Short Story: Very Important Eyebrows

“Hello! Welcome to Stef-AN-nie’s Sa-LON! And your name is?”

Oh god! No one told me I would have to talk to the staff.

I’m serious, I had a long talk with Stefanie this morning. She promised me there would be none of this. I can’t even begin to tell this 20-something-buddy-holly-glasses-nerd what I am here for. Who hires these faux nerds anyway? It doesn’t make your business more fashionable!

“I’m Gloria. Uh, I believe I have been expected. By Stef-AN-nie, herself?” I manage. I hope I have used as little lip movement as possible when saying this. I do NOT want this nerd to think I’m being friendly.

“Sure,” nerd says, “have a seat!”.

“WHERE?” I gesture but it becomes clear that she expects me to sit in these germ infested rayon covered padded wood blocks that they call a chairs.

“I’ll stand,” I say, “please tell Steph-AN-nie I’m here. Quickly.”

I pace around the waiting room for two seconds and I already feel annoyance at the people and products for sale around me. Bumble and Bumble hair spray? Nexxus Pro Mend? Please. That is so 2005. That lady over there comes to the spa in her sweat-suedo? No thanks. I see enough velour on my Grandma.

“Katie! Sorry, follow me in,” Stefanie rushes out to greet me. I take great little pleasure as I swish past the poor souls and through the waiting room door into Stephanie’s dungeon of torture. We enter the back room, which is actually quite nice. I am loving the calming plants and the lush sheets on her bed. Still, though, I need to let her know how insulted I am.

“I’m pissed off, Stef! When the hell do ‘I’ come to ‘you’? YOU come to ME. This is the way this works!” I rage. I am so outraged. Why don’t I just go to Estella’s house and clean it? That would probably be less degrading than this. Wouldn’t that be a hoot? Me scrubbing the grout of her tiles.

“I’m so sorry. I told you, my daughter’s car broke down and I needed to bring her here. I cannot function without her here to run things. With my mother in the hospital, things have been insane. Lay down on the table, this won’t take long.”

“You know, I should fire you. This is utterly ridiculous. I don’t want to lay down. Why can’t I just stand here and you do what you normally do?”

I’ve never seen Stephanie get flustered, but now she starts banging her instruments against the sterilization tray. She must sense how disappointed I am.

I wasn’t done letting her know how mad I was. “That pretend nerd receptionist you have HAS to go. Never have I seen anyone so ill-equipped to handle people. She sucks the whole soul out of this place. Really, you can do better than that.”

Right then, things become increasingly chaotic and confusing. Stephanie lets out a scream and starts wielding her tools in a wild motion saying something about how the nerd was her daughter and something about college tuition. She starts kicking the white sound machine and the faux palm tree in the corner. I don’t catch the whole tirade, I am more fascinated by the ways her arms are moving. I wonder if Bruce could teach me that in my next training session. I make a mental note to ask him. Then she says SOMETHING I heard.

“Bitch, I am the only one who can shape your eyebrows the way you want them. So either I do them and you pay me, or I throw you out of here and you deal with some hack shredding your eyebrows into two pencil thin mustaches for the rest of your life. Your choice…”

Woah, look at Stef-AN-nie with the backbone. I hop up on the table, lay down and say as politely as I can, “Please proceed…”