Day 86: Beauty school dropout

My hairstylist, Maggie, very kindly squeezed me in for an appointment this morning (in response to the “Hairdressing 911” call I placed to her yesterday).

To thank her, I picked up half a dozen of her favourite cookies from Tim Hortons. I also brought along some magazines I thought her customers would enjoy reading while waiting for the colour to set on their “natural hairs” (Maggie’s code for “grey” — love that).

My real good deed though was to notice that she had something on her mind. (This might actually have been a selfish impulse. I mean, who wants the person wielding sharp scissors above their head to be plotting revenge scenarios against an ex?)

Today, instead of expecting Maggie to play stylist-chair psychologist to my woes, I asked a few gentle questions that prompted her to share a difficult personal situation she’s been dealing with.

How did she feel comfortable talking about her personal life with a client she only sees every couple of months? (Yeah, it’s been that long — hence the 911 call.) There’s just something about the beauty parlor atmosphere that lends itself to sharing confidences and… well… letting your hair down. It’s like a dry version of pouring your heart out to the bartender, I guess.

As Maggie trimmed my hair, she’d lean closer to murmur details she didn’t want to broadcast to the whole salon. As I was facing the mirror, I couldn’t help but notice that each time she leaned in, the other stylists would peek at us over the heads they were trimming or highlighting. I could practically read the thought bubbles above their heads: “Gossip Alert, Chair 3.”

The important thing was, Maggie got a chance to do the talking for a change, I got a new do, and we sorted out all the problems in the world in about 45 minutes. It was a win-win good-deed-wise.

Isn’t that how it should be?

P.S. Couldn’t resist this trip down memory lane… “Beauty School Dropout” from Grease. Enjoy!


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