Thursday, December 10, 2009

Marriage 201, Lecture 327: Goldilocks and the gold-digger

You guys. I bought the Expensive Shampoo and Conditioner yesterday. This was a huge decision. I have been a Suave kinda gal for years. Oh sure, when I was working, I might splurge and get Neutrogena. Ilene might remember how I agonized over that decision, doing the per-condition cost and deciding I was worth an incremental three - or was it four? - cents a day.

My eighth-grade hair that needed nothing to look shiny. The black eye? From when our neighbor punched me after I punched her in the nose. After she said something nasty about my dad, who had called the cops on her boyfriend, who had refused to stop driving fast in our cul-de-sac after my dad had asked him to stop because of the little kids who lived there.

But now I do not work for money. Or not much money, anyhow. As lucrative as it might sound, cleaning out old email accounts does not take that much time and does not pay that much per hour, especially when one is working as a contractor and has to pay self-employment taxes plus pay income taxes at the top rate, thank you very much Congress. Oh how I hate hate hate paying taxes especially for things like BUYING BREAKFAST FOR THE KIDS IN MY AFFLUENT SCHOOL DISTRICT.* But it's better than nothing and I can do it in my PJs, so thank you, Luke and keep it coming.

So anyway. I have been using Suave and occasionally, when I have been feeling flush, the CVS version of Pantene, but my hair has become more demanding. I color it (it used to be for fun, now it's to cover the gray). The air here is really dry in the winter, and I swim, which is hard on my hair even though I use a swim cap.

The coloring is not a horrible amount of trouble but it is a bit of a pain in the neck. It takes about an hour and a half and I do it every three weeks or so. It's not my favorite thing and if I can keep the color from fading and reduce the coloring frequency, that would be a good thing.

I ran out of shampoo. I was in Target yesterday looking for the Suave shampoo for color-treated hair when I overheard this tatooed, Flock of Seagulls haired guy talking to his girlfriend about hair products. "No, you have to get this [styling gel stuff because blah blah blah]."

I had been looking - just looking - at the John Frieda shampoo and conditioner, which costs about a gajillion times more than the Suave stuff, which I couldn't even find, which ticked me off, because Walgreens was out, too, but I had just done the math and had thought if I am paying $9 every time I color (well, $4.50 because I use only half the package), why I am cheaping out on the shampoo but does the shampoo even matter?

So I interrupted them. "Hey. Are you a hair guy?"

"Um. Yeah. Why?"

"I color my hair. Does it matter which shampoo I use?"

"Oh yeah. Some shampoos will totally strip the color from your hair."

"So what about this? Is it any good?" I showed him the expensive John Frieda (which was on sale).

"Yeah. That's good. But don't use [he named a brand I don't remember]."

I thanked him, converted the Frieda shampoo into beer units, and realized that I would get three months of shampooing and conditioning out of the equivalent of two premium beers. It was an easy decision after that.

* Did you know that I am supposed to be ashamed that Wisconsin parents feed breakfast to their children rather than depending on the government to do so? From the local paper: Long shamed by its history of trailing the country in breakfasts served in schools, the state has recently made strides in increasing both the number of schools serving breakfast and the percentage of students making that their first meal of the day.


Jan said...

Oh, well, we must be really progressive here in Ohio because my son's high school serves breakfast. On Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays they get donuts; on Tuesdays and Thursdays they get all fancy and provide them with cold cereal. Oh, and they can buy those Starbucks Frappacino-in-a-bottle, too.

All that good nutrition - what am I thinking, sending my son off to school in the morning full of oatmeal, scrambled eggs and the occasional carton of yogurt and Flapstick if we're in a hurry? You're right, I AM ashamed.

I miss Texas.

TosaGuy said...

I just love driving by the school on North and Tosa Ave around teacher contract season and seeing teachers picket because they think their guaranteed compensation hike is a 'mere' 3 percent. I need to counter picket with a sign that says "my pay cut and no benefit plan can't afford your pay hike and cadillac benefit plan" or "honk if your school taxes are too high"

Julie D. said...

Ok, but back to the shampoo. Because that's what I care about in this post. :-D

I just had the same sort of conversion experience prompted by my lack of hair gel (necessary for spiking don't cha know) and my lack of time to go to a regular grocery store. At my jazzy Central market I bit the bullet and shopped their tiny but natural (!) hair products section. Grabbed some hair gel that is better than anything I've ever gotten from the L'Oreal bit of the regular store. Now I am getting ready to try their shampoo.

Because I'm worth it!

(Aren't those some of the words that pave the road to hell? :-D)

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Beer units, I love it!
You are such a practical gal.
Let us know if you notice a difference; I spend way too much on hair products cuz I'm just sure they're the only thing that can make me beautiful...

Richard in NY said...

I get the Pantene shampoo and conditioner at Sam's Club, where the 1.5 liter mega bottle is about $7.