This week I got an inexpensive perm and a priceless visit with my favorite hair stylist, Ambrosia. She's now the manager at the beauty shop inside my local WalMart. I've never found a better stylist, nor one I've enjoyed more. And I sure can't complain about the prices. We always end up laughing about this and that.
She's also one of the few who understands what I mean when I say that I don't worry about my hair until the morning that I step out of the shower, towel dry, and realize that my hair has morphed from wash and wear to wash and swear. At that point, I get professional help in the form of a cut or perm.
Two months after the first time she did my hair, I went back and filled out a card to say how happy I was with the cut and the perm, and with how well she had listened to what I didn't want. I didn't want to fuss with it. I didn't want to decide what I wanted. I just wanted it to look good without having to mess around. I wanted it to look like I have more hair than I do. She gave me what I wanted, and two months later I still liked what I saw. I figured it was time to say so. Now she's the manager. I hope I had some small part in letting them know that she was a keeper.
That's all beside the point of this ramble. She told me a story of her childhood that was too priceless not to share. I told her I was going to put it in my blog, and she surprised me by saying that she reads my blog. I vaguely remembered that I had told her about it over a year ago, but I never imagine anyone beyond the family actually being interested. Anyway, here's one of her memories that I'm still laughing about...
At seven years old, she was learning to assert her independence. Actually, she described herself as sometimes being "bad" when her mom would take her in stores. Her mom, she said, was nobody's fool. She could smile and look quite lady-like while voicing dire threats out of the side of her mouth. By age seven that didn't work quite as well anymore.
One day Ambrosia was acting up in a store and her mother decided she had had enough of being embarrassed and wanted to put a permanent stop to it. In the middle of the store, Ambrosia's mother threw herself to the floor and started kicking and screaming. She proceeded to throw a real temper tantrum right there in front of everyone while Ambrosia tried to pretend she didn't know her. Then her mom calmly got up, dusted herself off and asked her how it made her feel. Ambrosia said she never again made a scene in a store.
I loved that story, and I'm only sorry I never thought to do something like that. The closest I ever came was to wheel my basket to the manager and say, "Sorry, but my boys are acting like they'd rather go home than get all this food. Could you please put it away for me?" and remove them, crying, from the store. At that point, they were no longer crying to get what they wanted, but to not be taken home. It didn't do them any good, but at least it was a different song, and it did help for awhile. It wasn't as permanent a solution as Ambrosia's mother's tantrum, however. Where are the genius mothers when you need them?