Monday, May 20, 2013

High Maintenance

Have you ever seen When Harry Met Sally? Aside from being wonderfully hilarious and adorably romantic, it has quite a few observations about human nature that everyone knows about but doesn’t talk about too often. For instance, there’s a scene about people who are laid back and those who are perfectionists.
"I just want it the way I want it."
image from
“Which one am I?” the female protagonist asks.
“You’re high maintenance, but you think you’re low maintenance,” the male lead replies.
“I don’t see that,” she says, frowning.
“Oh, really? ‘Waiter, I’ll have...’” he begins, and recalls her order at a restaurant in perfect detail, down to exactly what she wanted on the side. “‘On the side’ is a very big thing for you,” he tells her.
“Well, I just want it the way I want it,” she says.
“Exactly,” he points out. “High maintenance.”
It’s okay to be high maintenance. Somebody has to be. The important thing is to recognize it and make sure that it doesn’t take over your life. Acknowledging it helps. For instance, my husband knows that the best way to help in the kitchen is to put all the dishes in the sink so that I can put them in the dishwasher, and I don’t try to “clean” the organized mess on his desk.
I’m at my worst when it comes to haircuts. My mom makes fun of me because once (once) after explaining what I thought I wanted to a stylist, I made her cut it shorter again... twice.
I also have the (apparently) unreasonable desire for my hair to be low maintenace. I may be the only female human in North America who does not own a hair dryer or any hair styling product of any kind. I wash my hair, brush it out when I get out of the shower, and flip it around until it dries. If it doesn’t look okay like that, I put it up. I’ve never put tons of time into making my hair look perfect. My hair and I have an agreement: it looks (what I consider) nice, and I leave it to its own devices.
The reason I get squirrely about haircuts is because I have put myself in the hands of a stylist many times before, and once (once) it turned out horribly and I had to live with a bad haircut until it grew out and I could cover up the fact that I had looked ridiculous for several months. I always set out to try a different hairstyle and then end up with basically the same one I had before, only shorter. Which is acceptable, since it’s something I like and it doesn’t look horrible.
I also apologize to stylists a lot. “I’m sorry, I’m high maintenance, and I don’t know exactly what I want, but...” I do know what I want to end up with: a haircut that looks cute and doesn’t give me haircut regrets for months.
I just want it the way I want it.

1 comment:

  1. OMG, you actually were brave enough to tell the stylist you didn't like the cut while you were still in the chair? Can I be you when I grow up? I have changed hairdressers rather than say something, even when someone I'd been seeing for years did exactly the opposite of what I'd asked for because she was too busy chatting with someone else to pay attention.