The Cost of Convenience

When I told people that I was moving away from my small town in northeastern Ohio to the big city of Columbus everyone said to me the same four things. They were (in this exact order) “Oh that is so exciting!” then: “I LOVE Columbus, it is a great city!” followed by: “There will be SO many more opportunities for you there!” capped off with: “Too bad the cost of living is so much higher.” And I proceeded to nod and smile in agreement to all but ONE of their statements.

The cost of living is actually no higher here than it is in the region I was moving from. Lee, having lived here for over 15 years has observed on a regular basis that this truly is the case. Wages are higher—which is fantastic—but the overall cost of living is quite comparable. Or so I thought.

This week I discovered a few ways that a larger city is actually much more expensive than a small town. Lee, being a male, could not possibly have known about the disparity of which I am about to speak. I am talking about salon services. My recent post about beauty and perfect eyelashes accompanied by the gorgeous spring weather we’ve been having drove me out of the house in search of information on the local offerings in the personal beautification arena.

Although I have not yet secured full-time employment to help pay for these rituals, it never hurts to look… or to be prepared for that wondrous time when regular paychecks start rolling in again. At night I checked online for hair salons and during the warm, sunny afternoons visited a couple of nearby tanning and nail salons. Much to my shock and chagrin — it was officially time for my reality check and a reassessment of my rebuttal of Statement #4. Damn.

A cut and color costs twice what it did in my precious, little hamlet up north. And the ditzy, bronzed fetus seated behind the desk at the tanning salon looked at me like I was speaking another language when I inquired about anything at their facility. The only thing she knew how to do was blink, crack her gum and point to the giant, illustrated chart on the wall behind her… apparently showing all of the different options.

Without a little explanation, the chart, to me, may as well have been written in another language. I took a brochure (planning to decipher it later on) and passed by the lotion display only to learn that their least expensive bottle cost a mere $62 bucks. Top shelf lotions? Well over a hundred. Ouch.

But alas, my skin is pale, I need a trim and my roots are showing. I’m starting to look like Shaggy from Scooby Doo AFTER he has seen the ghost. And I don’t care whether you’re a small-town gal OR a big-city broad… That is never a good look for a woman.

I think I’ll start looking for Easter or Spring Break specials. Or perhaps they need someone to wash hair, sweep floors or clean the tanning beds in exchange for services while I wait for my dream job? Meanwhile, I’ll be calling my small-town stylist for an appointment the very next time I make it back to visit the family and slathering on a good self-tanner.

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11 thoughts on “The Cost of Convenience

  1. That phrase stuck out to me, too, Joanna–gave me a chuckle. Sadly, we seem to have arrived at that age when we are no longer the “young” ones–though not middle-aged just yet–hence the “thrisis.” Maybe not sadly, but it’s a strange place to be sometimes–you start looking at the people around you differently and suddenly realize, “Hey, I’m older than my waitress/cashier/nurse” (now, that last one will be really scary for me, but truly terrifying will be the day that I have to seek care from a younger DOCTOR–inevitable though it may be–just seems that, if the planets are indeed properly aligned, there are certain people who should always be older than yourself).

  2. The response about being a “tweener” (not a twenty-something and not middle aged) reminded me that I am in the same dilemma. I am a “tweener” between middle and old age, 64, and still want to be fashionable. I bought some really cute coral wedgy shoes that I am determined to wear even if I am in pain for 2 days after wearing them. I am trying hard not to look like I am trying hard to be an atractive “older” woman. It is not easy. It is good to know that I have company even if you are like 30 years younger!

  3. As I write this I sit here with almost no hair on my head! First it was supposed to look like the blonde turned black haired girl who was booted off of Idol. Well that didn’t happen at the $13.00 haircut salon. So because I could not walk around with what looked like a mushroom cloud on my head I gave in for the first time in my life and went to a fancy smancy salon. An Aveda salon. A very fancy young man piddled and played and had a great time in my hair. He was so light with the scissors it was as if he were pretending to cut my hair and then charged my $40.00! Then tried to sell me $21.00 worth of conditioner after I had already said I do not like to use conditioner on my hair when it is short. As he was cutting or so I thought I said it needs to go in the direction of Ellen or Hally Berry. Trust me it did not. I have since cut it trimmed off pieces here and there myself and I still don’t like it. I should have paid $75.00 that and gone to a highly recommended friend of my son and daughter in law. But the thought of paying $75.00 for a haircut is insane to me. Completely insane. We had an early Easter dinner at my brother’s house yesterday. I know that when no one comments on a new cut or color that means it is horrible. No one said a word about my hair. So I guess in some cases you do get what you pay for. And to think I had spent all winter growing it out and it was almost touching my shoulders. Hmmm.

    • Oh my gosh Linda! I am so sorry! I know all too well that feeling that comes after a hair disaster. I went from shoulder-length blonde-highlighted curly locks that were thick and beautiful to a cropped over the ears stawberry blonde cut because of a salon mishap. Perhaps you have inspired me to write about it. Thank you! I promise to give you proper credit if I develop it into a post. I am so sorry that happened to you! Hopefully you can get it fixed the way you want it soon and rock that Halle Berry look! It is a great look!

  4. So far, I haven’t had to dye my hair, so I don’t have a root-showing problem. My hair is kind of funny though with the way it sputters about with the ink. Sometimes my hair is raven black, while at other times, it has lots of grey. Right now, there’s a lot of grey 😦

    But, the history of me noggin’s ink jets is that they will probably kick back into action soon. 🙂

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