“No Jane, I did NOT leave the color on too long, and if you don’t like it, that’s on you not me,” Mindi snapped, stomping her Doc Martens across the tiny salon.
Despite the multiple sizzling come-backs I could have offered, I held my tongue. It’s an old trick from my couples therapy days: when someone says something outrageous, you just let it hang in the air. That way, the person who said it can hear themselves.
Not that I had a lot of options.
Mindi (not her real name) was one of only three hair stylists on the island. Of the remaining two, one was known for her one-size-fits-all men’s cuts. The other was Mindi’s mom.
I had a video presentation in a couple of days, my roots were showing, and Mindi’s previous coloring-oops was becoming increasingly obvious. And, unless I wanted to take a floatplane every time I needed my roots done in future, I needed to fix this now.
“If it’s possible to have the highlights go all the way to the roots, I would prefer that,” I replied, offering her a path to repair.
Mindi continued her stomping, banged a few cupboard doors, and turned me away from the mirror. I wondered if I’d be leaving with green hair and a half-shaved head, but I reminded myself that if the worst came to the worst, I do own a wig.
I waited while she mixed the color and cut up the foils.
“How are you settling in to your new place?” I ventured, recalling that she was in the middle of a move the last time I’d seen her.
“Fine.” She responded, flatly.
I waited a few more minutes and tried again.
“Did you say you were headed back to college this Fall?”
I closed my eyes and let her do her thing.
And there we sat, in semi-uncomfortable silence, while she did her work and I breathed.
After about half an hour, she finally spoke.
“My mom says your husband is the sweetest man she’s ever met.”
Bob to the rescue.
“He is.” I replied.
I told her our story. Our previous marriages. The therapists, the coaches, the energy healers who’d helped get my life back on track. The angels who’d shoved someone into my path to distract me right before I almost screwed everything up. The clients whose stories had given me hope.
I advised her on her own dating journey.
I encouraged her to start loving on herself.
We lapsed back into silence while she blow-dried my hair.
“You know, I did leave the color on for way too long last time,” she admitted.
“And I’m a Gemini-rising, so sometimes I get a bit hot.”
“Did you hear the part where I told you I loved the cut?” I asked.
“Yes.” She said. “Thank you.”