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

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.


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.)


click freeMafia Hairdresser Goal Achiever Program Facebook and TWITTER 440 x 220

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.

My Social Media Networks in One Place

What is your Super Power?


Day 2 of my 50 Days of Women Blog

Everyone has at least one super power. And I believe that wholeheartedly. Even if, on the outsides, we can’t see someone else’s super powers or we cannot see our own. It’s there. One of my super powers is that I can remember every story, personal drama or event that every one of my clients has revealed, divulged or disclosed to me.

Just the other day, I went to the front of the salon to greet my next client. On the schedule the name was Barbara V. I didn’t even have to look at her client history. I had never done a Barbara V.’s hair before. This was obviously a new client referred.

There happened to be only one woman at the front of the salon and her back was to me but I immediately felt a familiarity. I knew this woman call Barbara V. Just as I was about to say her name, she turned around.

“Oh-my-God!” I screamed. “Barbara, how are you?!”

I was shocked and elated to see the face of one of my clients from California. Barbara hadn’t changed at all (except for her last name) and it had been 20 years since I had seen her.

We hugged and got down to doing her hair which seemed to me to be only the secondary purpose for our re-meeting again. During her appointment we caught up at which time it was her turn to be shocked.

While slithering my scissors through her long blonde hair I glided down memory lane, “Do you remember that crazy wedding you went to?”

Barbara was pretty sure she knew which wedding I began talking about. It was the one where one of her college gal-pals, more of an acquaintance, made a visit to her home in Long Beach, California. This gal-pal was originally on her water polo team and the two ladies hardly kept in touch except for this visit which was under the guise of seeing Barbara’s first born child (now a hairdresser). Barbara’s husband happened to be home during this visit when the gal-pall asked Barbara if she would be a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding. Barbara’s husband (she’s now divorced from that one) was the one who chimed in and said, “We’re not doing anything that day;” Barbara was then officially in the wedding.

Unbeknownst to Barbara and by coincidence, I was the gal-pal mother’s hairdresser and I had recently started doing the gal-pal’s hair too. The mother was a well-to-do, prim-and-proper, show-off-my-status kind-of-woman. The uppity mother (great tipper!) began bringing her daughter into the salon so I could make her a show-offable beauty before the wedding. But the joke was the mother because gal-pal had been confiding in me how her mom was all but forcing her into a big wedding so daughter-dearest had decided to: “F-it. If my mom wants a lavish wedding, I’ll make her spend her money on a lavish wedding no one will ever forget.”

BTW: This wedding was held in the mid-1980s and we were in Southern California. So it didn’t seem too outrageous to anyone concerned at the time, just expensive.

Gal-pal had decided on a Gone with the Wind themed wedding, complete with bridesmaids wearing hoopskirts, clip on curls and parasols. The gents had to wear crazy vintage tuxes with string bowties and side burns. There were horses involves, and maybe carriages, certainly lots of ivy stapled to gazebos. Oh, did I tell you that gal-pal and her finance were both engineer nerds and he was Japanese? She had never walked on heels, let alone wore a bustier. Yeah, right? Oh, it gets better. Gal-pal decides to hold the wedding in Palos Verdes Estates which is a massive hill with winding roads which means taking pictures, getting married in a church and then having an outdoor reception is a logistic nightmare. And the food she was serving was ribs. Messy ribs! ‘Good thing I didn’t have to do the hair for this hot summer wedding because of the clip on curls, but I could not wait to hear about that wedding after Barbara attended.

“How did you remember all that?” Barbara asked me. I had also recalled and extolled my memories of her own wedding which I had done her hair for. I even remembered when her kids were born.

“It’s my super power,” I stated matter-of-factly.

After her hair was done and we caught up to the year 2014: She’s married to a great guy, her kids are grown, she now lives an hour out of Chicago, and her daughter couldn’t do her hair that month so she looked me up… Then we said our goodbyes until the next time we’d see each other.

capeI didn’t tell Barbara about my other super-power, the one that may not be as useful as my gossip and story memory. This super power allows me to see the super powers in other people and that day I got to see how Barbara’s again. She always had the super power of patience and kindness. Of course I’d remember her and everything about her, even I hadn’t seen her in 50 years. She’s the kind of person who would clip on synthetic blonde curls and dress up in a too-hot and uncomfortable Bo Peep costume to stand up for an acquaintance at her wedding. She’s the kind of woman who stuck it out with a marriage that may not have been good for her but she stayed until her kids were grown. Barbara even kept the memories of me in her heart and she still had the logo-T’s I used to sell at the salon I had owned. Lord!, she must have also put up with me in the 80s during my diva-hairdresser phase. That makes her a saint, not a super hero.

