Beauty and the Beast

By S.D. Craig

The beauty industry is a fine thing. After all, where else can we go to have our feet and hands petted (which makes us sleepy, isn’t that odd?), our hair shampooed (feels sooo good when someone else does it) and fixed (thank the Lord), our faces steamed and puffed up (so we take years off our age)?

Well, I have two sisters in the beauty world. One does nails and one does hair. I am a licensed masseuse myself, in addition to being a writer. You join our family, you’ve got it made. We can make you feel better and then, I can write about it. It’s true, a writer’s friends and family do always live in fear.

A beauty salon is a hotbed for gossip, gossip of any sort. Especially in a small country town. There isn’t anything sacred in the town where my sisters work that they don’t hear about before the local newspaper does.

I’ve never understood why having someone trim your hair causes you to spill your guts about Aunt Martha’s inheritance going to cousin Leonard instead, the fact that your period has been off and on for a year and is it menopause, and that your husband is cheating on you with his best friend. Yeah, another guy. Do you honestly think your hair stylist WANTS all this information? Not really.

But if you’re paying someone fifty bucks for a perm you feel you can say whatever you please and they must listen. It’s a captive audience thing, right? Right.

I’ve heard my sister often remark if she could do nails without people being attached to them, it’d be great. Just drop their hands off at 9, pick them up a few hours later. Shh, you didn’t hear that from me. This is fiction. She’s not a people person, however, she has a delightful personality. She just would rather not have to use it during her workday. My other sister has been doing this a few years, so give her time. She’ll probably ask that they just drop off their heads, too.

Makes you wonder just how many times do the beauticians, those faithful people who work through thick and thin, have to stand on blown-up feet and work with aching shoulders and hands that are numb while listening about your Uncle Ned and his four mistresses, his way-cool corvette, and his loser son, Buck? Give them a break.

Get a massage. Hey, nothing wrong with that. It’s the best feeling in the world. Well, okay, the second or third best. What I don’t get is why people think that because I have a license to do massage therapy up on the wall, that I’m also a licensed therapist. I might as well have a couch off to the side with my legal pad and pen poised. I can assure you, more of my clients have quit going to their therapist because they see me for a massage. It’s the funniest thing.

Do they ever remember what they’ve said to me afterwards? Hell no, I’ve got them in a state of relaxation, they can barely exit the table. I had one client go into my walk in closet in my office a few years back, and when I began working out of our home, the last one went into the hall closet by the front door. They dress inside out and leave their jewelry. My favorite one was the guy whose wife had a massage at the gym where I worked. Their kid was in the nursery downstairs. He worked out, then came up next for his massage. He drove home, ten miles away, and they’d both left without their kid. Yeah. I could make a killing writing about it, but I won’t. This is all.

Let’s just say these hands are lethal weapons. I can make any person on that table melt, and when they sit up (which is a rather large effort after), they have no idea who they are or who their bosses are. That’s what I get paid for. For an hour, they don’t have to remember. Okay. I know, I said that was all about massage.

Next time you’re at the beauty salon, do me a favor. Let the gal fixing your locks talk. Let your manicurist, who puts you into a trancelike-state, give you her story. You won’t be bored.

Last time I had my hair done I tried it. I liked it. I gave away no secrets of my own.

And guess what? I got material to write about!

SD Craig is a freelance writer and editor of and was given the nickname “Chatterbox” by fellow writers. At age fifty, Craigs Southern flair and sense of humor give her plenty to write about with a rapier wit and a wacky outlook. Her articles on body image (her biggest passion), marriage/divorce and relationships, family, friends, career issues, computers, the Internet, horses, baseball, movie reviews and writing tips remind one of Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry. A freelance writer who once juggled five columns then got real, Craig welcomes your e-mails and feedback on her articles. Drop her a hello at or stop by

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