DEAR MARY ANN: Is there such a disease as "talkosis" or uncontrollable talk? My hairdresser goes on and on about every subject on earth from the time I walk in until I leave. Sometimes I try to tune it out. If all that energy was concentrated on my hair, I would walk out with a fabulous hairdo all the time. Is there anything I can do or just grin and bear it?
-- TRAPPED IN THE BEAUTY CHAIR
DEAR TRAPPED: Shampoos, haircuts and beauty procedures are personal services that require some degree of physical intimacy between you and your hairstylist. The stylist is not a machine that can be programmed to give bangs or bobs at the drop of a hairpin. So some amount of interaction and conversation is expected. Some clients enjoy listening to the chatter and gossip of a salon while they are being pampered. A good hairdresser, however, should be able to understand the patron well enough to modulate his or her dialogue or in your case the monologue. After the first five minutes of greeting, conversation and instruction, tell your hairdresser you want some quiet time to relax and focus on your own thoughts. Don't encourage or reply to the jabber. You are in the salon to reward yourself by enjoying some relaxing me-time. Never grin and bear it when you are paying for a service. If the stylist's chatter doesn't cease after you have made your feelings clear, be prepared to move on to another salon.
DEAR MARY ANN: I have a young relative who never fails to make a comment or criticize what I say. This can be pretty annoying. I haven't said anything yet because I don't want to start trouble, but what can I do to put her in her place?
-- PICKED ON
DEAR PICKED ON: You are correct in not wanting to start a ruckus because of snippy remarks. Family drama escalates quickly over the smallest things and can spread like a tinderbox fire that turns into a major blowup. The young relative may have an abrasive personality, be pugnacious by nature or be a little witch in training pants.
She senses you are vulnerable and her behavior borders on bullying. The next time she makes a rude comment, grimace and with a shake of your head say that we are all entitled to our own opinions. Don't fall into the trap of arguing with her. Let her throw some air punches as you laugh and start a conversation with another person. Hopefully she will outgrow her immature attitude and mean-spirited behavior.
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