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Dawn's Column It's The Last Minute, You Know
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As of late, some of my plans have been relegated to last minute changes, cancellations, and inconveniences. I'm not happy about it.

While I fully understand and expect this kind of thing to happen if I've procrastinated, these plans were set up weeks and months ago. It's out of my hands.

I am somewhat used to dealing with stuff at the last minute, especially at work. When working on deadlines, things just happen that way. With the news you can't be certain of what will come up or how things will unfold.

But when it comes to my life outside of work, I like to have certain things planned well in advance. For instance, it's good to have plans nailed down when taking a trip out of town.

My significant other and I had planned a mini vacation to the coast to meet up with some friends of mine. They have a beach house with magnificent views, a great place to "get away." So my guy and I figured out the dates we were available to go. Then I coordinated those dates with my girlfriend and her husband's schedule.

At that point, I realized that I had an appointment with my hairdresser that would have to be rescheduled because it fell during the time we'd be away. No big deal, it was still a few weeks out, it would be easy to get my appointment moved up a few days. I'm one of those people who sets up my next hair appointment as soon as the hairdresser finishes styling my coif.

Of course, we women know how important it is to have our hair done before we go on vacation. I knew I didn't want to put it off, so I left a message for my hairdresser.

Next, my girlfriend told me she was working on finding a babysitter to ensure we could have an adults-only trip. That was essential. I asked for the time off at work. Things were falling into place. We were pretty much set.

Then I didn't hear from her.

I called my hairdresser again. I didn't hear from her either.

I started to worry, as it was getting close to the time for us to take this trip.

I e-mailed, I voice-mailed. No response.

I thought this was unusual for both these people. Finally, about two weeks later, I got a call from my hairdresser but I missed it. I tried to call her back and had to leave another message. I need to make sure I get my hair done.

I still hadn't heard from my friend.

Thinking that this isn't boding well for a trip, I told my guy that we'd better develop Plan B for this vacation thing. He'd just taken a business trip where the weather was sunny and warm, and offered going there as an option. That sounded really good to me. With weather in the 80s and 90s, I could swim and get a suntan - in March!

He's got plenty of frequent flier miles and, as many of you know, I have a swimsuit.

I called my hairdresser again. I really need to get my hair done before we leave. There was no answer, and at that point I worried that it could be too late to get a hair appointment with anyone. I began to wonder who I'd call. Finding a new hairdresser is not an easy task. There's an element of risk, it can be a little dicey.

I decided to ask a co-worker whose hairdo looks good, that's about the safest bet. She told me about her hairdresser and luckily, the woman recognized my dilemma and happened to have an opening in her schedule on the day I'm supposed to leave town. So now I have an appointment with a new hairdresser. Still haven't heard back from my old one.

My girlfriend finally e-mailed me saying that she'd been spending a lot of time at the hospital and a close family friend had just passed away. Well that explained her absence, but I also read between the lines, figuring that a pending funeral and family commitments probably wouldn't allow her to get away to the coast for a while.

Well all the loose ends seemed to get tied up and I believed Plan B was in place, it all seemed like it was going to work out okay for my significant other and I to take our trip.

That's until he decided he wasn't sure where he wanted to go after all.

I thought it had been decided and he was going to make our reservations. He had told me that he would take care of it. He said he checked on a few hotels, even checked out the weather for going somewhere else but complained that it wasn't going to be that warm. I offered to help him, saying I'd look up weather, hotels, all that stuff, and report back to him. Again, he said he'd do it.

By this time, I was frustrated and about ready to pull out my hair. Hmmm. Tempting. That would eliminate my need for a hairdresser. I'd completely altered my schedule to leave town at a particular time on a particular day. Now it's only a few days away from when we're supposed to leave on our trip, except that we don't actually have the trip planned.

So now I sit in limbo, vacation time approved, an appointment for a new and improved 'do, and a swimsuit packed in my suitcase with the possibility of no use for any of it. He tells me that we're going to do something. I've done all I could do to plan for it.

Will I have a suntan soon? Who knows. Will we have a getaway? He says so, but who knows. Will my hair look good? I certainly hope so, but really, who knows.

All kinds of unknowns crop up when you wait until the last minute. You know?

Dawn M. Henley is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.