On needs, wants and sixty dollar haircuts

I consider myself to be fairly low maintenance. And no, like like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally–I’m not a woman who thinks she low maintenance but is really high maintenance–I really am low maintenance. Mostly.

My day to day wardrobe consists of jeans, t-shirts and flip flops (except on those bitterly cold days where I am forced to wear closed toe shoes and socks.) I don’t buy shoes to go with a particular outfit. I have shoes or boots in black, brown, tan, navy and cordovan. Okay, I do have a pair of leopard print heels with a big red bow on them, but those were purchased to wear to a Christmas party, and my blood sugar was pretty low at the time. I wasn’t thinking clearly.

Besides, practicality aside, they are pretty fabulous.

My make-up routine, if and when I wear it, takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish. I color my own hair. My haircut is fairly simple. Long layers with bangs (see giant head shot to your right). I get a $30 haircut about every 6 to 8 weeks and my bangs trimmed once in between. When my days get particularly busy (as they have been lately) my overgrown locks are relegated to a high ponytail and the bangs are pushed to the sides of my face.

My hair grows incredibly fast. I know hair experts will tell you that’s a misnomer, that every one’s hair grows at about the same speed, but they’re wrong. Which is why after putting off my regular appointment at the hairdresser (I use that term loosely. I actually get my hair cut at a barber shop) I was of the opinion that my unruly mane needed the attention of a master stylist. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “master stylist” it means among other things that you are going to pay more than $30 for a haircut.

I enjoyed my visit to the salon. Tony the master stylist truly is a master at what he does, and the salon experience is several notches up from what I’m accustomed to. Upon my arrival at the upscale salon, I was offered my choice of beverages, including wine. The woman who shampooed my hair also conditioned it using a hot towel draped over it for good measure. While waiting for the conditioner to do its magic, I was treated to a hand massage. All part of the upscale salon experience.

Beautiful building, beautiful people and a pretty good cut and style, all for the price of $60 plus tip.

I could get used to that. And if I’m being honest, it’s not as if I can’t afford a $60 haircut. It’s just that I don’t really need a $60 haircut every six to eight weeks. I’ve never once been accused of being frugal (my husband will certainly testify to this). I just think that after two or more subsequent visits, I would most likely rationalize that $60 want into a $60 need.

William Shakespeare said familiarity breeds contempt.

I think it also breeds entitlement.

We tell our kids they need a college education. The truth is, we want them to have a college education. Statistically speaking, they will have a much higher earning potential if they have a college education. But they don’t need one, and they’re certainly not entitled to one. They haven’t earned the right to one simply because they successfully completed high school, despite what many would have you believe.

I live in the Houston area, and while technically having a vehicle falls into the want category, public transportation being what it is here and the fact that the area is so large and spread out makes having a vehicle as close to a need as one can get if one wants to be self-reliant. I don’t, however need a late model Jeep Grand Cherokee, contrary to the impassioned sales pitches I received from three different car salesmen while I was waiting to have my 2008 Jeep Commander serviced.

So often we blur the lines between needs and wants, and that’s a recipe for resentment.

As to what we’re entitled to in this great country we live in?

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Not happiness, mind you. Only the pursuit of it.

The founding fathers had it right.

Everything else is just gravy.

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