no appointment needed.
‘being a barber is about taking care of the people.”
varsity barber shop, ann arbor, michigan ,usa
before i left the salon
i booked my next appointment
after discussing what services
i’d be interested in
as i walked back to my car
i read the receptionist’s summary
of what i’d requested
stated in two words:
i had better plan to be there for a while.
“great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.”
(not my sister but you get the idea)
my sister, p.
recently shared the following story
about her hair misadventure
and as sympathetic as i was
i could not stop laughing.
and could totally identify.
must have been nervous laughter
and gratitude that it wasn’t me.
p. had gone to have her hair cut and styled
the very adept stylist easily cut it and blew it dry
with just a round brush
into a full and lovely natural style.
the next day
my sister decided that she could certainly do the same
so she armed herself with a blow dryer and big round brush
and had at it.
the brush got stuck
tangled in both directions
and it was immovable.
it was so bad
that she thought her only option
would be to cut it out
so she called the salon
explained the situation
they told her to come in for help
she drove through her small town
with the big round brush
still stuck on the side of her head
parked her car
walked down the sidewalk
past the local businesses and people on the street
with it still stuck on the side of her head
and into the salon once more.
they guessed her identity the moment she walked in
the salon was very busy
but not so busy that the staff and their customers
did not have time to guffaw and laugh out loud
unable to restrain themselves
people tried not to make eye contact
they walked her through the salon to the very back
where the staff took turns working on it
in between clients
until it eventually
was worked off of her head
one hair at a time.
i totally get this.
“so many tangles in life are ultimately hopeless that we have no appropriate sword other than laughter.”
-gordon w. allport
image credit: google images
at the salon
full of self
to his stylist
i’m a writer
for the university
i prefer whiskey
only the finest
wouldn’t have heard of
the bands i prefer
i had an outing
with a large group
of my friends
this is my first haircut
since i’ve moved here
you should feel honored
he was young
so filled up
having to prove something
to the world
and it went
on and on
of false importance
his patient stylist
opened a door
to get something
a head rolled out
just a bit
rest of us
for a long time
avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls,
your ego goes with it.
– colin powell
image credits: getty images, flickr
but i am a woman on a mission. i will stand back up now. and i will snowshoe downtown if need be. i have a hair appointment.
The Harvard Law states: Under controlled conditions of light, temperature, humidity, and nutrition,
the organism will do as it damn well pleases.
image credit: funnyordie.com
when i sat down at the salon recently, after a long day, ready to relax and be pampered, little did i know this experience would turn into such an unexpected human encounter. i was assigned a new stylist, ‘w.’ he was young, feminine, full of tatts, with asymmetrical hair, earrings, and looked to be trying to establish his individuality, and find his place, both in the salon and in the world. he was quiet and gentle, and listened to what i had hoped to see happen with my hair, and then we began the transformation process.
as time passed and we talked, and shared a common space, he said i made him laugh with my openness and my stories, and i noticed that he became more relaxed and talkative, and let down his guard a bit. i asked him what had inspired him to want to do hair and he slowly shared his story. we had coffee as he worked his magic, and he told me stories about his life. at times, we both laughed out loud, at times it was quiet, as he continued on with his tale.
he had always loved to do hair, was badly bullied most of his life, felt that only one person in his family truly accepted him the way he was, how he was alone, but that he had found hope, and after he was established he planned to move south to the carolinas to try to find his old love and begin again.
then came the story, so incredibly sad, about how he had decided to end his own misery one day, and was saved from it by a surprise puppy he had always longed for, (a unexpected gift from the person who understood him), licking him on his face, waking him up, from what he had expected to be his last sleep, on the morning of what he had planned to be his last day. something about the puppy, instantly loving him unconditionally, with no judgement, changed him and his plan. he knew at that moment he needed to take care of this puppy who was helpless, and loved him and needed him. this puppy, this gesture, had saved his life. this was the turning point when he decided life was worth living and to go and live it on his own terms. he had found the hope he needed to go on another day. we both were openly weeping at this point.
he said, ‘i don’t know why, but i’ve never told anyone this. it felt like you wouldn’t judge me for it though and thank you for listening and caring. i’m sorry i was crying and made you cry too.’ i told him i was so happy that he felt comfortable enough to share this with me, and that it was my pleasure to meet someone who so clearly overcame great odds and yet, continued on. i told him he was an inspiration.
it was 3 hours of my life, sitting in his chair, sharing stories, drinking coffee, laughing and crying, and it was an amazing connection, a human story of the finest sort, from a person who, when all was lost to him, found his way and his hope once again.
in the end we hugged, and as we each went our separate ways, i told him i’d see him soon, when i needed some more of his hair magic and to share more stories. when i called soon after to schedule my next appointment with him, they said that ‘w’ had left the salon without explanation and was not coming back. i hope he is working his way towards the carolinas.
If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library? – Lily Tomlin