When I first got out of law school, one of my main challenges was the people's perception of a lawyer. I went from getting discounts and breaks for being a woman and a student... to getting the "lawyer" treatment. Let me illustrate through a story.
I dye my hair. I always do. I don't have to, but I like to look "pretty" or different. Whatever. When I first moved here, it was a challenge to find an affordable salon. I went to all the normal places downtown. I quickly realized that I couldn't afford getting my hair done there on 50K a year. So, I tried the low end salons in the expensive area... and suffered greatly. I had a woman cut my long locks off with clippers--of all things. The salon thought that cutting hair with clippers was innovative. Another time and another salon, I had hair that was the same color as Bozo the Clown's. And it's curly too. So, I looked like Bozo the Clown. I was desperate.
I was looking for the holy grail of hair stylists... both affordable and talented. So, the next best thing would be to go to ethnic salons.
A secretary at my office came in one day with a kick ass haircut and phenomenal highlights. I was so intrigued!
"Allisa, where the heck did you get your hair done? It looks amazing??!"
"Oh my God, Angel. I go to this Tranny Mexican's salon in the mexican part of town. She's cheap as shit, but she is really good!"
I made an appointment and walked, NO, ran down to the salon. Well, I took the train.
I exited the train and walked past Mexican restaurants and grocery stores. I passed a couple of members of the Latin Kings. Everyone was nice as can be. I even stopped in a Mexican/Cuban bakery and ordered a tres leches cake. Delicious. I was happy as a clam to find this gem of a neighborhood and a diamond of a Tranny Hair Stylist.
So, I walked in the salon. I spotted Ursula right away. She's the only Mexican I've ever seen (who isn't born here) that was over 6 feet tall. She was wearing a see through mesh shirt and her tatas were exposed to the world. It was love.
We didn't understand a word the other said, but I left with brilliant looking hair. Somehow, I conveyed to her that I worked with Allisa at a law office. I wasn't specific. By our hand gestures and small exchange, I could tell she assumed I was a secretary.
We "spoke" about her well endowed boyfriend and how he rescued her from her pueblo [sic] in Mexico. The grand total for a cut and highlights was $50.
And it was $50 when I came in again in a few months.
It was $50 when I came a few months later.
At my third appointment, she did her magic once again. I opened my purse and reached for my $50 bill and an additional $15 for tip.
Then she said... $175.
What????? I went to an ATM at the store next door and got the money.
The next day, I went up to Allisa and told her what happened. Allisa was shocked and dumbfounded.
Then she came into my office and said,
"I know what happened. I got my hair cut yesterday and she asked me what you do here and I told her you were a lawyer. She must have figured you can afford it." WRONG!
Yes.. she knew I was an Abogado. Of course, I could never go back. Why would I trek into the Mexican Barrios to pay Downtown prices?
I really need to go back to my natural color.