Neither of us had any money to spare. We were making ends meet, buying gas and food with our daily tips. But oh, what fun times we shared. It was great until it was over.
A couple of nights a week, the salon stayed open until nine. One of those late evenings, the guy who lived in a trailer behind the shopping center sat in his car in the parking lot and watched our salon. We weren't too worried about it until he stayed there for hours. We could see him through the one way glass window in the reception area. Right around closing time he came into the shop. We were nervous until he asked to schedule appointments for his two young children. That went well with each of us cutting one of the kid's hair. Then he wanted me to cut his hair. During the haircut, he kept looking back over his shoulder and staring intently at me in the mirror.
The week after that, he began stalking me. Tucked into the crack of the door, I would find pages of handwritten letters about his love for me and details of his warped fantasies. My partner and I freaked out but it drew us closer. We looked after one another during the day and as we left the salon at closing time, neither of us would leave until both our cars started.
After the stalker incident, I started bringing my very large dog to the shop to spend the day with us. When a salon inspector showed up unexpectedly, Bucky was there in the supply room. It was a miracle that we weren't cited with a health violation for bringing a dog into the place. She understood our worries and had mercy on us, giving us a half-hearted warning about it.
|In my back yard painting the signs for our Business|
Right after Christmas we walked in to the shop to find three inches of water covering the floor. A pipe broke during the holiday and water soaked the entire place. We mopped for hours trying to get it all up. We worried that our stalker had done something to our water fountain to cause the flood. Everything was shrouded with concern. We approached our landlord about his creepy son who was stalking us and that took care of him as far as we knew.
Another weird thing happened when the phone rang and it was a coworker of my former fiancée. She told me she knew some disturbing facts about my soon-to-be wedded husband and said she would come in for a haircut and a heart-to-heart talk. We waited all day for her to show up sharing tacky ideas on how we would clip bald patches into her hair for revenge. She never made it, which might have been a blessing in disguise, although, now I wish she had. Things might have turned out differently for me.
Time passed and we grew discouraged with our lack of customers, despite passing out reams of flyers in the neighborhood and making up salon t-shirts for sale.
We were located in the same center that housed a Moose Lodge. One of its patrons told us that the lodge had a reputation for domestic disturbances and fights. On all sides, we were struggling with our decision to open a business.
My partner soon started having marital difficulty. She became morbidly depressed and told me of her suicidal thoughts. She asked if I would buy out her half of the business so she could take a real job. We had a legal clinic draw up partnership papers and I agreed to pay her back for her down payment into the business.
Disaster loomed in my future as I carried all three loans. My only other stylist broke her leg and couldn't work. But what I never expected from a friend was to be sued for equity that didn't exist. Understandably, it ended the partnership and our friendship.
I should have listened to my Dad who always said, "Never go into business with family or friends." He was a smart man.