Thanksgiving Salon

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

A hair stylist gets two very different perspectives from two different clients on what happened during a Thanksgiving dinner. A fun story about attitudes, relationships, and newly discovered identities.

November 29, 2017 – Oxford, Mississippi, USA

Taylor Tanner laid the aluminum foils out on the tray and then meticulously mixed together the hair coloring.  She already knew what her next client wanted – a warm, honey blonde – and Taylor took pride in getting the shades exactly right.

When Kayla Sanders arrived ten minutes late and took her spot in Taylor’s chair, she ran through her usual list of things keeping her life chaotic and busy.

“And look, you’ve got to do something about my roots,” Kayla finally said to Taylor.

“I’ve already got your color mixed up,” answered Taylor.

“You know me so well, it’s scary sometimes.”

Taylor ran her fingers through Kayla’s hair.  She set the first foil strips and painted on the color from her mixing dish.  “So tell me what else is new with you,” she said, almost automatically.

Almost as automatically, Kayla talked about her two boys and what a handful they were.  Between soccer, basketball, flag football, and preschool, Kayla felt like a fulltime Uber driver.

“So how about Thanksgiving?  Did y’all stay around here or go somewhere?” asked Taylor.

“Oh Thanksgiving!  What a relief that’s over,” replied Kayla.  “It’s like we’re forced to have it with my in-laws.  And no matter what I say, my mother-in-law wants to control everything.”

“Yeah, you’ve told me about her,” said Taylor, as she continued to work on Kayla’s hair.

“It feels like she’s judging me every second we’re together.  Like I’m not good enough for her son or something.  All these passive aggressive comments about gratitude and what I’m wearing and how I keep my house.”

“She sounds like a nightmare,” said Taylor, absentmindedly.

“I kept telling her we should have Thanksgiving at a restaurant instead of at her house.  That way she didn’t have to spend all day cooking.  It might be a little more expensive, but to me, it would be worth it to avoid the work and hassle.  What I was really hoping for was getting out of spending all day with them.  I mean, we eat all this food and then sit around staring at each other, pretending to be interested in football.”

“Yep, sounds about right,” Taylor said, agreeably.

“I hate when I eat too much.  Now I’m worried about our Christmas pictures.  I’m thinking about that cool sculpting for my chin, where they freeze the fat away.”

“We’ve got a girl who can do that in the salon now,” said Taylor.

They discussed fat freezing as Taylor continued to add foils and hair color.  Kayla wanted to know if the fat really disappeared and whether it made people look younger or older when it was gone.

“You need a certain amount of smoothness in your face,” said Kayla, looking at herself in the mirror while sucking in her cheeks and pushing at her neck with her fingers.

As Taylor finished up the color treatment and walked Kayla to one of the heat-lamp chairs in another room, Kayla said, “I totally forgot something.  When I’m done, remind me to tell you the Thanksgiving disaster story.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.  You need any water or anything?” asked Taylor.

She left Kayla to heat cycle and returned to her chair to prepare for her next client.  The appointment was for a hair coloring, but it was for someone Taylor had never met before.  That meant she could not pre-mix the chemicals.  A few minutes later, the receptionist arrived at Taylor’s chair with an older woman.

“Hi, I’m Abigail,” said the woman, holding out her hand with a beaming smile.

Taylor shook her hand and said, “I’m Taylor.”

“Just look at you, you’re gorgeous, honey,” said Abigail.  “When I called around asking for a stylist, they said you were the best.  Now I see it’s obvious with the way you do your own hair.”

“Oh, well thanks,” said Taylor with a slight blush.  When Abigail moved into her chair, she asked, “So what can I do for you today?”

“I need a coloring and probably a trim,” said Abigail.

Taylor inspected Abigail’s mousy brown hair.  “Are you thinking something a little lighter?  Maybe some blonde highlights.”

“Oh, that’s sweet of you to think, but I’m afraid I’m too old for blonde highlights.  I’d like to stay as natural as I can while hiding the gray.”

“I think I know just the color for you,” said Taylor.

“I’ll trust you.  You’re the professional,” replied Abigail.

As Taylor mixed color into a dish, she asked her usual get-to-know-you questions.  Abigail replied with friendly answers before saying, “There’s really not much interesting about me.  I’d much rather talk about you.  What’s a beautiful girl like you get up to for fun these days?”