Ebook Covers



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

50 Days of 50: Season Finale DAY 50

5/29/2012     DAY 50!

Mafia Hairdresser
I said I’m 39, Bitch!

This is the last day of 50 Days of 50. And yesterday was my actual birthday so it might be confusing to someone who didn’t know me but, if you did read all “50 Days,” you’d know that numbers and proper English are not my strongest gifts. So, to official wrap up my 50 Days of 50 blog I’d like to thank every single person who made a comment here at WordPress, on my personal Facebook page, the Mafia Hairdresser Page or on Twitter or Google+ etc. I felt the love. To give you some love back I’m giving you my first eBook, Mafia Hairdresser. I figure if you liked my blog, you’ll like my book. All you have to do is go to the Mafia Hairdresser Facebook page, which I hope you’ve already liked, and it will direct you to Smashwords.com where you can use Coupon Code: FG77P which will Expire on June 29, 2012. You’ll be able to download the book just in time for a fun summer read. The Glow Stick Gods is the sequel and I know you’ll be hooked enough to buy that one too and I will discount it in the fall just before book 3 comes out: I’ll announce that on the Mafia Hairdresser FB page too. The last and third book in the series will be called Murder, There’s an App for That. Again, I’ll let you know when it comes out on the Facebook page.
Did you have a television series you loved and watched only to have the last show of the last season just stick a knife into you? Like LOST, WTF was that? Or Dallas, where Bobby Ewing was back and the two prior seasons never happened? Completely dissatisfying, and bad writing! Well I won’t do that to you, my loyal readers. I’m not that cruel. But I must confess that I’m not really 50. Ohhhh. What?!
I’ve just only turned 39 years old–yesterday.
You’re sitting down now, right? Yes, well, as I have told you in my 50 days of blogging, many times and many ways, I’m just a narcissistic guy who needs more attention than most people and, as pathetic as it sounds, I’d rather have you think I’m crazy than old. And I’m a fiction writer. So I could never actually reveal my inner most thoughts and damages. Who would let it all hang out and do that? Not me.
I wrote 50 Days of 50 as a social experiment and it was my way of taking the main character of my three fiction novels and seeing what he would be like at 50. And, frankly, I didn’t like him at fifty, so I’ll just end the trilogy in the 90s when he turns 39 and be done with it. Its weird how reality and fiction sometimes blends, ya know?
Anyhoo, I hope you aren’t too mad at me. I’m just so happy that we could go on this little experiment together. Funny, huh?
And if you are hurt or feel betrayed, I know it’s just because you had hope that when you reached 50 that you’d look as good as me. Well, you can’t. I just need you to “Face-it” now, while you’re still listening to me. You would have to jack your face up with multiple cc’s of injectables to look as good as me because I’m really only 39. And 50 is not the new 40s or 30s. It’s 50 and it’s stupid, and I’m doing you a favor by letting down before it happens to you. Personally, I’m done with it. I’m 39. And as long as I’m writing, I’ll never be 50.


I’m going to take a break for 2 weeks and fly out to California to help my mom get well and then I’m going to come back and do another blog: “50 Days of Women!”  Who knows women like their hairdresser?

50 Days of 50 will be published as a book this summer and will be announced on Mafia Hairdresser FB page. Everyone who has been following will get free ebook copies via FB.! Again, Thank You so much!

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.


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.

