March 25, 2007

Pink Ladies

Last week the whole family took a trip to the zoo. Sugar Pea is a little young to appreciate the animals, but my two year old niece, Alex, really got into the merry-go-round, the petting zoo and the monkeys, which are her favorite.
My favorite, and the highlight of any zoo trip, for me, are the flamingos. I just love to watch them bicker and fuss at one another.
They honk and squabble and fluff their feathers out like a bunch of painted up, teased and sprayed, bitchy hairdressers, which may be why they amuse me so much. Standing next to their enclosure, I was reminded of the year I spent in beauty college and the two years I worked as a salesgirl/shipping and receiving manager/stocker/accounts receivable clerk/phone answerer/janitor/ everything- else-that-running-a-small-business-requires-but-without-the-glory-of-ownership-or-profits-person at a professional only beauty supply. In case you were unaware, beauty operators can be a dramatic lot, so much so that after getting to know a couple hundred or so from the beauty supply, I questioned whether I really wanted to join their ranks, leading the drama free lifestyle that I do. But for all their gossip and bickering, many stylists are also creative, hard working, and generous. The possibility of freedom of expression coupled with freedom to control one's own career was what attracted me to the industry, not to mention my fabulous and classic sense of style *wink*. After all, it will take more and more of those of us who are bright and seriously business minded entering the field to elevate the industry above outdated stereotypes. But I digress...
So I love flamingos, and I learned something about them. Did you know that the joint that you see in their leg is actually their ankle, not their knee, which lies further up the leg, hidden in their feathers? And, did you also know that they can live upwards of forty years, some at the Tulsa Zoo having been in captivity since 1964? (I have an image in my mind of a flamingo sporting an orangey-pink beehive and cat's eye glasses, a long cigarette dangling from her beak while she backcombs another bird's coif within an inch of its life and bitches about the high cost of Stylac these days.)
I'll leave you now with my collection of vintage ceramic flamingos. Someday I'd like to have my own little beauty shop, perhaps in my home, and if and when I do, you can bet these beauties will be on display, chips, cracks, bitchiness and all.

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