selling it

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONSby Stephanie Klein14 Comments

Men have stopped me on the street, and more often than not, it’s to sell me their goods. They don’t flex or wave their full head of hair at me, or turn to show me their ass. Instead, they begin with a question, “Do you live in New York?”

Immediately you think he wants to date you because he’s not holding a clipboard. “Yes…” you say as you await his next probe.

“You have amazing hair. Who does it?” The way he says amazing you know he’s gay. He says it like it’s three words: A-maze-ing. Then you know. You know he’s trying to sell you some hair salon package at a no-name place where the stylists don’t know from highlights, undercuts, or long layers. They average everything.

I must have the “don’t even think of coming over here” face down because as soon as his mouth parts to ask me a question, he shuts it quickly as if I’m about to feed him Rocky Mountain Oysters. He pivots and preys on his next victim.

This is obscene. Gay man is on his knees, smiling stiffly, feigning interest. This is not a seex move. It’s a sale. I’m in Barnes & Noble, and he’s preying on single women who want attention and beauty. He’s selling salon services. Oh my god. It’s killing me. Cucumbers. Mud Masks, that kind of thing. You get a makeover to always look your best. All for $60, I just need $10 and your signature now. He says, “Tell all your friends,” as he does the chirp chirp move from a Chicken Dance. What the hell was that? I would love to squeeze his balls and hear what kind of screamer he is. “I’m so excited for you” he says to her as he waves good-bye. I hope he trips.


  1. I might be a "dumb country boy" from Tennessee, but I love reading about your thoughts concerning what happened on any given day.I'm 36, single, and have almost given up hope on finding that certain someone special, whom I want to spend the rest of my life with. Is it me? Am I too picky? Have I reached that point in my life where I desire to be alone? I love women. I love looking at women, especially beatiful, sexy women such as yourself.I don't know why I'm even writing this, except, your writing is so deep, and honest and I enjoy it. It makes me feel comftorable in a way. Thanks for letting me vent. Nate C.

  2. Ugh- we have those "salon guys" here in Chicago too. One time I got suckered into it when I first moved here, but now anytime a trendy-dressed, spikey-haired man starts to come up to me, I give him "the look" and he backs off quickly.

    I especially find it annoying when they give you the "You have such great hair!" pitch when my hair so obviously looks like ass- don't try to flatter me, bub, cause it's fake and a horrible sales ploy.

  3. So I'm in Vancouver, Canada, and this is the first time I have ever heard of someone selling salon treatments for face or hair on the street. Wow! That sucks! For everyone! If this is a sign that I live in a hick town (and maybe all of Canada's cities are hick towns, by this measure, because I haven't heard of this in big ol' Toronto or Montreal either), long may it remain so. What a hassle.

  4. I went to Vancouver for the first time last summer and absolutely loved it. It's a great city, don't knock it. I can't wait to get back there!

  5. I LOATHE those guys!

    When they ask how much I pay for a hair cut, I want to snap their little necks.

  6. MC Gusto:
    Don't misunderstand: I think Vancouver is the best place on earth to call home. It has everything and it is stunning. And safe. And I don't mind the rain because I love the skiing. But it is small, village-like compared to some of the American behemoth cities. I like this too. I would not appreciate being hassled by jerks with hair products, no matter what they had to say, that's all. It's a technique I've yet to see here. Thank God.

  7. Ok, Ok, I too loathe street solicitors, however, when I was living in Washington (DC, that is), I heard perhaps the best line ever from a freak holding a shine-box.

    He: "Excuse me sir.."
    (I stop for a nanosecond, assess the salespitch coming, prepare my rebuttal).
    He: "Sir, yessir…you've dropped something."
    (I look down and around dumbfounded, then quickly check my pockets).
    Robotnik: "What? What was it?"
    He (pointing to my shoes Isaac-the-Love-Boat-Bartender style): "You dropped your shine."

    I HAD to give the man my business.

  8. What about the ones who actually come to your front door?
    Last week in the middle of mopping there's a knock at the front door. The dog starts going nuts & I'm aggravated. Thinking it's one of those church missionary people or someone selling something, I am ready to flick the person off through the window. Then I realize he is with FEMA. And he is hot. When you're living in Florida, if FEMA comes knocking, you roll out the red carpet. Did I mention he was hot too…

  9. I hate those street guys. my old roommate would always give in…and then they would ask if she wanted a second for half price. of course she expected me to want the other one. thanks so much!

  10. I didn't care that I had just slaved over mopping my floors. I was ready to tackle him & get them dirty all over again! Then my eye caught notice of the platinum band on his left hand. I guess there is no such thing as a single, hot FEMA guy.

  11. I found the Chicago street sales people a lot more friendly than NY or Boston ones. The guys I ran into were trying to sell me shoe polish. They had a good routine that made them sound really concerned about the shine on my shoes and I liked that, of course I didn't buy their crap but it gave me a good laugh.

    Here's a question, would you rather the guys come up to you and say "hey your hair looks like shit, you need some of this product"?

  12. Kat's comment sounds like the beginning of a letter to penthouse forum…
    I was home alone on one hot, steamy Florida afternoon and FEMA came knocking…
    Did you come up with an emergency for him to manage?

  13. Oh vancouver………..
    gastown,place of my dreams.gotta' go back to gastown someday.
    what you mean stephanie k.dudes gotta ask something.
    i am in new york and i see you, i aint gonna' say
    "hey babe,you from bombay" unless you got that red spot right between your green peepers!!
    life is a fishbone some days
    tread lightly damsel
    matt haywood

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