Month: September 2020
Me (calmly and friendly but firmly) to Random Man: Can I speak to you for a minute? I overheard your conversation with my friend and I want to let you know that you made her feel uncomfortable when you told her she was pretty and that you bet she had a pretty smile and you asked her to take off her mask and show you.
Random Man: Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to make anyone feel uncomfortable! I didn’t mean anything by it.
Me: I’m sure you didn’t mean it the way it was taken. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how saying things like that make women feel…
RM: I’m so embarrassed! I didn’t mean anything by it…I’m married. I’ve been married for years. I’m a Christian, I believe in monogamy. And some people are just more sensitive! I would never proposition someone, even a child, which what she is…
Me: Yes, I know but it’s important that you know how talk like this makes us feel and we are usually too afraid to let people know…This happened to me (gives personal example) and I was too afraid to say anything. So thank you for this opportunity to express this to you.
RM: Thank you for letting me know and for taking the time to speak to me…
Random Man drives away, tail between his legs, pride hurt.
Me feeling brave, triumphant, happy that I took this opportunity. Then wondering if I was just going for low hanging fruit because he seemed harmless enough, thinking I’m really not that brave. Then second-guessing myself. Then dismissing those thoughts and deciding to feel triumphant again, but mostly really glad that I became all Mama-Bear on this guy and hopefully he’ll think about the impact his sexist words and gestures make on women and that hopefully I’ve helped a brilliant and beautiful young woman find her own voice, become brave enough to confront/correct men who treat her like a child who they can say whatever they want to, and never again wish that she wasn’t pretty so she didn’t have to be susceptible to this crap again!
I hope he went home and told his wife and that she agreed with me. I hope he has a daughter who he can then think about being in the same position and see it from her side and think before he ever does this again.
And I hope you do too.
Ever wonder why you became a hair stylist? You can’t find the right shoes to keep your feet from hurting after a long shift, all that training and it didn’t even include learning how to read people’s minds, having to listen to women who probably should be in a therapist’s office instead of in your chair. And now you have to wear a mask and wonder if you’ll get sick while you’re struggling to pay your bills, wondering if you’ll get enough clients now during a global pandemic.
While the glamour of hair salon life may have first attracted you, it is now for that woman that walks in hesitantly, anxious about getting a haircut. She lost her hairdresser eight years ago. He was her fiancé. The first time he touched her hair it felt magical.
That woman is me. It started with a haircut.
He invited me to sit in his comfy vintage barber chair, rich red worn leather and shiny chrome, a work of art in itself. His touch shot through my russet locks and went straight to my heart. Watching his adoring eyes in the reflection of the hand crafted wood-framed mirror as he cut my hair, I felt uninhibited, excited, alive.
He asked, “So what do you like to do?” I heard my flirty voice say “I like tequila!” And our threesome (with tequila) began. He adored me from the minute he laid eyes on me and I felt it every minute.
He was an artist, a sculptor, a craftsman. He could fix anything. He made the world a better place just by being in it. He made beautiful and intriguing things. He said hair was just another medium for him to sculpt in.
He had a wonderful smile and a twinkle in his eye. He was attentive and helpful, always ready to assist with his strong hands. Always helping someone carry something or fix something, or sharing his knowledge so someone else could accomplish what they desired. He encouraged me in so many ways.
An amazing soundtrack of cool music seemed to follow him. He would play me records and sing along. He filled the whole room, the whole world, with his wonderfulness!
And he cut my hair.
And he struggled with addiction and depression. And it won. He took his own life eight years ago.
There’s still a big gaping whole in the world, in my world, where he used to be.
Yesterday I walked into a new salon in desperate need of a haircut. I went to a friend I felt I could trust. And I could. She was warm and wonderful and caring. She seemed to know exactly what I needed. She made me feel good and strong and brave again.
With “just” a haircut.