going on?” She made have to promise not to laugh. And then she said “I forgot to wear my pants.” I’m like “What? I saw you come in, what are you wearing?” She said “I put on tights, but then I must have forgotten put my pants on over them before I left the house.” “Oh my god. Your wearing tights, no underwear, and a sweater that barely reaches you hips and you parked how far away and walked here?” I asked. “Two blocks.”
That’s it, I began to lose it. Soon I was laughing so hard tears were beginning to flow. I could barely choke out the words “I thought those pants were looking a bit worn.” Now I was laughing so hysterically I couldn’t catch my breath. The idea of a seventy year old woman walking through town half-naked in boots and a sweater that didn’t cover her skinny ass had me in stitches. Bree was glaring at me. “It’s NOT FUNNY!” She screeched. I just kept laughing, finally I was able to control myself and looked at her and said “Think about it Bree if it wasn’t you and you saw this wouldn’t it be funny?” She glared at me but after a minute her look softened and a slight smile came to her face. “Maybe” she admitted.
She returned my boss’s coat the next week. She shot me a look and said “Don’t say anything.” I laughed and replied “I got nothing to say, as long as you’re wearing pants today!” And from then on when she would really start in on about how awful her life was I would remind her it could be worse, she could have no pants.