there is an overall lack of a few things in my world: a genuine “sorry” and “thank you.”

sorry is WAAY overused, and rarely genuine. i am the first to apologize or admit screwing up. it isn’t that hard. it is so true that crow is much easier to eat warm. why can’t people understand this? if you fuck up, cop to it. people are more likely to forget you messed up if you apologize afterward, and extremely likely to remember if you pretend it wasn’t your fault and go on behaving that way.

also, i make a point of listening for “thank you.” it’s used sarcastically, for god’s sake. why can’t people use it when the situation calls for it?

one of my cosmetology professors talked to me after i went home for christmas vacation a year and a half ago. i told her that i ended up doing 4 haircuts and a color. her next question: how much did you make? of course, i didn’t make anything. i didn’t charge anything because they were family, i said. how can you charge family? i didn’t pay for anything except for color, so i didn’t lose money.

she got very serious, even angry, and sat me down.

she explained that even a haircut is valuable. granted, nothing is used aside from water and minimal product. it dulls scissors a bit, and sharpening isn’t cheap. but her stance was that my time is valuable. my time is worth money. everyone should be charged something, she said. once i don’t charge people the first time, they expect free services from then on. and next thing you know, i’m taking hours of my time each month giving people free services. she said that she has NEVER given family free service, with one exception: her mom. she doesn’t charge her family or friends full price, but she does charge them. she didn’t spend years in school and pay lots in tuition to offer everyone she knows lifetime beauty service for nothing. she said, “it’s fine while you’re in school. but after you graduate, you will charge people. i don’t care who they are.”

this is tough for me. i’m the first to want to do nice things for people, and i have a hard time explaining how valuable an hour out of my day is to provide someone with something they would be paying for otherwise.

and then when i end up giving a close friend a free haircut, or facial, pedicure, ANYTHING, i rarely get a “thank you.” or even an “i owe you one.” the things i get told i will get in return are never given. and these people will come back to me and expect my services again.

how do i put a stop to this? how do i jeopardize friendships by explaining that i no longer provide free services without payment or something comparable?

if i use her rule for free service, the only people i owe service to are my parents, and sunny and dave, for housing me for two years while i went to school. ironically, those four people would offer, and often insist, to give me money.

money is nice, since i’m in the negative every month. but appreciation and/or recognition is paramount to me. yet people can’t find the courtesy to do even that.

maybe i’ll offer people free haircuts.. of my choice. mullet anyone?