One of the down sides to moving, is replacing all the professionals in your previous life. Dentist, doctors, hair stylist. The last isn’t that important to men, but for women, it is. I took my mother’s advice to look for a woman whose hairstyle I liked, and then go up and ask her where she gets it cut.
After a month of searching, I found the woman in Petco. I told my boys that I was going after her, and they told me that they would meet at the car. Embarrassed, they fled. Nothing new.
The young woman was flattered as I gushed about her hair, and was happy to share the name of the salon and stylist. As soon as I got home, I made an appointment. Shocked that I could get in immediately, I took it as a sign that it was meant to be.
The next day when I walked in, the stylist greeted me. I was taken back at her age. She was young, and when I say young, I mean twenty-one young. There are some people that are young at heart, and others who are young chronologically.
There are the old souls of the world, and then the ones…well, that are not.
When I was twenty-one in age, I was really forty years old on the inside. I’ve always been that way. My thirteen year old son was born as a hundred year old man. He’s never acted his age. He has always behaved as if he has two kids, a mortgage, and a garage to clean out.
This stylist was a true twenty-one and not a day older. She announced that she had just graduated from beauty school last year. After quitting college and wandering a bit, she decided to do hair.
A slow panic began to rise within me, but I kept telling myself, “It’s just hair. It’ll grow back. She can’t be that bad. She did graduate from the program, so someone in authority must have thought she was ready.”
With big hair, a short shirt and heavy make-up, she apologized for being sleepy because she was at a “bar crawl” the night before. She explained that was when you went from bar to bar with your friends, taking a drink at each to celebrate being twenty-one, and getting totally wasted by the end.
“Oh,” I responded. “I never did that. Maybe they didn’t have that back then.” After all, it was a different century. Given her exhausted state, I simplified things as much as possible and emphasized that I only wanted a trim.
“Sure!” she answered. Then went on to talk about favorite music groups and asked what concerts I’d attended lately.
“Um, I’ve got three boys,” I answered, thinking that would explain my life.
She didn’t get it and went on talking about a boyfriend she had recently dumped. “I called him my fun sponge, because he sucked the fun out of everything. I love to have fun!”
I got her whole life story as she shampooed, rinsed, cut, and glanced at herself in the mirror. About every ten seconds, she would pause to look at her reflection. It was somewhat justified because she was very pretty and her hair did look much better than mine.
Then she did something that sent my panic into overdrive.
With a scissor in her hands, she closed her eyes. Let me repeat, She. Closed. Her. Eyes.
“Um…excuse me, what are you doing?” I asked.
She explained that she liked to close her eyes when checking to see if the cut is level or matches the other side, because “the eyes can be deceiving.”
Are you kidding me?! Who closes their eyes to see if they are doing a decent job cutting someone’s hair?! I’ll rephrase that…Who closes their eyes EVER when cutting someone’s hair?!
“I become very Zen when cutting,” she added.
I wanted to bolt, but because she hadn’t finished, I knew I was at her mercy. So, while I waiting for her to finish her Zen experience, I thought about how many times in life we can simply close our eyes and go by feel to see what kind of job we are doing, or judge how things are going.
My answer, none.
When I look back at the most difficult experiences in my life, and I’ve had a few, and I can’t recall anytime that I didn’t go into it with my eyes wide open. Blame it on fear, panic, necessity, or instinct. When it’s time to charge, you don’t close your eyes. When moving forward, you have to see where you’re going.
I may have closed my eyes as kid when jumping off the diving board, but then you grow up, and life throws things at you where there isn’t that choice.
My eyes weren’t deceiving me in the mountain that needed to be climbed, the hurdle that needed to be jumped, and the task that needed to be accomplished.
I will say, that in any challenge, I was constantly brought to my knees, praying to God for the strength to keep going. I wasn’t blind to what was in front of me, I was awakened to where I need to look.
I watched this young woman cut my hair, and didn’t feel an ounce of envy. I wouldn’t be that young again for anything. I’ve come too far, and learned too much.
How did closing her eyes work for my hair? I left looking like I was wearing a football helmet. When the professor saw me, he stared for a minute, and then said, “I don’t like it.”
Oh well, my hair will grow.
And with keeping my eyes wide open in life, I hope to do the same.
August 31, 2015