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Hair Donít

Emily Flake

By Mink Stole | Posted 9/22/2004

My teenage daughter has always enjoyed styling hair. After high school, she plans to study business at our local community college and then get her license and open her own salon. In the meantime, sheís become very much in demand for doing her friendsí hair for special occasions, especially dances and proms. We used to live in a small town and the girls didnít have much money, but they would always offer to pay her. She would politely refuse, but the parents would always insist. We recently moved to a more affluent area, and on the day of the big dance my daughter did hair for several of her new classmates. They were in and out all day, and most of the parents who dropped them off and picked them up didnít even bother to come to the dooróthey just called on their cell phones from the curb. I asked my daughter if any of them had offered her any money, and she said no; they all thanked her but seemed to take it for granted that she was doing it for free. I feel like they took advantage of her, but my daughter is too embarrassed to say anything. Is there anything I can do about it?

Miffed Mom

Sometimes it seems like the more money people have, the less they expect to spend, while people who have to pay attention to every dime they earn rarely expect to get something for nothing. But customs differ from place to place, so before you condemn all your daughterís new pals as rotten little rich brats, remember: She volunteered her services. Although these girls are used to paying professional stylists, it may never have even occurred to them that your daughter was actually working; they thought she was having fun, doing them a friendly favor, like giving someone a ride to the mall or letting somebody use her cell phone. They might even have thought offering your daughter money would offend her. But even if they all deliberately took advantage of her, itís too late to do anything about it now without causing everyone, especially your daughter, a great deal of embarrassment.

In the future, however, now that she knows she canít assume people will offer her money she hasnít asked for, itís up to her to value her own work and set some prices. If sheís shy about it, she can say sheís earning money for college. If sheís that good, people wonít mind payingótheyíll probably admire her entrepreneurial spirit. She could pay for college and beauty school and save for her own shop, all while building up a solid client base.

 

Hereís my problem. Iím a 38-year-old gay man, recently diagnosed as being bipolar with a borderline personality disorder. OK, so Iím finally getting help and am on meds, seeing a psychiatrist, and all the things that my sister (also diagnosed as being bipolar) has encouraged me to do.

Well, here it is eight months later; my life sucks as much or more than before I was diagnosed. Iíve gained 30 poundsóa side effect of the drugs, so Iím told. And thanks to not having a prescription plan through my health insurance, Iím shelling out a ton of cash every month for my meds, even with doing the Canadian deal. It was so much easier before, when I was self-medicating with caffeine, nicotine, and Mary-Jane, not to mention a bit more cost effective. What other options are there?

About Ready to Swerve Into Oncoming Traffic

Hold on, honey, donít do anything rash! Youíre pissed and I donít blame you, but youíve got to give it more time. Youíre frustrated because you expected instantóor at least fasteróresults, but changing your life doesnít happen overnight. Therapy can be hell, because any shrink whoís worth a damn is going to make you suffer, but itís part of the process and itís worth it. It might seem easier and cheaper to smoke your way to mental health, but the results of good therapy last a lifetime and youíre not scrounging through dirty ashtrays late at night when the stores are closed hoping to find a butt big enough to get a couple of hits off of. The cost of drugs in the United States is criminal, but at least youíre smart enough to do ďthe Canadian deal.Ē I buy my meds there, too. We can only vote for the Democrats and hope they can get legislation through that can help us.

As for the weight gain, youíre not alone. Since I donít know what youíre taking I couldnít do any specific research, but when I Googled for ďanti-depressant weight gainĒ I found dozens of sites. I also found a lot of online bipolar support groups. Explore some of theseódo some research on your own. Talk to your sister. Check out the chat rooms, talk to other people. Keep looking if you donít find a group you like right away. Get as much information as you can, then talk to your doctor. Maybe thereís something else you can take that wonít make you pack on the pounds, or a cheaper generic. Youíve already taken the hardest step toward taking control of your mental health, but itís important to stay focused and be patient. It will pay off.

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Pick and Choose (4/12/2006)
First of all, homosexuality isnít like snake handling or Catholicism; it isnít a cult or a religion you can be recruited for or converted to.

Territorial Rites (4/5/2006)

Family Guy (3/15/2006)

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