Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Roanoke Phenomenon

A little while ago, I mentioned all of the products that have suddenly gone AWOL from the grocery store shelves and how disruptive this is to my life. Well, I'm being a bit dramatic (as usual) but I still can't quite get over the loss of Teddy Grahams Clifford crackers. But lately I have run into far more bizarre disappearances. I have coined a new term in honor of these experiences. No doubt the term will not catch on because the occasion to use it will be so rare. Or maybe not, maybe these types of things get lost all the time. It's just never happened to me before.

I have been wearing my hair in a sloppy knot on top of my head for about three months now because I have not had my hair cut since December. That's right, December. It's part of that whole "wanting to have things worth having." An affordable haircut that requires no appointment would far better suit the lifestyle of a seminary student's wife on a budget with only small chance scraps of time (a cancelled class, a missed alarm, etc.). But I don't want to go to Great Clips. I went to Great Clips-esque places for years and it was always a mystery what I would walk out looking like. Before that, my mom cut my hair with her sewing scissors. But right before we left Birmingham, I got an awesome hair cut. And I thought, "Wow, something can be done with the thickest head of hair in the world." So I realized it wasn't my hair's fault afterall. But Katie, the one who helped me not hate my hair, is in Birmingham. So my mission was to find someone as good as Katie in St. Louis. But the thing about St. Louis is where do you begin? In Birmingham, you either have a baby at Brookwood or St. Vincent's. You either shop at the Summit or the Galleria. You ask people where they went for dinner and you know where they're talking about. In St. Louis, you can have a baby at St. Mary's, St. Joseph's, St. John's, St. Luke's, St. Ann's, Missouri Baptist, Barnes Jewish.. Am I right? I don't even know where most of these places are, but I think people have babies at all of them. If you want to go shopping, try West County Mall, Plaza Frontenac, the Galleria, Chesterfield Mall, Crestwood Mall (no, don't), South County Mall, every other part of the county mall too probably. And the selection of restaurants is so endless that there's no way we've all been to the same Leonardo's (which is great by me!) or Highland's. Anyway, my point is, it's hard to find a place all your own in St. Louis. But my friend Leigh from Birmingham was here first and recommended a place to me and even a stylist. The stylist she suggested wasn't available when I first called, so I got an appointment with Frank who turned out to be the co-owner of the salon. I was pretty nervous about a man cutting my hair because I thought he would be all snooty gay bitch on me. Sorry, but that's what I thought. Anyway, Frank is fabulous. I love Frank. I look forward to my haircuts like I look forward to Auburn football or seeing Christmas lights go up in December. He's like the easiest person in the world to talk to and somehow moved me from not hating my hair to kinda loving my hair. But Frank is gone! Where is Frank? I don't know. I called the salon for two days a week or so ago and never got an answer. If you let it ring about 20 times, you get a message that says they're helping another client. I finally went by the salon to make an appointment in person. And it is not there. The main sign is still up, but there's nothing inside and no notice of a new location. Where did they go?

A little while back I went to drop off pictures at Wolf camera. I also enjoyed my little neighborhood Wolf because the guy who worked there went to highschool with my brother-in-law and coached basketball for another highschool (while Rick was coaching at his) so they were buddies which helped me and Doug get to be kind of buddies at his day job at the camera store. I was all ready to say hey to Doug and ask for my doubles with a CD when I drove up to the window of the abandoned store. Where was Doug? What happened? I went to the Wolf Camera in Kirkwood and asked about it and they said it was closed permanently and that Doug had moved way out to the Ellisville Wolf. Ellisville? No thanks. But I do miss Doug. So today I went to my new Wolf Camera, the one in Kirkwood, and guess what? It is gone, completely empty, and no sign at all anymore. Where did they go?

So I am calling this the Roanoke phenomenon because of the lost colony of Roanoke that disappeared without a trace. It is quite sad when you do find a little niche, albeit a very small part of life, that helps a giant city like St. Louis seem a little more homey and familiar and then it just vanishes. Quite sad. I always thought the story of Roanoke was sad too. No one knows what happened to Virginia Dare and her clan. But I hope I can find out what happened to Frank. and I reckon now that the Kirkwood Wolf Camera has disappeared, I will go see Doug in Ellisville after all and see what happened to what's-his-name at the Kirkwood store. I mean, I know businesses move, but it seems like they leave a little relocation sign up usually. Or they know for a while beforehand and tell you when you're in, "Hey, we're fixing to move." I find these two disappearances oddly sudden. Okay, so I did say I hadn't seen Frank since December. Still, he could've called or sent a postcard... Well, anyone with information on the whereabouts of Salon Priorities, formerly on Ballas right before Olive, or the Kirkwood Wolf Camera, formerly on Manchester right past Geyer, please let me know. It's just so weird to me!

