DUDE Shield

My friend Erinn, just texted me two pictures of different Blackhawks Jerseys. Our friend Jan has been so generous to us both and Erinn thought one of these would be a nice gift to say, “Thank you.”

Erinn 2

I should have put up my “dude shield.” Every guy knows what a dude shield is. It’s that mental barrier we have to put up to defend against incoming questions, polls and seemingly innocent inquiries for her clarifications or “group decisions.” In other words, I should have known that I was not really being asked for my opinion; my friend Erinn had already decided on what she was going to buy for Jan or Erinn was just “thinking out loud,” as women do.
What women don’t seem to understand is that we men are literal. If our dude shield is not up, we actually think what you are saying or asking is what you are saying or asking. When we talk back to girls, we always like to give our opinion. In fact, we are ego-centric (you knew that one already) so we like to give our opinions, on just about everything, and we only like it when you agree with and act upon our opinions. It goes along with our need to fix things right away.
Nothing is “about the process” for us — it’s the end result. We don’t enjoy thinking out loud. We want the big finish or win. If we have to talk too much, learn something too difficult, practice or work too hard, we will lose interest. When Erinn asked my opinion, my dude shield was down, I became engaged and I believed I was part of making a final decision. Here was my honest response:

Erinn 2

When Erinn gave me a third choice, that’s when I should have put up my dude shield. If this was read as a court manuscript, a judge would say this was a clear case of “leading the halfwit” by confusing me with the men’s sizing thing. This new information just made me associate: this was a man’s shirt so I only thought of myself wearing it, not Jan.
I should have realized Erinn was just “throwing things out there…” But, with my dude shield still down, I was still conversing like I was talking to another guy; on my mobile phone, viewing a small selection of items, picking out one — done! — A sense of wellbeing and accomplishment would surely follow.

Erinn 3

Eight minutes later, when Erinn texted back, I realized my folly. There was going to be no win for me. No sense of “mission accomplished.” I was just “one of the girls — just talkin’.” My responses or opinions were not being used properly and I was probably going to have to be very careful about what I was going to say next. What I wanted to say was:

Erinn 4cc

But every guy knows what would happen if I said “WTF.” I would have to pay. I’d have to pay by listening to, I don’t know, something like, “I do value your opinion. But you didn’t really elaborate. I thought you weren’t paying attention.” Erinn’s a girl, so she could turn anything around to make me think I was nuts or illogical and, of course, an asshole. So I let a few minutes go by before I responded, but not too much time as to let her surf the net for three or more choices to throw at me.

Erinn 4a

And then I waited. And waited. I knew there was going to be more. More questions. More pictures. Just more. And I was going to have to hold back and be careful. I’d only give short, succinct sentences. “Yes.” “No.” “Great!” Either way I was going to be put out of my misery. I just didn’t know how quickly and to the wick it was going to be.

Erinn 4b

The End

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mafia hairdresser head shapeJon-David is, admittedly, a guy. Even after 30 years of doing women’s hair and writing about the human condition in his introspective novels and how-to ebooks, he’s still a man who is trying to figure out women. No, he does not judge his client’s hair or clothes when they cross paths on the street. No, doesn’t remember the exact haircut and style he constructed for you Hanukka of 2013. He’s a guy. Yes: Jon-David is a women’s best guy-friend and constantly tries to be a better guy.

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Mafia Hairdresser Dating Advice

You’re asking me for dating advice? Paleez…!

Mafia Hairdresser Dating Blog

You didn’t have to ask. You just sit right down on my styling chair and let me give you beautiful highlights, a snappy do and then I’ll shellac it all up so you comply with all cycle helmet laws. Before I’m done I would extol my vast dating wisdom including why you should or should not drop the man you’re dating now. I work on the whole person, sweetie. I’m a full-service Mafia Hairdresser.

Before I’d ever give you specific advice on your personal dating follies, one must first understand the philosophy in which my guidance is based:  My philosophy is that you must let the person you are dating earn every “pass,” every “get out jail card,” every “green light,” every kiss and bit of trust you will give him. If they don’t pass, they don’t get. Simple: right?

Mafia Hairdresser Proceed with caution

Let me illustrate: If a guy says he’ll call you and then he does, he gets “a pass!” If he actually matches up with what he says he is with what your Google search and his Facebook photos say he is, he gets a pass!

You may go out with him.

If a guy is late once, or if he has a bad day and seems less than attentive on one of your dates, (applies only after 1st date) you can give him a pass and go out with him again; but only after warning him that his behavior is less than satisfactory. If the behavior happens again within three months he will receive no more get out of jail cards for that behavior. In fact, dump him and move on. Do not return any phone calls. Unfriend him.

You may offer other “GOOJF” cards for different unsatisfactory behaviors.

(You are dating men so there will be many unsatisfactory behaviors.)

