A Series of Unfortunate Events / by PJ Monson

Have you had those days?  The ones where you can't seem to do anything right? Where you overspend, underplan, and let people down?  The last 24 hours have been... how do I say it without using expletives... difficult. A little about me... I'm the one who wrote this about my workout routine and this about my recent trip to Italy with my Mom... so one can't feel too sorry for me.  What I left out is that, with the encouragement of my friends and incredible family,  I left the service industry after 7 years and am currently unemployed.  Hopefully not for long, and I do have savings and a game plan, but am unemployed none-the-less.  And with unemployment comes an acute awareness of my dwindling bank account and anxiety-filled days of job applying and worrying that I am letting down everyone close to me and that I'll turn into one of those people who don't have rent or worse... have to wait tables again.

I am also an actor, and have been in rehearsal for an incredible play entitled No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre.  I am actually sitting here in the airport waiting to fly to Bellingham, a small town above Seattle, where the show will premiere.  About a month ago, I got the grand idea that instead of wearing a wig, I should dye my hair blonde for the part.  She is supposed to be blonde, and it is quite integral, in my opinion, to who she is and how she fits into the play.  I also thought it might be fun.  I have never dyed my hair before.

SO I show up yesterday morning to a salon recommended to me, ready and maybe-a-little-not ready to 'go blonde or go home.'  I sit down.  This awesome lady begins to talk to me about what type of blonde I would like to become.  I say I'd just like highlights and for it to be natural.  She asks if I want a little trim, and of course I say, 'sure!' and she trims my hair and then gets to it.

Three hours later my hair is blonde... it looks great... and I step to the front desk to pay.  $300.


$300.  MANY OF YOU... I am SURE... know that that is how much it costs to get a professional color.  Or you look at the sheet at the front desk... and when it says $150-$200+ you don't think, like this one over here (me) that that means $150.. it's just highlights after all, it couldn't possibly be any more...and I am SURE you don't assume the trim will just come with the cost of the color job.. and won't be $75 additionally...

So I spent $360 (I had to tip, see above about my 7 years in the service industry...) on blonde hair I didn't really want and then I was late to rehearsal and I can't afford that because I don't have a job.  And it's all because I didn't think it would take so long.  Because I didn't do my research.  And didn't plan ahead.  Or ask.  Or save up.  I am obviously an idiot and there is no one to blame but myself.

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And here I am, sitting in the airport, having missed my flight to Bellingham.  That's right.  And here is the runon sentence of a lifetime: Long story short, the A train took longer then expected (no money now for a cab!) and I got behind a group of 30 on an international flight to Russia and didn't think I had to check my bag an hour prior to flight so I ran downstairs to store said bag and came back up and got stuck in security and missed it.

Sorry.  The sob story is over.  Really.  And I do have a point.

The play I am in is called No Exit and it is about Hell.  It is about three people who are put together to torment each other for all eternity.  And the theme of the play is that hell is other people.

And here, after this silly story about me going blonde and missing my flight... silly problems and silly things to complain about, I would like to offer my lesson of the day.  Other people redeem me.  Other people forgive me.  Other people help me a long.

My husband... who told me that we will get through the job search thing, together, no matter what.

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My best friend, who made me feel better by telling me about the time she bought a $250 dress that didn't fit.

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My colleague, who totally forgave me for being late to rehearsal and made me feel better about my stupid hair.  My theater company... who encourage me at every turn...

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The director of the show and my fellow actor... who were incredibly kind upon hearing about my missed flight, and who will be killing time in Seattle for 4 hours while they wait for my new late flight to land.

And the lady at the ticket booth, who discreetly gave me a new ticket for the next available flight at no cost, even though she is supposed to charge me.

Heaven is other people.  And now I'm gonna look around.  Look around and help, pay it forward, give myself a little bit of a break, and try harder.  Be more forgiving of others.  Everyone is just trying to get by and get on.  God bless us everyone.