Saturday, April 25, 2009

It Ended With A Scream

The whole thing started with bad brakes. I realize that saying something started with bad brakes and ended with a scream sounds like a thing that went very, very badly but I promise you, this is not that kind of story. It's a happy tale!

Back in November, I took the car in for a "routine" oil change and was told that I needed my rear brakes replaced. This was annoying, but not especially surprising. I've come to expect people in blue jumpsuits asking me to sit down so we can "talk" following simple vehicle maintenance.

This really couldn't have happened at a worse time. I'd just come off my brother's wedding and the holidays were looming dead ahead. This wasn't the best moment to find out that I needed to give more money to people who weren't family. I like spending money on family. They are nice and say, "thank you." My car never says that. Nor do the people in the blue jumpsuits.

But this wasn't the sort of thing one should put off for very long so I bit the bullet and decided to take care of the brakes. However, I was also in the throes of some sort of weird need to be fiscally responsible and was starting to see things happening with the already struggling economy that made me nervous. I began economizing like never before. With a car repair bill already in my future and Christmas mere minutes away, I made the decision to cancel my hair appointment for December. There was always time to get the hair cut, after all...

But, somehow, December morphed into January. January suddenly became February. And so on and so on... Whenever I had the time to make a hair appointment, I was again taken over by the need to save pennies. When the pennies were plentiful, I suddenly had no time or was stricken with The Plague That Comes From Children Sneezing On Me. Before I knew it, April was upon me and my hair had not been tended since '08.

April vacation arrived and, with it, an infusion of cash courtesy of my income tax refund. Finally! I had the time, the health and government dollars in the checking account to make the idea of spending money a little bit easier! I called on Thursday and requested an appointment with The World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach at her earliest convenience.

I arrived at the shop this morning exactly on time. I wondered if she would even remember me. It had been so very long, after all. Would she still like me? Or was I now on the Stylist Hit List? I took my seat in the waiting area, alerted the nice lady at the front of my presence and crossed my fingers. Hopefully, TWGSALC would be forgiving of my long, long absence.

First, I heard someone informing my stylist that her 10:30 had arrived.

Next, I heard a familiar voice in the background acknowledging this. (She didn't sound too unhappy, I thought...)

Finally, I heard what can only be described as a scream. It started at the back of the shop and traveled all the way out to the waiting area. It was the sound of a very tiny Chinese woman in very cute shoes racing towards a very shaggy Sheepie, arms open and grinning from ear to ear.

For the record, there are no hugs better than Stylist/Client Reunion Hugs. Stylists smell nice and always remember to put down their scissors before latching onto you.

She chattered happily through the whole appointment. She told me of how she'd worried about me and wanted to send me a note. She reminisced about the times we'd gone out to lunch and that day we spent shoe shopping together. She listed every, single knitted item I've ever given her and how many times she'd worn it since last we met. She said that her mother-in-law had knit her a pair of hand warmers but that they weren't nearly as nice as mine. Then, with a startled gasp, she suddenly began rooting around in her purse and triumphantly withdrew a large bar of dark chocolate. She had seen my name in the appointment book and purchased it as a Welcome Back gift as we have, perhaps, discussed my love of chocolate once or twice over the years...

If your stylist doesn't welcome you with hugs and chocolate, then I guess I feel a little sorry for you. It is very nice. You probably have lots of other things going for you and a very satisfying life on the whole. I'm sure you'll be just fine. But you are missing out on something very special...

It was almost anticlimactic to visit the used book store next door after my appointment. I've missed doing that, too. But, while I did find several things that made me glad I stopped by, it wasn't quite the same as the first stop.

It was a nice way to start the day. The cut is wonderful, but the service was even better. I came directly home and didn't bother asking for anything more. That would have seemed selfish. A nice, quiet afternoon seemed like just the thing.

So, while the Big, Fluffy Kitty took a turn at the window where the spring breezes were wafting,

And the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty took advantage of the chance to sleep in the Big Bed for a change,

I settled in to enjoy the simple bounty that comes from a morning well-spent:



trek said...

And it was DARK chocolate!

Mia said...

Wow! What a great day!

Anonymous said...

She sounds like a wonder! No surprise you like to go visit her.

Jeanne said...

Wow--hair cut AND chocolate? Man. I need one of those. Both. Chocolate and haircut. Mine hasn't been tended since... uh... oh geez, last year!

What a wonderful day. You had me worried, though, with a title like that.

Kath said...

Wow - if I'd ever met a stylist like that I might actually go and get regular hair cuts, or perhaps even something vaguely resembling a "style". I think my last visit to a hair stylist was sometime in 1997 maybe?

Anonymous said...

I need to find me a hairdresser like yours. Heck, I need to find me a hairdresser, period.

Yarnhog said...

Well, that was just an awesome welcome back!

I adore my stylist because she takes my messy mop of untended hair and turns it into something that looks not only tended, but intended.

I'd love her even more if she gave me chocolate.