Eavesdropping has consequences.
Humans are curious creatures. They cannot help but indulge in the impolite yet guilty pleasure of snooping. Eavesdropping can be educational, eye-opening, and, at times, even shocking. There are countless opportunities for eavesdropping at work or airports.
Such as the airport conversation between a financial advisor and her client. “The stock is hot, and you need to act quickly.” Your ears perk up to catch the name of the stock.
Eavesdropping can happen whenever two or more people congregate. But for some reason, hair salons are a hotbed of varied topics and gossip. They are places where women feel safe to let down their hair. (Pun intended.)
When people sit down for a haircut, they feel the need to spew personal information. According to a hairdresser friend, part of their training includes psychology and sociology classes. As a result, the client gets a haircut and color with a mini shrink consultation thrown in for the same price.
The relatively small town hair salon this lady frequents has an open floor plan, allowing the conversation to ebb and flow without the impediment of cubicle walls. Inexplicably, the more personal the topic, the louder clients tend to talk.
Join us on a recent trip to the hair salon.
For the most part, when this lady gets her hair done, she prefers to read or let her mind wander. Sometimes she mulls over the topic for the next column. Sometimes she works through a sticky chapter in her next novel.
There is something soothing about someone washing your hair. Consequently, there are moments this lady may nod off until part of a conversation prods her attention.
Should you decide to listen with half an ear, we offer a word of caution for the sake of your sanity. Topics of conversation shift at lightning speed leaving confused eavesdroppers in its wake.
“She’s coming here in a couple of weeks, and we’re taking reservations. The response has been positive.”
“How much does she charge?” the enthusiastic customer asked.
“Her regular price is around $400, but she will charge our customers half price.”
“What are they talking about?” this lady asked her hairdresser.
“Permanent eyeliner and eyebrows.”
“Drat. I’ll be out of town,” the woman muttered. “How can you make eyebrows permanent when they continue to grow?” she asked before zoning out once again.
“I have no idea,” the hairdresser shrugged.
“Unless she shaves off the real eyebrows and draws one in its place,” the lady mused. “That would not work for me because I’m attached to my furry caterpillars.”
The ebb and flow of conversation in the shop continued to swirl around until she heard.
“I know two people who died from it,” one of the other hairdressers remarked.
This writer’s ears perked up again. Her mind awash with shock and curiosity. Two people died from getting permanent eyeliners? How can that be?
Once again she asked the lady working on her hair. “Did someone die from the eye lining procedure?”
“No,” the hairdresser chuckled. “They’re talking about colonoscopies.”
“Terrific,” this lady muttered. “Mine’s coming up in a couple of weeks.”
Then a high school girl came in, “It’s prom night,” her hairdresser said with a smile.
Before long the topic flipped again. “We went to the viewing as well as the service. My aunt was 99 and lived a full life.”
“My sister nearly died in the beauty shop chair last week. Her hairdresser had to pull her out of the way. Probably saved her life.”
“Now what are they talking about?” this writer muttered.
“An elderly woman drove through a beauty shop window and took out the receptionist’s desk and a couple of station chairs.”
Then the conversation turned to older people: their lifestyles and driving related issues.
“Did you know there is a retirement community in Florida that has a high rate of STDs?” one woman stated.
“Common sense should tell them that just because they can’t get pregnant, they can still catch the same diseases as promiscuous young people,” another lady added.
Note to self. Next appointment, take a recorder.