What is your Super Power?

LR_FINAL.JON-DAVID MED Cape

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.

capeI 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.

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50 Days of Women: Women vote Differently over 50

Politcal WomenTo continue my series on women, I bring you, “from behind the chair,” one of my surprising and recent insights about my women clients. As a hairdresser who has daily un-guarded conversations with women, while I do their cuts and colors, it has been illuminating to me that many women may vote one way when she is younger than when she is older. I always thought I could count on a woman to vote from her heart and education where it concerns her political, economic, and human rights issues. But during this election, I have been hearing from my women clients a startling admission: some of the older women will be voting in the opposite direction of their own inner morale compass.
For instance, one of my Jewish Democratic clients, who is wealthy by my standards, will be voting Republican. In elections of years past she would vote Democrat, virtually canceling out her husband’s votes. She told me that all those years of voting for social equality, economic reform, social justice, reproductive rights for women and civic programs were and are still what she believes in; but she has straight-up told me that she is voting for her own personal pocketbook this year. She believes that a vote for the Republican presidential candidate would be more in alignment for keeping her personal taxes down and her retirement safer. She’s over 50, she’s had medical bills, she’s worried about her retirement.
Fact: in 2012, more single women are voting Democratic and the married woman voter is less inclined to vote Democrat than previous years. I believe it’s because married women are also voting for their nest eggs. Most of my younger women clients will be voting Democrat. P.S.: I live in Chicago and I understand we are a Democratic city and state. Where you live, your hairdresser might report differently.
The client whom I’ve have told you about is not the only woman over 50 who has admitted to me about switching from Democrat to Republican and I can see their point of view and I respect their honesty.
To place this insight or revelation in my mind in a way that I can understand it, I recall my men friends who have always poohpoohed my harping on green issues and global warming discussions. A majority of my men friends have expressed that while they understand that individuals should recycle, use less packaging, re-use and buy electric cars, they also admit they like their conveniences and comforts much more than to change the way they do anything, let alone invest in change. I have always understood why men have voted for their personal gain. We are short-sighted as bunch, and we don’t let go of our comfort habits until which time as we are forced to.
But I have been surprised to hear women changing the way they vote, not out of personal gain or laziness, but out of ‘sound’ economic self preservation. Again, I respect my women clients for their up-front reasons to switch. I get it.
But have we become a society where both men and women have given up on the world, the environment, and the rights of the younger people who will out-live us and have to deal with the mess we have left behind?
I offer nothing more but an invitation for further the discussion on this issue on this day of voting in the United States of America. In discussion, we just might learn a lot more from each other, both men and women.

You can probably tell that I am a Democrat by social issues standards and yet I stand by a fiscally responsible government who also can make these issues part of the business of government. Please don’t let my political views keep us from talking to each other intelligently.

50 Days of Women

I love my mom
John, Marie, Jess, Jon-David

Today’s blog is dedicated to any writers with Writer’s Block.

I’ve had a really hard time getting back to writing. You see, my mom died less than six month ago and, since then, every time I sat down at my computer to “let the magic happen,” or when I picked up a notepad to scratch out the skeleton of a few creative projects that have been glaring at me from an old goal list, my mind became a solid mass of clay. Soft, but firmed up and unmoving. I had a passion to sculpt this clay but the fear of what was inside of that clay was too intense for me. For inside of my head of Play-Doh is probably hardened marbles of emotions that I had never seen before. I wasn’t ready to investigate the marbles; let alone play with them for literary gold or publicly displayed catharsis.
I will not put the pressure upon myself to write 50 days straight about my new subject: women. (As I did with 50 Days of 50: soon to be an eBook). But I am committed to writing at least one entry a week. Monday’s are good for me. You can count on it.
There should be no question as to why I chose women to be the focus of this upcoming series. They are fascinating. They are multitasking. They are manipulative and beguiling. Enduring, long-suffering and self-sacrificing pave the feeling tone of describing women’s un-flailing and undeserved patience with men.
I had planned to write this series long before mom went in the hospital for a quick yet risky operation that went well… that is until a simple, yet undetected, complication took her from me, my brother and father. I was with my mother every second that mattered during the time she left her body and it was the most precious few moments in my life and I shall hold that in heart as my greatest honor. Of course I will also write about mom. She was character and a wonderful woman. Every mother is the most important woman to everyone’s life and my mom was the single most influential woman in mine. This series is dedicated to you, mom. I miss you very much.
If you are my client, or sister-in-law, or one of the gal-pals in my posse, you should not be afraid. Yes, I’m writing about you beyoches. But I will write from the love and wonder I have for you in my heart. One of my best friends is Allison, she’s also my boss at Joseph Michael’s Salon & Spa. She knows I’ll write about her too but she’d also assure all of you that I would never write anything that would or could be seen in a negative or embarrassing light about you. (At least not that you would recognize…) I adore you all and you have shared your stories and your views with me and I want to relay those thoughts here on my pages–for the laughs and tears and wisdom they can bestow.
Part of what has me committing to this series now is that I’m about ready to shoot a Youtube mini-series called The Judy Show. I’m Judy! I’ll also be writing a blog as Judy, so getting into the mind of a woman has been my job as well as just a subject that I felt needed to be mined. I hope you take a look and subscribe to The Judy Blog as well as this one. She can say things a lot differenty than I can. (“Coincidentally,” Mondays will be her entry days as well.)
So give me a week, ladies and gentlemen, and then read all about beautiful, sexy, mothering, smothering, mesmerizing, infuriating women.

It’s nice to be back.

Jon-David