Object Lesson


This afternoon I had a plan.

It was haircut time. And I was so ready for it. I ran this morning and threw the mass of it up into the messy bun that has been all I’ve really had the patience to do for weeks now. I had photos downloaded. I was jazzed.

I chose the time and made the appointment. Left home on time. Did everything right. Strolled in with time to spare.

The stylist wasn’t there. None of the employees there could tell me why, and I couldn’t ask, thank you, language barriers. I texted and called her. I sat and waited. Nothing.

I left.

Furious and disappointed and mildly panicked.

I hate getting appointments wrong. And I knew I wasn’t wrong. She’d told me to come by at 4. I felt stupid and mad and stood up and embarrassed. I’d been so excited and now was so let down. I wanted to go back to the salon and cut off my stupid bun myself and throw it on the floor and do a rage dance on it.

(Colleen in a tantrum is special stuff guys. Spe. cial. stuff.)

As I stalked directionlessly downtown my phone was buzzing semi-occasionally with texts from Nate and friends, but none from the MIA Hair Lady. People were everywhere and my messy bun flapped gently in the breeze, waving hello to the passersby. Nothing was right.

But three things happened as I came to the intersection by the movie theater: 1. I took a deep breath and laughed (a little) at my tantrum. 2. I prayed Lord-I-forgive-MIA-hair-lady-and-please-forgive-my-tantrumming-innards. 3. My phone buzzed. It was MIA-H-L.

I don’t get my hair cut often. As it turned out, she’d changed salons, 3 months ago. Very apologetic about the whole thing. New place is 20 minutes away by subway, but she had other appointments lined up. Could I reschedule? I told her to send the new directions and I’d let her know. The breath I’d been holding behind clenched teeth whooshed out as I hung up.

Oh, girl, when will you learn to hold your plans loosely?

I decided to go run some other errands and maybe see if the other hair place I used to use downtown had any openings. But first I went to find the birthday gift I’d mentally bookmarked for Nate two months ago. His birthday isn’t until April, but it’s rare that I’m downtown without him. This will save the day, I thought.

The store was there. The gift was not.

Again, the nudge. It doesn’t work out like you counted on. And it doesn’t have to.

Should I swing by the salon I used to go to? Sure it’s out of the way and I hated what they did to me last time I went there–and actually come to think of it after that experience I swore I’d never go back–but I wanted a haircut today and how bad could it be?

You could. Or you could give up your plan. Grab a coffee and head home without any real damage from today. 

I turned around in the middle of the street at least twice.

But thank God, the coffee was good. My bun still flops triumphant and greasy. And I am somewhat shamefaced to admit that in the throes of unwillingness to let go I went and TRIED ON PANTS at H&M. Because nothing puts you in a good mood like TRYING ON PANTS.

Lord have mercy.

(He does.)

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