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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.

Pardon me while I rant incessantly: Thank you, entitlement generation

image courtesy of

There are children who suffer horrible abuse and neglect at the hands of the people who are supposed to love and protect them: their moms and dads.

There are also children who bear emotional scars from parents who were doing the best they could for their kids. Parents who were simply ill-equipped to raise their children into emotionally healthy adults.

There are days when I think I’m the worst mother in the world because I’ve allowed my own foul mood to spill onto my kids and overreact to some minor infraction. I wonder if there’s any parent who hasn’t felt this way.

As adults, how many of us have questioned to what extent how our parents treated us as children has impacted who we are today? Both positively and negatively? If everyone had a wonderful childhood, we would put the practice of psychiatry out of business. Mostly likely the alcohol and illegal drug trade as well.

But what if you could SUE the offending parent? Certainly would help with those therapy sessions and bar tabs, no?

That’s what this enterprising brother and sister duo attempted to do:

20 year old Kathryn Miner and her 23 year old brother, Steven Miner

According to a story from ABC News, the adult children of 55 year old Kimberly Garrity were attempting to sue her for being a lousy mom. “The children sought $50,000 for emotional distress stemming from the damage of her supposed bad mothering.” The news report goes on to say:

The case was originally tossed by a Cook County circuit court, but the kids appealed. Last week, an Illinois appellate court also dismissed it.

Raised in a $1.5 million home by their father, the children alleged the Garrity was a lousy mom because she failed to send money for birthdays, called her daughter home early from homecoming, and threatened to call the police on her son, then 7, if he didn’t buckle up in the car.

Steven also accused his mother of once smacking him on the head, saying that he still suffers from headaches. One of the exhibits in the case included a birthday card that Steven called “inappropriate” because it failed to include cash or a check.

The card did include the inscription, “Son I got you this Birthday card because it’s just like you ? different from all the rest!” On the inside Garrity wrote, “Have a great day! Love & Hugs, Mom xoxoxo,” according to court documents cited by the Chicago Tribune.

Oh, where do I begin?

Two bratty children raised by their father in a million dollar home, mad at their mother because she didn’t shower them with the lavish gifts their father did and actually had the audacity to tell them no. And frankly, Garrity didn’t smack that kid in the head hard enough if she was trying to smack some sense into him.

Incidentally, the kids’ lawyer? Yeah…their dad. Kimberly Garrity’s ex-husband.

Miner did not respond to messages left by ABC news, but said in court papers that he filed the lawsuit after much legal research and had tried to dissuade his children from bringing the case.

Why would their father agree to take on their case (presumably pro-bono, because I’m guessing neither one of these kids have worked an honest day in their lives in order to pay for a lawyer) knowing from the start that it was a case they would most likely lose?

Here’s what Garrity’s attorney had to say (source

In court papers, Garrity’s attorney Shelley Smith said the “litany of childish complaints and ingratitude” in the lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt by Garrity’s ex-husband to “seek the ultimate revenge” of having her children accuse her of “being an inadequate mother.”

“It would be laughable that these children of privilege would sue their mother for emotional distress, if the consequences were not so deadly serious” for Garrity, Smith wrote. “There is no insurance for this claim, so (Garrity) must pay her legal fees, while (the children) have their father for free.”

I guess it’s true what they say. The spoiled, rotten sense of entitlement fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

This is a ridiculously extreme case of the entitlement generation run amok, but it permeates American society on so many levels.

But that’s an entirely different rant. Maybe next time…