10 comments:

george edema said...

Good term, its a keeper.

george edema said...

Remember when that Schlotzskys on hwy 31 and 119 went Roanoke on us.

The Burger King down the street got all Roanoke on me the other day.

april said...

Abby,
I drive 5 hours to get my haircut in Kansas. So that's why my hair is long and dry and simply styled. Except two weeks ago I walked into Fantastic Sams and begged for them to cut my hair. I felt unloved, the lady told me how dry my hair was. At least the girl in Kansas knows my name and my extended family and tells me how great my hair looks since I haven't cut it in 5 or 6 months.

ps.
My hair is in a knot on the top of my head right at this moment....it's the in-style. Have ponytail will travel.

Elizabeth said...

What's up with the Edemas thinking they can just coin new words and phrases at will?

melanie said...

My roanoke: The Wonderbread Store in Pacific.

The old ladies who worked there were so sweet and every single time I took Isabelle in, they exclaimed what a beautiful, sweet, charming, etc. child she was... even if she was in miss matched sweatpants with jelly all over her face and a ratty ponytail leftover from two days earlier. It was so easy to pull in and grab bread and be back on the road in less than three minutes. That store has been there a long time, but recently I pulled up only to discover there was a new NAPA auto body parts store in its place. Actually, I was more than a little hacked off at this. I may have even cried, and then I called my mom in hopes that she could magically make it all better and bring back my wonderbread store. But I'm learning mommy-powers are limited, even hers. Plus, what a worthless replacement... NAPA Auto Body Parts?

RHB said...

Bummer about Frank. A stylist that you know and trust with your hair is very important in my opinion. After all, our crowning glory needs to be looking good. Hopefully you can find out where the salon relocated to- I am surprised that he didn't send you a pstcard or something. Maybe some of the neighbors of the salon would know. Anyway, I hope you find Frank or a good replacement for him soon! RHB

barlow said...

Yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about. From 1992 through about 2002 I used Vidal Sassoon 2 in 1 shampoo. It was acidic, which is what you want for hair (an amino acid) and it worked great for my hair. I followed that shampoo from the orange bottle, to the red bottle, and finally to the tiny black "salony looking" bottle, and finally, it disappeared from the shelves. I was so bumbed. How can they do this to me? Vidal Sassoon went Roanoke.

And then GAP jeans changed their fit in about 1992 - they went Roanoke on me.

That's why I've tried to insulate myself from that problem. Tennis shoes? NB 991's - they've made them for 30 years, they probably won't stop. Same with Clark's Wallabees. Jeans? I just get Levi's standard fit 505's. They will probably always make them. Undershirts? Hanes. I can't see Hanes folding up. Bread? Pepperidge Farm. The worst is beer. Whole Foods carried Turbo Dog for a long time and suddenly cut me off. I can't get that southern beer up here anywhere consistently...

As for haircuts, I finally found a stylist at Great Clips who has been there for at least three of my last quarterly haircuts. She's from Russia and takes the time that it requires to cut a man's hair without using clippers. I tip her in such a way so that it makes up a bit for the fact that I only come in quarterly.

I remember when all the Camelot music stores went Roanoke. My music card just needed one more punch for a free CD...

bec said...

Don't you just love your neighborhood "people"? It's such a comforting part of the routine, and it stinks when you get used to them and then they go away. I've never experienced the R. phenomenon with restaurants or groceries, but it seems every toiletry I've ever liked has gone Roanoke on me: the just-right color Clinique make-up, the perfect lip stuff, the V.S. strawberry smelly lotion, etc., all of them discontinued. When they pulled my lotion from the shelves, I switched to the Pear Glace scent, which I suspect your sister (and my roomie at the time) secretly hoped would go Roanoke. :)

Speaking of strawberry, remember when you, CN, and SH, and I polished off 48 pop-tarts (in <24hrs) at Silver Beaches circa 1991?

melanie said...

More roanokes: My hairspray, the only kind that has ever worked on my hair. They stopped making it (yes, I called the company) but then started making it again about a year later. I bought two bottles. I should have gotten more because they've stopped again, and the rest of my second can has a broken spray thingie.

Bryan's shampoo, Salon Selectives "clean slate". I actually called several different places and found three remaining bottle at a Schnucks in Ballwin when they stopped making it a year ago. He's down to half a bottle. He would have more, but about a week ago I bumped it off the shower shelf and spilled a ton if it down the drain. Of course, that's what he gets for not closing the cap.

I didn't know that people actually ate the strawberry flavored pop-tarts.

Abby said...

These stories are cracking me up!

strawberry poptarts (particularly with frosting on top) are the best! well, those and the brown sugar with icing. you should totally try them, melanie! but everything tastes better in Destin, especially at Silver beach- wouldn't be at all surprised if that place has gone Roanoke.

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