adventures in new york

So this morning I’m calling to set up an appointment to get my hair cut.

Shamus: I need a hair cut.
Salon: Great! [Details…] Oh! And we’re having a special right now. With a hair cut you get a free make-up consult.
Shamus: Um… I’m single. [Meaning: there’s no one in my life who could use that]
Salon: PERFECT! This could be that extra thing to give you a boost in your dating life.
Shamus: Um… something tells me… [Interrupted]
Salon: You know, a lot of men are using make up to enhance their natural features. How old are you?
Shamus: Um…29
Salon: PERFECT! I mean, you’re much too young for a little nip/tuck! But you’ll find that eye liner and a little foundation can do wonders, and even hold off that knife for a few years.
Shamus: Um… something tells me you’re not the salon for me…
Salon: WHAT? We could be just what you need.
Shamus: If you met me, you’d realize how surreal this conversation is.

I stammered most of my way through the conversation. I relayed the interaction to a friend who commented, ” don’t think surgery on us would ever be considered a “nip and tuck”. I think that’s when they call in the industrial strength wet/dry vac…” Which I found hilarious.

Perhaps with all the competition here in NY the difference between single and not is make-up. But I have a hard enough time just getting showered, dressed, and out the door in the AM. I can’t imagine what would happen if make-up was added to the mix. I also wonder what would happen to my evals.

15 thoughts on “adventures in new york”

  1. Shamus – you should send them a copy of last week’s feature in TONY Magazine on “How to make branding YouTM the sexiest brand on the market.” Their advice – go with what you got.

    Of course, it is weird that in New York, those are your two options – make-up/nip-tuck or imaging a self-image brand.


  2. Oh, this makes me laugh. I have to say, though, I am wearing more makeup now in order to look older, not younger. Bare-faced, no one seems to believe that I am a professor. A colleague saw my faculty ID the other day, which has a picture of me taken without makeup on, and he laughed and said, “you look about 12 in this picture.” The extra five minutes applying eyeshadow in the morning seems to be paying off – a freshman called me a “grownup” the other day. Though now that I think about it, it could be my giant pregnant belly that tipped him off. In any case, Shamus, I think a little eyeliner could be just the boost you need! (That is, if you’ve started a goth band).


  3. tina: Indeed! I just looked it up. Hair cuts start at $80. So that probably means mine would have been over $100. With a beard trim ($30) and a tip (they recommend 20%) I’d be looking at well over $150. I found a barber who will do it for $14. Which would be more than a year’s worth of hair cuts before I even approached that Salon.

    akphd: I should start a goth quartet. How awesome would that be? Oh right, not that awesome at all.


  4. I never wore makeup in grad school but I wear it every day now too because all of the faculty keep commenting on how I don’t look like a professor and look so young (I’m 30). The other issue is, you can’t wear too much or else you’re not “serious.” It’s a tough balance. Shamus, do you get this too? Is it a gender thing or really a young thing?

    I’m also considering a nip/tuck — here in SoCal, they appear to start this at age 14 so I’m way behind the curve. I’ll be in real trouble if I ever have to date again because the competition here is fierce!


  5. I’m pretty sure it’s a gender thing. Also, unlike newsocprof and akphd, I don’t look young. I would guess I look more like I’m 35. And with a beard and a deepish voice, I’m not confronted with the “you’re young” thing very often.

    I have gotten comments on my appearance from senior faculty, however. Once I was told that I needed a hair cut (I did). But it was still funny. The other was when i was told I was dressing up too much. In the latter case I was asked, “they don’t dress like this in Wisconsin, do they?” To which I replied, “No; it’s more of a jeans and sweater kind of place.” The response, “That’s what I thought; that’s more appropriate here as well.” I actually appreciated it. I was thinking, “Fancy Ivy League = Dressed Up”. So it was good to know that my jeans and a normal shirt wouldn’t be read negatively. But it also made me realize that people would be noticing what I wore.


  6. You’re so lucky! Some people here dress up — and I mean REALLY dress up (the senior men wear suits and the women are roaring around in high heels and DKNY suits). Not everyone does this, but enough so that you feel goofy in a pair of basic khakis (forget about jeans). Having just recently been a poor grad student, my wardrobe is seriously lacking… I also don’t even own a pair of heels and am not sure I could walk in them if I did.


  7. You want inappropriate? How about this:

    Shamus: My mom is from Ireland my dad from Pakistan.
    Person: Really? My mom is from Ireland my dad is from [another unlikely country]
    Senior Faculty: Wow! That’s unlikely. [Turns to me] What? Did you mom just get around?

    It was a joke, of course. And given my sense of humor, a funny one. But it was strange to hear a joke from a senior person that was basically, “So, is your mom a slut?” I took it simply that this person felt comfortable with me (and as such was a good sign).


  8. I am blessed with an on-campus hair salon. While my cut might not be as stylish as it was in grad school, it’s worth not taking more than 30 minutes out of my research time – or removing me from the context of campus – to get the job done.


  9. “I took it simply that this person felt comfortable with me”

    That’s one way of looking at it, but it could also be that he outranks you and says inappropriate things as a result. Given the power dynamic at play, it’s wrong, in my view. It’s not like you can insult him in return without concerns about your job situation.


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