So, yesterday I caught myself flexing on the lady givin’ me a $25 haircut. Afterward, I walked out of the place and while driving home, examined a strange, yet familiar, feeling like something was wrong…(I’m a bit slow about these things) Then it hit me “OMG I was totally rude to the lady who cut my hair!”
“WHY?” I screamed to the mountains!
“WHY?” I yelled to the sea!
During this serious shitstorm of a time in history WHY would I flex during a standard life interaction with another human? Here is what happen… We started to share how the lockdown had effect us and compared notes. I basically bragged about how fortunate I was that BOTH my jobs were essential and how incredibly busy I’ve been. Then I handed the talking stick to her and she blew my mind. She is in her early 30s, newly married. Found out she was pregnant in March. Lost her job in March. She filed for unemployment. Received about two months’ worth when it stopped with no notice. She called in an inquiry, the state said she did not qualify for unemployment and would have to pay all of it back. She protested their decision. This resulted in her having to defend herself in court. She won. Now the judge has ordered that the unpaid 6 weeks of unemployment be sent to her asap, which hopefully will arrive by mid-July.
“I’m all stressed out with the baby, my job, stupid unemployment being all messed up, and this virus thing. It’s horrible.”
Now, hourly pay at Supercuts Hair Salon ranges from an average of $8.10 to $13.36 an hour. Let’s say she worked 28 hours a week because those cheap-ass companies don’t want to pay their workers health care so they keep them under 36 hours. …and let’s guess she is making about $11.00 an hour, that’s $1848 gross, with 10% taken out for taxes that’s a check for $1664. That is some hard-earned cash! (BTW, this is the third time a person has shared a similar story with me about their unemployment payments being denied. WTH Washington?) The only saving grace for the haircutter was that her husband’s job is considered essential and he has worked through the whole lockdown, keeping them barely housed and fed.
So here I was getting my haircut for the first time since November 2019, waltzing into Supercuts thinking I am a boss. Sons of the bitch! This was rude. I didn’t even think about how rude until my drive home. Perhaps an evil side of my sub-conscious drove that whole event. Perhaps I was forgetting when I was a new mom and we couldn’t freakin’ afford a gallon of milk! I couldn’t buy new clothes for my kids. We couldn’t even afford for me to go to work, in town–because we only had one car–and due to the cost of daycare! I’ve been there. Really I have. Also, I’ve stood in the company with affluent upper-middle-class people who assume everyone in the room is like them. Going on and on about vacations, new cars, private yoga sessions, and seeing their doctor, one flex after the other. Felt their words grind up against my reality.
Yes, I do feel like I’ll need a vacation after lockdown. I’ll be honest. But I must always use my words carefully. I can’t control what others do, but I can control what the heck comes out of my mouth! Each home is having a different experience during this difficult time. Please learn from my mess up.
Be kind to each other.