But no more than three “GOOJF” cards should be given out at one time.

Mafia Hairdresser Get out of Jail Card Free

When dating, you should always be assessing. Is your woman’s intuition sending your brain a green light? A yellow light? Or a red light? A word of caution here: we all have insecurities so sometimes you can get a false yellow or red light because your old lack-of-confidence-self is telling you crap like, “what’s a hot guy like him dating a brace-faced pimply little girl like you?” If you can quiet your “inner baby” for a few minutes you’ll be able assess whether your guy gets a green, yellow or red light on any particular subject. If you get too many yellow or red lights flashing in your brain about your man, you should seriously start the process of backing away and breaking it off.  I suggest the “FADE:” Every time he calls to for another date (which has obviously resulted in yellow and red lights) tell him that “that sounds great,” but that you’ll have to get back to him – and then don’t. When he calls back make the date and then call just hours before and tell him you have an awful cold sore in a place you don’t want and then tell him you’ll call back later – then repeat, if necessary. (I know the “Fade” is a dude practice but red-light guys would never think that was being used on them.)

*****

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Loser at Love

Loser Mafia Hairdresser blog

Agh! I did it to myself. I gave way to much. I spent too much. I distracted myself away from my goals. And I was so mad at myself for repeating my own history that I hardly slept a wink last night so now my work day is going to be bunk. Dear readers, I will have to vent to you or I’ll have to go to therapy to re-hash what I already know: I’m a big fat loser at love.

Of course, for anyone who knows me: my social media clients, my hair clients, friends, family and all my Twitter Followers and Facebook Friends, I am newly single. Yup, after 5 years of “the healthiest” “bestest” “loving” relationship I’ve ever had, just one minute into our first couple’s therapy session ended that. Our councilor ask my significant-to-me-other if he would like to say anything before we got started and he said, “I’m over this relationship and I have been for a while and I want to move on.” Please don’t ask me if I didn’t see that one coming. No. The answer is no! I never see it coming. At least he broke up with me in-person and it wasn’t over the phone while I was working in a different country just one day before my fiance’ and me were supposed to meet for a big vacation and finalize our wedding. (I took the vacation by myself and you can read about that relationship in my second “novel,” The Glow Stick Gods.)

The point is that I must be starved for affection, or I’m needy or I’m just a horrible partner to have. Perhaps I have no radar for love? Obviously, it’s me and it’s always been me! I just don’t know what I’d do differently. I’m not going to look for the answers right now: This is venting. I told you that. My mental health — your expense.

So: this guy I know, “Dan” from Seattle, comes for a visit to Chicago for a convention. He’s a retired U.S. Army Vet who got a free ticket to the convention and a free hotel room and flight under a program provided to vets to upgrade their skills for career changes. I’m thinking, kewl, because I remembered we had nice little fling back in the 90’s and, from what I remembered, he was nice looking and the sex was okay. It had been six months since my break up and I have not been dating and I’m soooo not a one-night-stand guy and I’m too wary of those “dating” or “hookup apps,” so I thought his visit would be just what I needed to get back my game, sort of speak.

I cleared my schedule for only the first night he arrived and we met downtown Chicago for dinner. He wanted Chicago pizza so we went to the Pizanno’s, close to his hotel. It was only 4 pm in the afternoon on a Saturday so I had a martini with my pizza. He had a coke. Aside from him being way heavier than he used to be and that he didn’t have that “break the ice” special-occasion drink with me, he began to try to keep up his part of the conversation and failed miserably. I paid for dinner. I didn’t mind. Him: One Coke and half a pizza. Me: two martini + half a pizza = I won by numbing my ears to whatever he was saying.

Did I sleep with Dan? Yes. Was it okay? Yes. Would I ever want to again? NO! But the next night, after his first day of convention, he asked me to dinner again. I thought, how bad could it be? We go to my regular haunt, Ditka’s, and have the Pot Roast Nachos and I have the Tiger Roll. I only had one martini and that was because there was more speaking and I felt I needed a little bravery to inform him that I would not be sleeping with him ever again and that I would have to go home to do some work in my office. I needn’t have worried because he immediately got heartburn so he had to rush back to his hotel. It turns out that the ground pepper on his steak and the jalapeno peppers on the nachos were too spicy for him. Another sign. By the way, he did not buy me dinner, he just handed me a twenty dollar bill when the check came. I guess I should be okay with that, because that is nearly what his steak cost and, after all, I ordered the Pot Roast Nachos appetizer — to split.

