Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hair story

For my birthday, E gave me a gift certificate to the fancy hair salon where she gets her hair done.  I've always been really, really cheap with my hair, going to discount 'walk-ins accepted' joints with high turn-over by beauticians.  My hair is one of my least favorite features (ok, so once I wrote that I realized the list is long--stinking long!), baby-fine with only a tiny bit of curl and even less body. Actually it's been the bane of my existence!  But thankfully, none of my kids inherited it.  They all have Beve's thick, gorgeous, strong hair, with varying amounts of curl.

Speaking of Beve, his brother brought a pile of photos from the year Beve lived in Finland (BC--that is, before me!).  And I'm here to tell you, my husband was drop-dead gorgeous in those days.  I'd kind of forgotten.  He still looks good, is aging rather sickeningly well, but back then...I remember thinking about his looks the winter before we married, about how it was kind of like there was a light shining on him, one that attracted people to him.  I wondered how if I could handle living in the shadow of that glow, if I'd feel frumpy and awkward in comparison.  Honestly, I wondered if people would be surprised when they found out I--just plain, old me--was Beve's wife.  It worried me, I admit.  And so did the many times in the first few years we were married--especially when I was hugely pregnant, undoubtedly with some kind of spill across my maternity shirt--when women would stop me to say something about or to Beve. There was the cashier at Costco who told me he was the most handsome man she'd ever seen, and the saleswoman at Nordstrom who thought he should become a model.  There were friends who told me they had little crushes on him, and even my mom acted silly around him (still does, actually!).

But I've long since gotten used to Beve, and realize that we're both treasures.  Beve married me.  He loves me, limp hair, chubby body and all.  And that's good enough.

So back to my hair. I've permed, colored, clipped my hair so many ways I couldn't even list them.  A few years ago, I got it cut as short as it's ever been.  But then I went to Starbucks, and the woman making my latte asked me out on a date.  I'm not making this up.  Needless to say, I started growing out my hair that very day, and have only had it trimmed since.  So when I went to this salon Friday, I was putting my life--er, my hair--in the hands of a young hair dresser named Amy. The very gifted hands, it turns out.  She knew exactly what to do for me.  She confirmed that layers only serve to make my thin hair look thinner, just like I've tried telling stylists for years. In the end, she gave me the best, maybe the first hair style I've ever had.  And I'm here to tell you, I LOVE IT!  I actually love my hair.  If you only knew how novel that is, how unexpected. And you women out there will understand this: you know how you get your hair done, like how it looks, but the instant you shampoo it, it become impossible to replicate?  This has only happened a few times in my life--like every single hair cut.  But I did exactly what Amy showed me, and my hair turned out perfectly. 

And I say, HALLELUJAH.  Sure, hair isn't such a big thing in view of eternity. But sometimes it's temporal things, like the very hairs on our head, that can keep us from gratefulness.  How many parts of myself have I abhorred?  Do I really believe that I was created purposely?  That God's design extends even to my hair follicles?  Today I believe that.  God didn't make a mistake.  Not in my hair, not in my nose, not in my essence.  He meant me to be me, just the way I am. And that's how He made you--to be you.  Only you can do it, just the way you are, too.

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