50 Days of 50: I am a Star! DAY 48

5/27/2012   DAY 48mafia hairdresser

So you know I changed my name when I was younger because I always wanted and knew I was “going to be a star!” Oh yes: when I grew up in L.A. County I always hung out, shopped, dressed, acted like and positioned myself as if, at any moment, I was going to be “discovered.” I just knew that a Hollywood agent was going to see how special I was and then put me on TV with my own show, “The Bionic Boy,” “Charlie’s Angel-Dudes,” “Knott’s Landing’s Kids,” a reboot of “Lost in Space” (I always wanted my own Robot), or “Mork and J-D.” My parents did a terrific job at raising me and my brother but every child has to have something to blame their parents for and mine is that they never were good stage parents.
It was always, “Sure, I’ll send your ‘audition reel’ to Irwin Allen, just as soon as mow the lawn,” or “Acting lessons? You act like you’re high and mighty every day. Why do you need acting lessons?” My parents never really took my ambition seriously. Who knows where I’d be today if they could have just seen that they had that one in a million child who could have withstood the perils, the hardships, the hard work and survived the loss of childhood itself by putting me through the child-star Hollywood mill? For I was special. And not like today’s kids who never have to do chores and who only aspire be on TV for being the spoiled people they were raised to be. They couldn’t even be real actors in this day and age anyway: There are no scripted shows to show off any talent even if they had any. I was willing to learn a craft. I had the discipline and the ambition. I just didn’t have the parents. Of course, I have forgiven them. But can the rest of the world?
I have long ago released the heavy weight of blame, the anger, the hurt, and the agony of a child-star career that never was. It’s been a long road of forgiveness fraught with many heart-mending hours of reading self-help books, years of therapy, and frightening my friends, as much as I could, with insincere threats of suicide. For me, being a person who could not be who they were meant to be was like living another person’s life, or purgatory, and I think I have wasted a great part my life reaching out for the attention that I always knew should have been mine. It’s clear to me now that I am one of the people who have always needed much more love, tons more attention, and many more pictures of myself on my Facebook wall than regular folk. But now my face is sagging. And I’m not cute and cuddly anymore. And my friends are on to me. “Don’t spatter yourself on my new car if you jump off the roof the building. I parked on the street.” And I have to realize that Irwin Allen is never going to remake Lost in Space because he’s dead.
I’m moving on, dear readers. I’m finally letting it go. Turning 50 has changed me. Matured me. I’m going to proudly wear my “I’m not a TV Star but neither are you,” badge proudly. And it’s okay. Because 50 has done something wonderful and that is that I won’t need the love and attention that a star would need anymore. As I mentioned before, my women clients and friends have extolled so much wisdom on me and they told that 50 was a magical number. They said, at 50, they stopped caring what other people thought of them and they became empowered. And that is what has occurred for me too! I don’t need attention. In fact, I don’t give a flying-f__k what anyone thinks of me at all. I love myself. OH God! I can say it now and I truly believe it! You see, in my heart, I am a star; and I have a dog named Lassie and a Robot and my best friend is an alien and I can solve crimes for a mysterious unseen man’s voice on a speaker box and I can see through walls and I live in a cul-de-sac in near the ocean and people are afraid of me and worship me at the same time.
Thank you, friends, for being here for this life-energizing and empowering epiphany. It’s been a long time in coming. I truly forgive you, my dear parents. I guess there’s really no more point to living anymore though. I’ve got life’s entire lesson under my belt. I might as well kill myself.


l50 Days fo 50: Visual Memories and Prayers for my Mom DAY 47

Mafia Hairdresser

5/26/2012   DAY 47

[This is a big day for me. I’m taking Saturdays off this summer to write. I never had Saturdays off as a hairdresser and that’s been since 1982.]