I thought I’d never see Dan again but he called and seemed like he totally expected me to go out with him for dinner again last night so I went. He wanted Thai so we walked 25 minutes from his hotel only to find out that the good Thai place downtown was closed on Mondays. The reason we walked and he risked having a stroke (because he’s too fat) is because he was too cheap to pitch in for a cab. I’m fit and I like to walk but I was so mad and hungry once we found the restaurant closed that I hailed us a cab to Greek town for some good stick-to-your ribs food. This time he gets a drink, a girly Cosmo, and I match him on that one with my straight-up vodka and have a glass of wine to boot.  The bill comes, but only this time he doesn’t even reach for his wallet. Doesn’t budge.

I don’t think he ever knew that I was angry. Our 20 minute walk back to his hotel would have seemed pleasant. Once at his hotel, I told him I would be busy the next day and we said our goodbyes. There is so much I wish I could go back and do and say, or not do. I’m sure, if you’ve read this to the end, that you might have a lot to say. Feel free to comment. I’ll post it. But right now I’m just going to be angry at myself. I’m not going to look into myself and ask the hard questions. But yes, I totally see how this must be self-worth issue or a “deservedness thing.” I just don’t have the energy right now. I just don’t. I’m a loser at love and that’s all there is to it.

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50 Days of Women Day 1

Mafia Hairdresser Explains Women

This is the start of my new series about women. I’ve been wanting to write about my women friends, my clients and my female family members for a while. (Watch out, sister in-law!) You see, I last left you off with my 50 Days of 50 series, I wrote 50 blogs in 50 days leading up to my 50th birthday. But, as real life and reality blogging go, my mother became ill during this time and what was supposed to be a light funny look at ageing turned into a bitch-slap on my ranting face and tribute not-quite-finished. That was quite a while ago and I have turned the blog into an eBook titled, 50 Days Turning 50, and you may download the PDF version free if you like. It’s my gift to anyone who is reading this. The reason I bring up 50 Days of 50 is because, as I was writing it, I kept writing about my mom and the other women in my life and I thought, “I should write a 50 Days of Women series. Come on…, who could write more “dishilly” and lovingly about women than a hairdresser who has made a career and gladly lived a lifetime listening to them?

Other than blogging for TheLocalTourist.com, SassyMomsInTheCity.com, JudyTheShow.com, SalonSpaChat.com and MafiaHairdresser.com, I’ve been neglecting my creative writing by not blogging here at WordPress. The emotional toll of the 50 Days blog was immense so I shied away from creative writing for a while. You see, my mom passed away around my 50th but I kept writing and blogging on through that experience. I never published my mom’s story, here at WordPress, nor did I let the public know what really happened at the end of those 50 days. It took me over a year to even add those journals into the eBook version. But I’m free of that at last and now I want to get back to some fun.

Fun for Women2

Women are fascinating creatures and I don’t care how much gay men think that they have so much in common with them, they are not like us (men) at all. So, next week I’m going to dive in without abandon and I shall be the bearer of good spews about the “opposite sex.” I will be kind and I will be as factual as I know how to be which means that I can be almost as bitchy as a woman and I don’t mind telling a few fibs to make a point; like all ladies do.

I will choose my subjects at random. I may use real names. Every woman in my life should be wary of my pen because you are or have been in my life. I am a better man for this or I am completely at my wits end because of our differences, I will either glorify you or take you down for this. I was going to call this series 50 Days of Women… but,…. Yeah, let’s just call it 50 Days of Women: BUT I’M ONLY COMMITTING TO WRITING ONCE A WEEK, BEYOCH!

(Thank you to Janice G. Ross for igniting my writing today. Sometimes all it takes is a nudge on Twitter and you’re inspired to write again.)

too much hair on a white woman4

50 Days Forward by Liz

Why do we always let the drunk guy do the bill? or 50 Days of 50: I turn 50 Today! DAY 49 (I know! I counted wrong!)

