Day 2 of my 50 Days of Women Blog
Everyone has at least one super power. And I believe that wholeheartedly. Even if, on the outsides, we can’t see someone else’s super powers or we cannot see our own. It’s there. One of my super powers is that I can remember every story, personal drama or event that every one of my clients has revealed, divulged or disclosed to me.
Just the other day, I went to the front of the salon to greet my next client. On the schedule the name was Barbara V. I didn’t even have to look at her client history. I had never done a Barbara V.’s hair before. This was obviously a new client referred.
There happened to be only one woman at the front of the salon and her back was to me but I immediately felt a familiarity. I knew this woman call Barbara V. Just as I was about to say her name, she turned around.
“Oh-my-God!” I screamed. “Barbara, how are you?!”
I was shocked and elated to see the face of one of my clients from California. Barbara hadn’t changed at all (except for her last name) and it had been 20 years since I had seen her.
We hugged and got down to doing her hair which seemed to me to be only the secondary purpose for our re-meeting again. During her appointment we caught up at which time it was her turn to be shocked.
While slithering my scissors through her long blonde hair I glided down memory lane, “Do you remember that crazy wedding you went to?”
Barbara was pretty sure she knew which wedding I began talking about. It was the one where one of her college gal-pals, more of an acquaintance, made a visit to her home in Long Beach, California. This gal-pal was originally on her water polo team and the two ladies hardly kept in touch except for this visit which was under the guise of seeing Barbara’s first born child (now a hairdresser). Barbara’s husband happened to be home during this visit when the gal-pall asked Barbara if she would be a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding. Barbara’s husband (she’s now divorced from that one) was the one who chimed in and said, “We’re not doing anything that day;” Barbara was then officially in the wedding.
Unbeknownst to Barbara and by coincidence, I was the gal-pal mother’s hairdresser and I had recently started doing the gal-pal’s hair too. The mother was a well-to-do, prim-and-proper, show-off-my-status kind-of-woman. The uppity mother (great tipper!) began bringing her daughter into the salon so I could make her a show-offable beauty before the wedding. But the joke was the mother because gal-pal had been confiding in me how her mom was all but forcing her into a big wedding so daughter-dearest had decided to: “F-it. If my mom wants a lavish wedding, I’ll make her spend her money on a lavish wedding no one will ever forget.”
BTW: This wedding was held in the mid-1980s and we were in Southern California. So it didn’t seem too outrageous to anyone concerned at the time, just expensive.
Gal-pal had decided on a Gone with the Wind themed wedding, complete with bridesmaids wearing hoopskirts, clip on curls and parasols. The gents had to wear crazy vintage tuxes with string bowties and side burns. There were horses involves, and maybe carriages, certainly lots of ivy stapled to gazebos. Oh, did I tell you that gal-pal and her finance were both engineer nerds and he was Japanese? She had never walked on heels, let alone wore a bustier. Yeah, right? Oh, it gets better. Gal-pal decides to hold the wedding in Palos Verdes Estates which is a massive hill with winding roads which means taking pictures, getting married in a church and then having an outdoor reception is a logistic nightmare. And the food she was serving was ribs. Messy ribs! ‘Good thing I didn’t have to do the hair for this hot summer wedding because of the clip on curls, but I could not wait to hear about that wedding after Barbara attended.
“How did you remember all that?” Barbara asked me. I had also recalled and extolled my memories of her own wedding which I had done her hair for. I even remembered when her kids were born.
“It’s my super power,” I stated matter-of-factly.
After her hair was done and we caught up to the year 2014: She’s married to a great guy, her kids are grown, she now lives an hour out of Chicago, and her daughter couldn’t do her hair that month so she looked me up… Then we said our goodbyes until the next time we’d see each other.
I didn’t tell Barbara about my other super-power, the one that may not be as useful as my gossip and story memory. This super power allows me to see the super powers in other people and that day I got to see how Barbara’s again. She always had the super power of patience and kindness. Of course I’d remember her and everything about her, even I hadn’t seen her in 50 years. She’s the kind of person who would clip on synthetic blonde curls and dress up in a too-hot and uncomfortable Bo Peep costume to stand up for an acquaintance at her wedding. She’s the kind of woman who stuck it out with a marriage that may not have been good for her but she stayed until her kids were grown. Barbara even kept the memories of me in her heart and she still had the logo-T’s I used to sell at the salon I had owned. Lord!, she must have also put up with me in the 80s during my diva-hairdresser phase. That makes her a saint, not a super hero.