Sunday, April 19, 2009

Out of our element sorta

Yesterday I took the daughter to get her hair done.  No cut, just a style.  Her girlfriends down the street recommended this place to her:  The World of Beauty.  After some misdirection (it took us 45 mins to find it) we landed squarely in the barrio.  

We live in a middle class neighborhood.  It's a really good mixture of ethnic backgrounds, not to mention it's very gay friendly.  Every day you see people walking their dogs on leashes, riding beach cruiser bikes, etc.  You don't often see bars on the house windows in my neighborhood.  Most of the walkers are older, sometimes you see a family walking but mostly it's couples or 2 or 3 women walking for exercise.

The barrio neighborhood is different.  Most people we saw were walking with lots of children (usually puncuated with a stroller), grown men were riding put-together Sting Ray bikes, and yes, there were bars on most of the storefront windows and the houses out there.  There were panhandlers at the strip mall and guys selling oranges.  All the walkers who passed us by spoke spanish.

We walked into the World of Beauty shop and talked to one of the ladies (yes, she spoke english) about the daughters hair.  We took a seat amongst some families, all the children were very well behaved and sat with their families and didn't run around.  We cruised some hair style books.   All of the images were quinceanera fashion photos.  (Note: that link only shows dresses, the hairstyles are not representative of what we saw in the hair style books).  Very poofy, very ahhhh, southern belle meets Cinderella.  Way over the top for both me and the daughter.  

The daughter chose a couple of updo's, all had a bit of a poof up at the top with either woven braids in the back (think french braid) or intricate curls.  My daughters hais is barely shoulder length.  I thought if the woman could do a nice updo on her, she's a genius.  She told us she'd try.

I decided to go across the parking lot to Flo's Country Kitchen restaurant to see if I could get something to snack on.  Since I had a whopping 5 dollars I didn't think I could get much but I just wanted something to nibble on.

Ye haw, they had a kid burger for 3.95 with fries.  I ordered it.  No, I can't order it because it's a KIDS meal.  This is a sticking point with me. A pet peeve.  There is no law that says an adult can't purchase a kids meal.  The law is with the restaurant owner who (of course) wants to make as much money as they can.  So adults get big meals (with big prices) and kids get kid meals with smaller prices.  Well, I NEVER eat a whole meal served to me at a restaurant.  Ever.  It's just wasteful.  

Now, I didn't lie when I told the guy it was for my kid who was at the World of Beauty getting her hair done (cuz I was going to share anyway).  He reluctantly let me order it.

I did share it with the daughter, the burger was a full sized burger and the fries were a full restaurant order.  I ate 4 bites of the burger, and a few fries.  I was done.  The daughter ate most of the other portion.  And you know what?  There are still fries in the box left over and at least one bite of the burger.  

See?  My pet peeve.  Both of us ate that meal and didn't finish it.  We are a wasteful society.

Back to her hair.  After I snacked in the car, I went back into World of Beauty.   The daughters hair looked fabulous.  

The hairdresser is a genius.  

I sat for a while as she did finishing touches.  I watched all the families inside the shop and outside.  It was very evident most of them didn't have a lot of money to spend on clothing.  The fabrics were cheap, the styles too tight (mostly) and most looked like they came from KMart or Walmart (both of which thrive in this neighborhood).  

But the packaging didn't represent the people.  Everyone was polite and friendly.  The kids were ALL unbelievably well-behaved.  Every single one that I saw.  

People are people no matter where you go.  I grew up in an area adjacent to this neighborhood, we were poor growing up and this neighborhood is probably a little poorer in terms of money and places to work and shop.  I was actually comfortable there, it probably helps tho that even tho I'm not hispanic I can mostly melt into a crowd there.  My daughter can't normally, she looks too fair (although now her hair is dyed very dark brown so she looks less fair).  Her normal sandy brown hair would make her stick out.  

It did make me thankful that even tho I think we struggle financially (I mean, I can't just go out and buy whatever I want, when I want anymore) I don't have to shop at Kmart/Walmart and I don't have to walk everywhere with a bunch of kids in tow.

It made me happy to see families out together.  And it made me happy to see all the little girls in the place oooh and ahhh over the daughters hairdo.  

We left there (the daughter finally getting to munch on the food) and drove back home to our more white bread, more affluent neighborhood.  The lack of families walking the neighborhood made it seem just a little less full of life.  

It's good to visit and compare to open up your eyes.  

Later a post on the pre-prom outing and the husband and son's gig. 

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