50 Days of 50    DAY 49

Mafia HairdresserWell this is it. It’s my actual birthday and an American Holiday, Memorial Day. If you don’t live in the United States of America, Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. I could say something droll here and say how fitting that my 50 birthday fell on a day associated with battle, death and remembrance, but I’m 50, I have more respect for those who never had a chance to make it to 50 because they were (hopefully) fighting a good cause for our country. I have just been fighting death by remembering for the good of me.
As the full title of this blog states : 50 Days of 50, One Man’s Sobering Realization That It’s Not The New 40s, I wrote for 50 days leading up to my fiftieth birthday. This whole project was read by many and I’m super thankful about that. You seemed to like it and I’ll give you an encore performance chapter–directly after this one-tomorrow. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m 50 today and it’s only day 49. So when I thought of this blog 50 days before my birthday it was really 49 days so the universe wasn’t really talking to me at all. It was my dumb-ass ego. And, if you haven’t discovered this by now, I am not the guy you give the dinner bill to at a restaurant to divide up who owes what and what the tip is. I’ve had waiters run out to my car and kiss me while my friends look at each other and say, “I knew he f__ked that up. Why do we always let the drunk guy do the bill?”
Why do we always let the drunk guy do the bill? could have been the title of this blog. And as I stated, on day 1, I began this blog with a declaration of not drinking so I could keep up the energy that the extra one to two hours a day doing an extra blog would require. But as my birthmonth kicked in gear and I attended social functions, charities and events after work, and normal daily stress bounced in and out of my life, I caved and took that promise off the table. I now think of my drinking like pensions: you might as well spend as much as you can now because you’ll never know for sure if you’re going to have enough for later…and could die tomorrow anyway.
Which brings me to that point of all of this: What wisdom and brilliance came through me during this blog? NADA. In fact, I feel more tantrumeque and explosive about turning 50 today than I did when I started. I swear if anyone looks at me sideways to day I will stab them. It could be that I have this hideous Quasimodo sty in my left eye so I’m going to have to wear sunglasses where ever I go, night or day, and all week to work. Of course, my co-workers are going to, once again, talk behind my back and call me “Mr. Celebrity,” or “Mr. L.A.,” referring to my I’m too kewl for school attitude I walk around with while I bark my above-and-beyond requests at the assistants and desk managers which is just due to my own personal overscheduling, ineptitude at details, and exhaustion.
Remember “Jon-David’s spiritual laws” that I bestowed upon you? Well, I didn’t just hand them out all in one blog. I humbly scattered them throughout the fifty days so you would not put me on a pedestal once when you realized that I was a transcendent and mystical guy. I wanted you to feel as if you too could reach the divine levels of awareness that I have. You can’t. Why would you aim so low? Well, of those spiritual laws, under the “Reap what your so-what,” or “I know you are, but what am I?” categories, I have ended up at 50 being everything that I thought I would move through: So, I’m still a mess.
Sty in my eye. I’ve gained weight. I worked out less. My allergies are at an all-time high. I’m sunburned from yesterday at the beach which means more sunspots on my face. I’m still bald. My liver did not get the rest it needed. And I’m obviously more physically superficial than when I started which make me a hug hypocrite and, even as I write this, all I can think of is “Just one more paragraph, J-D, and you can have your birthday Bloody Mary.”
And I do care what people think about me. And only in a sick I need more love than most people way. I realize that I’m going to have to write another blog that you will like to get more attention. Only it can’t be about me. I can’t handle another truthy self-flagellating journal where I’m the one who ends up being humiliated. I want to humiliate others. I’m good at it. It’s a gift. And I’m going to use it, God damn it!
I love you all. Happy Birthday to me. I have nothing planned because I made all of my friends scared to do anything for me so I’ll probably just start with the Bloodies and see what happens. Something always happens. Today it will be something to do with being fifty and I don’t have to be happy about that; or sober and present for that either. Fifty is stupid. Agh! There’s what it’s all been about. I knew it would come to me.

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If you want to read 50 Days of 50 from the beginning click here.

Tomorrow’s bonus will include a free download of my book, Mafia Hairdresser. But, if you friend me on Facebook through my Mafia Hairdresser page, (look to the right), I will also give you a free download of 50 Days of 50: because of you, I will be publishing that as a book too! I will announce that on the Mafia Hairdresser FB page in a month or two.

Again: Thank you. God Bless. This has really been fun.

Holiday Traditions: Passing the Salami

Holiday traditions make us feel grounded and loved when they are shared with loved ones every year; and one of my favorite traditions is when my friend, Jan, comes to get her hair done at this time of year and brings me a big salami. You see, Jan is the Executive Assistant at Vienna Beef in Chicago and her company makes some of the finest beef products in the country. I get a big long Vienna Beef Salami at Christmas and a big long Vienna Beef summer sausage for my birth-month, which is the all of May.  Nothing brings a smile to the faces of my coworkers, at Joseph Michael’s Salon & Spa, quite as much as when Jan presents me that sausage.

Oh, joke if you will, about the big salami transfer.  We do.  And that is half the fun, but not as much fun as eating it.  Vienna Beef sausages and salami’s are delicious! Yes, I end up sharing my salami.  It’s too big for just me!

When Jan got to the salon this year, I wanted to take a picture of her presenting me with the sausage.  Maybe I’d post it on Twitter or Facebook and let the world be jealous and chuckle with us.  It was way fortuitous that Jan was wearing a Vienna Beef beanie, which was handmade by a good friend, but it was mildly unfortunate that I hadn’t yet fixed Jan’s hair; So, I handed my camera to my co-worker, stylist, Ronnie, and fixed Jan’s hair for the picture.

This is the Facebook-worthy picture.

Vienna Beef
The Passing of the Holiday Salami.

Unbeknowst to Jan and me, Ronnie had snapped another picture. The one where I needed my hands when I was fixing Jan’s hair.
This Picture is not Facebook-worthy:

I'm fixing her hair!
I was fixing her hair!

Happy Holidays, everyone. What are your traditions?