Taylor talked about her apartment and the guys she had been dating.  Then she described a future trip down to Destin, Florida.  Of all the beaches on the Gulf Coast, she thought Destin was the best.

“I wish I had a son you could be interested in,” said Abigail with a laugh.  “But all mine are married off.  I do have a sweet daughter-in-law close by, who I’m sure you’d like.  About your age, maybe a little older.  I just love her to death.  She’s such a good mama, so patient with everyone.”

“She sounds nice,” said Taylor, automatically.

“Oh she is.  I’d spend every waking moment with her if I could.  Thanksgiving was nice that way.  I love a day when family can just be together.  Don’t you think?”

“Oh yeah,” agreed Taylor.

“I know that some folks like going on trips or out to restaurants on Thanksgiving, but for me I like being home.  Gives me a cozy feeling.”

Abigail asked about Taylor’s family and they discovered they knew some of the same people from Tupelo, Mississippi.

“I think that’s about got it,” said Taylor, adding the final piece of foil and swipe of color to Abigail’s hair.  “I’m going to take you back to the lamps and let this set a while.”

Abigail followed Taylor to the second of two waiting rooms containing heat-lamp chairs.  Taylor offered Abigail a drink and then turned to leave.

“When you come get me, I’ll tell you a funny Thanksgiving story,” said Abigail.  “Don’t let me forget.”

Taylor returned to the first waiting room to find that Kayla’s heat treatment had barely finished.  Taylor helped her to one of the rinse and shampoo stations and pulled the foils from the newly colored hair.  Kayla was fussy about the water temperature, but when Taylor finally got it right, she rinsed, washed, and conditioned.  Then they walked back to Taylor’s station for a trim and style.

“You were going to tell me about the Thanksgiving disaster,” said Taylor, as she carefully snipped.

“Oh right.  You won’t believe this.  We’d finished eating and everyone was lying around the living room.  For some reason, my mother-in-law opened the back door and let in their dogs.  These are two of the dumbest animals you’ve ever seen.  So what do they do?”

“I don’t know, what?” replied Taylor, mostly concentrating on her scissors.

“First, they lick everyone in sight, then they go running through the house like they’re on fire.  They head straight for the dining room and my mother-in-law hasn’t cleared away any of the food.  So this half-eaten turkey is on the end of the table.  One of the dogs reaches up and grabs the whole think in its mouth.  Then the second one joins in and they start fighting over this giant turkey.”

“Still in the house?” asked Taylor.

“Of course, still in the house.  They’re running between rooms, dragging the turkey around.  Everyone’s screaming and trying to catch them.  My boys chase the dogs right toward me.  One of them jumps on my lap, dragging turkey grease over my pants.  My white pants.”

“Did it leave a stain?” asked Taylor.

“Totally.  They’re basically ruined.  And you know what my mother-in-law says?  ‘That’s why you don’t wear white after Labor Day.’  She thought it was so funny.”

“Pretty terrible,” said Taylor.

“At least it gave me an excuse to get out of there,” said Kayla.  “I told my husband he and the kids could find their own way home and I was leaving to try and save my pants.”

After Kayla was finally satisfied with the length of her cut, Taylor dried and styled her hair.  Then Kayla announced she had a short manicure appointment with one of the other girls at the salon.

“So I guess I’ll see you next time,” said Taylor.  “Good luck with everything, including your mother-in-law.”

“I’ll need it,” replied Kayla, rolling her eyes.

Taylor returned to the second waiting room and found Abigail patiently waiting.  Taylor quickly pulled out her foils and rinsed her hair.  Abigail repeated how good the warm water felt.

“So what about the length?” asked Taylor, when Abigail was back in the cutting and styling chair.

Abigail looked at herself in the mirror.  “Oh, whatever you think is best, honey.  You’re a lot better at this beauty stuff than I am.”

“Then let’s only take a little off the ends.  We don’t want anything too radical,” said Taylor.

“You know best,” said Abigail.

“You were going to tell me about something funny that happened over Thanksgiving,” said Taylor, grabbing her scissors.

“Was I?  Oh right.  So my whole family was in the house after we’d eaten.  My grandkids were playing with each other and one of them said, ‘What about the dogs?’  We have these two energetic dogs we agreed to take from a neighbor who was moving to Jackson.  They normally stay outside because they’ve got so much spunk and they don’t listen very well.  You own any dogs, Taylor?”

