I have a great relationship with my hairdresser. She’s been doing my hair for years and even forgave me for cheating on her that one time in Paris. (For that full story, read ‘What is it about Paris’ @ http://www.storyhouse.org/reneej),

Today’s appointment had to be pushed up an hour because of the fowl weather. But also, she was able to be more adaptive due to cancellations brought on by the weather. Her son told her that nobody would show up today and she assured him that I would because I work in all kinds of weather and have never missed an appointment due to snow or ice. I had to go then, it was a matter of protecting my reputation as a very dependable client.

I’m at her shop every six weeks or so. I’ve gotten to know several other women who have appointments near mine and who I would probably never know otherwise. I’ve met her family, animals, friends. During highlights and trims we’ve shared diet tips, recipes, magazine articles, trips we’ve taken, new hair products, politics and religion.

And I have to say, she is the most diverse person I know. As a hairdresser, she is fantastic. But she isn’t the frilly, heavily styled type one might imagine. She has horses, dogs, cats and cows; all who need care and feeding which she tends to herself. She also rides her own Harley-Davidson motorcycle, side by side four wheeler and farm tractor. Until she hurt her shoulder in a car accident, she was a karate devotee. Such a dichotomy! You can also count on her to have the best recipe for anything you might want to prepare even off-the-wall things like sugared mint leaves and fresh strawberry pie.

I know that Mira, young professional, will be the appointment following mine if I go on a Thursday or that Mrs. Mathis, an older lady with curly hair will be right before me on Tuesday. Mira eats out a lot and can tell you the best and worst restaurants in a fifty mile radius. Mrs. Mathis keeps up with the sales at local stores.

Sometimes it is like a tv show, our own sit-com at the beauty shop. We laugh, cry, exaggerate and entertain. Nobody ever gets mad if they have to wait. We just make the best of it.

If we are meant to learn something from all the relationships in our lives, I wonder what it is we are meant to absorb. I also wonder how they see me. What do they take away from our encounters? I hope they think that I am a dichotomy; interesting mix of mail carrier, writer, traveler, animal lover, frilly appearance conscious middle aged friend who they look forward to seeing every six weeks.

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