As it was pointed out to me yesterday when I was doing journalist and TV personality, Noeleen McGrath’s hair, I have a visual memory. (I’m totally name dropping because I just actually met her and I love what she does and I love her!) I’m not Noeleen’s primary hairdresser (whom, by the way is wonderful and out of town), she just needed a touch up before an assignment and we knew each other from Twitter and we both just wanted to meet each other. Anyhoo, she and I began to get to know each other and as I repeated back to her what she wanted on her hair she said, “You have a visual memory.” I told her yes, and that whatever travels and reporting around the world that she was telling me about, I would remember it as if it were on TV or like I had actually been there too. It would become like my own memory. Noeleen has a visual memory too, so it takes on to know one…
My next client, Elaine, had not been in to see me for over a year. Her roots were way to long but she lives in Michigan and had been pulling her hair up in a ponytail because, as she explained, she’s been cah-raaaayzee busy. (See Day 42) As she began oversharing about the extensive renovations and restorations she had been doing for the past (yawn) two years on a Victorian house she and her husband had bought, I asked her how the tiles and the windows were coming along. She was amazed that I remembered where we had left off a year ago: she was making and firing the tiles herself via special kilns via the Art Institute of Chicago and she was using vintage colored glass for the windows. Who wouldn’t remember that?
If you read yesterday’s entry, you may have thought that it was about weddings. Those pictures were actually of my last client of the day, Deb. She’s not on Facebook or Twitter so she had no idea that I had written about her so I let her read it on my iPhone and explained the full reason I wrote about her and she was touched and please. You whom did read yesterday’s blog may have thought that what I was writing about was Deb and her wedding. It was not.
My mom went into the hospital and it turns out that things were not so good. She’s going to have to have a piece of lung removed. She stands a good chance of surviving the surgery and, because she was a smoker, and because of her age, it is her recovery that is in question. But I didn’t want to write about that yesterday. In fact, I had been up the whole night before thinking about things like flights, rearranging my clients’ appointments, should I take Junebug my Yorkie with me?… I was also driving myself crazy, not only thinking about the “what ifs,” I was going mad thinking about the “OMG’s,” such as, I don’t want my mom to die!
I was able to calm my mind down partly because I had been listening to meditation recordings all week and I kept remembering a mantra that kept coming up, “It’s alright. It’s always going to be all right.” And then I remembered Deb and her wedding. I also remembered when Deb had her twins and then, within the same same week her mother suddenly passed away. Am I sucker punching you today? Not intentional– I assure you. And it’s certainly not as hard a punch as what Deb had to endure. I remembered the pain I felt and how much everyone cried at Deb’s mom’s funeral. Her own pain is still unimaginable to me. But I know that, when the time comes, I’ll cry at my own mother’s funeral.
The problem with having a visual memory is that, if I’m not remembering, my mind is making up stories and scenarios like my mother’s funeral that has not happened yet or of my clients flinging themselves off tall buildings because I needed to reschedule their appointments, or picturing myself late on my bills because I had to pay thousands of dollars extra for a quick airline ticket. It’s alright. It’s always going to be all right.
I had to stop making things up with my mind. When I thought about it, I knew from my past experiences, and Debs and my clients and my family and friends’, that everything was going to be alright. I know that I have done my research and learned many lessons in this lifetime. And I know that I can plan and move forward on all of my plans. And I can and will handle all of the bumps in the road. From practice, I’ve become tenacious and strong, and I will achieve my goals (without stepping on toes). So I also know that I’ll be able to handle whatever goes on with my mom. This is gold here and I wouldn’t see it were it not for turning 50.
More: I believe it was because of yesterday’s blog that I was able to let go of the movies I was making of a future that did not exist. And I’m very thankful that I was able to use the visual memories of my past to help me stop making those movies. I’d also like to thank you who have been reading along. There was a part of me that didn’t want to bum you out yesterday. And there was a part of me that wanted to go through my worry for my mother as I would advise you to do if you were in the same situation: It’s alright– It’s always going to be all right.

Not to leave you hanging: My mom goes into surgery today. She’ll be in the hospital for a week and then she will recover at home. I’ll fly out for the first ten days of her home recovery because that might be the tough time. I plan to be her cheerleader and hope that she uses whatever gifts she’s been given to recover and then use the rest of her life to be as healthy and joyful as possible. But if she has other plans I’ll know that it’s all right too.
If you would, send a few prayers my mom’s way after my birthday. Marie Elshere might need them then.
Thank you, again.



*Oh, are you wondering why I only use the name Jon-David and not Jon-David Elshere? Well, my dad’s name is John, so my ‘rents named me sort of after him, and my grandfather, Don/Donald, and then mom and dad threw in a bible name for my middle name: David. So I was Jon David Elshere.
The name, Elshere dies with me and my brother because neither of us had biological kids. The original family name was Elshire is still being used by the faction of family that family who kept it when an ancient family feud caused one family to change the name to Elshere.
I know it’s pretentious (and I completely own that) but I never thought Elshere was particularly marquee, so I legally changed it to Jon-David. I would have kept Elshire. It just sounds better then “El-sure.” Maybe I would have just shortened it to Shire… but I’d still put the hyphen in Jon-David. So now have no last name, like Cher, Sting, Flea, Madonna, and Ann-Margaret. [Shut up. Whatever!] But, as I have stated before, Karma is a bitch and I have such a hard time filling out forms where they require a first and a last name and I cannot even have a Google+ account.
In my heart I’m still Jon David Elshere. Especially lately.

It’s so funny: I was looking at my mom’s Facebook page and she has erased all of her old wall posts-from herself and everyone. I don’t know if she thinks she was being more “private” or not. I had to bring her to Facebook, kicking a screaming and now she likes it but I can still see she’s leery of it. (And rightfully so–if used incorrectly.) If any of my friends wishes her well on Facebook I will make sure she doesn’t erase it and I will assure her that her privacy will still be intact.