“Not right now.  My apartment isn’t big enough.”

“Well anyway, one of my grandsons kept saying, ‘We want to play with the dogs.  Please let them in, Grandma.’  I don’t know what I was thinking.  I should have shuffled the grandkids outside instead of letting the dogs inside, but I opened the door and in came the dogs.  Boy, were they excited, running in circles around those kids.”

By that point in Abigail’s story, Taylor had an uneasy feeling that she had already heard a version of it, but she let Abigail continue.

“So the kids are laughing and cheering and then the dogs realize there’s still food on the table.  They forget the kids and start circling the table.  Then one of them hops up and puts his paws on the table.  It looked just like he was sitting there, waiting to be served.”

Abigail stopped to laugh as she remembered the scene.  Taylor pulled the scissors away and chuckled with Abigail.

“Well, no one showed up to serve that dog, so he decided to serve himself.  So he grabbed the biggest thing he could find, the turkey, and takes off through the house.  Now the kids are yelling at him to drop the turkey and I’m yelling at him to get outside.  Then the two dogs start wrestling for the turkey as I’m trying to push them out the door.  One of them cuts loose, straight for my little daughter-in-law.  He wants to share his turkey with her or something, but he ends up getting turkey juice all over her pants.  Her white pants.  Well, I was laughing and crying at the same time, and do you know what I had the nerve to say?”

“Let me guess,” said Taylor.  “That’s why you don’t wear white after Labor Day?”

Abigail looked up at Taylor in amazement.  “Well, how did you know?  That’s exactly what I said!”

“Lucky guess,” said Taylor with a laugh.

“My poor, sweet daughter-in-law was so worried about those pants, but she took it all in stride.  We got those dogs out of the house and then I told her to take off those pants immediately so I could treat the stain and make sure it didn’t set in.  But she said she didn’t want to be any trouble and she would go home and do it herself.  Poor thing.  She didn’t get the chance to come back.”

Taylor continued to smile as she trimmed and then styled Abigail’s hair.  She held up a mirror behind Abigail’s head and asked her what she thought.

“You’re a miracle worker!” cried Abigail.  “I look five years younger.  Maybe ten years younger.  If I keep coming back here, I’ll be in my twenties again.”

“Glad you like it,” said Taylor.  “So I guess you’ll want to make another appointment.’

“Oh, yes ma’am.  As long as you’ll take me again.”

Taylor laughed.  “I’m very happy to take you again.  Let me walk you to the counter so you can pay and book another time.”

Abigail continued to admire her hair in the mirrors they passed on the way to the front desk.  As they rounded a corner, heading directly toward them was Kayla, who had just finished up with her manicure.

“Kayla!  Come over here girl!  I want you to meet someone!” called Abigail.

Kayla stopped where she was as Abigail rushed over to embrace her.  With Abigail’s arms wrapped around her, Kayla looked over at Taylor and rolled her eyes.

“I want you to meet Taylor.  She just did my hair and she’s amazing.  I kept telling her the two of you would hit it off,” Abigail said to Kayla.

“Yeah, we already know each other.  She’s been doing my hair forever,” said Kayla.

“So that’s your secret.  No wonder it always looks so good.  Now that I know, I can give you some competition.”

Kayla smirked as if nothing Abigail had said was funny.  They both waved goodbyes to Tanner and walked to the front desk.

Twenty minutes later, one of the receptionists rushed over to Tanner’s station looking flustered.  “There was a problem with your last two clients.”

“What was it?  Did they take off without paying?” Taylor said with a laugh.

“No, the older lady paid for both of them.  But I accidently booked them both on one of your days off.  I can call and try to move one of them to the next day, but you don’t have a second opening for like two weeks.  I’m so sorry.  What should I do?  Give Kayla preference?  She’s been coming to you a lot longer.”

Taylor thought for a few seconds.  “Nah, I think I’d rather see Abigail first.  Have you ever heard two different people sing the same song and one version you like and the other version you never want to hear again?  Tell Kayla she’ll have to wait.”


For more stories like this one, including audio files, visit

Submitted: November 13, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Aaron Hawkins. All rights reserved.

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