50 Days of 50: Its going to be alright. DAY 46

5/25/2012   DAY 46  Mafia HairdresserI am a hairdresser who has had the privilege of doing a lot of bride’s hairdos on their big days. When I was a younger I might fret or worry because there can be so much built up tension in the hotel room where the bride and her bridesmaids gathered to get ready. The mother in law would pop in to see if she could steal me away, for just a second for her hair. The flower girls would be pulling and ripping at the wreaths of flowers I had just sewn into their baby fine hair. There’d be multiple calls from the hotel catering manager downstairs saying things like they were out of bagels and could they substitute them with biscuits? And the mother of the bride would be in an overly “helpful” mode by telling the bride, in great detail and in retrospect, they should have chosen the Hilton over the Ambassador, the yellow white was not as pretty as the pearl white on the wedding dress, the flower girls look darling but she wished her other daughters’ kids were still young enough to be flower girls because they could actually behave and, no, biscuits are for poor people and the hotel simply must have bagels or fly them in from somewhere.
By the way, the wedding that I just mentioned was a real event and I was a seasoned hairdresser at this point. I did not worry the night before if the bride was going to flip out by having a panic attack or throw me a curve ball by deciding to wear her hair down after I had already done three trials where her hair was pulled up. I was ready for anything because I had the hair skills needed and I knew that whatever mishap or non-planned event happened on her day that I was equipped to love her through it. I see it as my job to help bring the focus back to bride (in many ways) that this was about getting married to that guy whom she won’t even see for another 3 hours. I actually took the phone out of the mother’s hands and said into the phone, “Biscuits are fine.” And then I hung up the phone and looked straight into the mother’s eyes and said, “Get out.” The rest of the day was immediately filled with laughter from the bride and bridesmaids, and mom even came up to me later and said, “I honestly don’t know who I was a while ago. I just wanted everything to be perfect.” And you know what? It was.
I had a point here. But the story part is too funny, right? Some of you married women, bridesmaids and former grooms want to chime right in and tell your story too, I’m sure. Here’s another one: My friend Deb (who happens to be my 3pm client today when I go to work) was getting married to great man, Larry. Deb is and always was a fine business woman. She was exacting with her scheduling of clients. She was fair. And she was professional. A real hard worker. So when it came time to get married, she managed it like it was a new business and she organized the details and schedules of the flowers, caterers, rabbi, the signings, the hairdresser, the photographer, the band and so forth. This woman now has twins, works full time and manages her household and I cannot hold a candle to her when it comes to organization.
I was in the bridal room of the hotel doing Deb’s hair. I was nearing completion of the final production of pins and spray to make her pulled back hair look like a chic Grace Kelly do as Deb was overseeing the final details with her bridesmaids. There were calls and deliveries from the hotel. And calls from groomsmen concerning the photographer waiting for all of us downstairs. Deb personal attention to all of the input and her response was like a robot-octopus, each tentacle doing its task with ease and elegance. And then the phone call came in from her groom to-be. Larry called to say that his mother was having chest pain and was being rushed to the hospital. Jewish wedding: right?!
This is the part when Deb got to have her moment. The moment every bride is entitled to. The moment when you get to throw the hair brush at the hairdresser for absolutely no reason other than he should not have listened to the bride when she begged him to cut bangs on her on her big day. The pressure has to be released and there will be blood. And, in the end, everyone will be happy, and the bride and groom will be one. Deb’s moment came in the form of worrying about Larry. She went into co-dependent mode and began to slow up the schedule. She became irrational and began to bark orders at flower delivery guys who came into the room. She began to care less and less about her own hair and more about the “what if’s” such as, was Larry’s mother going to die on her wedding? Was this a sign? Every second she wanted to call Larry to see if he was okay. Needless to say, her makeup was getting ruined and that is when I had to put my foot down.
I don’t remember how I said it, but I told Deb, “Hey, we have a show to put on here. The things that are not in our control will have to be taken care of the people who need to step up to the plate. It’s not our problem. Now put on the god damn veil and let’s get those outdoor pictures done so you can get married!”
In know! I sound like such a scary control freak but I don’t usually have to do my tough-love act at weddings. Just these two. But the fact of the matter is both wedding came off without a hitch. Deb’s mother-in-law was fine and she got to hear the whole ceremony over the phone. Each and every small thing that happened that day was part of what was memorable and perfect in its own way: both the things that were planned and those that were not.
My point, finally, is that’s it’s all right. It’s always going to be alright. You’ve done the research. You’ve made plans. You’ve gone through the motions. So when the time comes to let your project become a reality, you’ve got to let it go. But only brides get to use a get-out-jail card free.

Mafia Hairdresser