I have always been particular about my hair. My Dad will certainly tell you that I would easily freak out if my hair wasn’t always perfect…or at least what I thought was perfect. I didn’t like my curly hair until I was in college and I used to ask my Dad to blow dry it almost every single day before school. Needless to say, there are not many people that I ever let cut/color/touch my hair. This is why I save up for a very special trip to my favorite hairdresser each year for some annual highlights. My Uncle Arthur is an artist and a magician when it comes to hair, he is like no one else—and not just because he is magic with scissors, peroxide, and hairspray. He will simply not let you leave until he’s gotten everything just right. My hair will be almost fully dry and he’ll look at it and go, “no you need one more highlight in the front.” And I roll my eyes and think, really? One more? But I’ve already been here for three hours!! And then he’ll put in just that one more highlight and lo and behold he was right, so I don’t second guess his judgment when it comes to my hair follicles. I let him take the wheel and just wait to see what happens.
He is a hoot. He makes you laugh, he can be a good shoulder to cry on, he is a support and a rock for many. Sitting there in his chair today while he went at my hair like Edward Scissorhands in walked an older man who brought him some pineapple. The older gentleman sat in a chair next to me and made casual conversation for a minute or two with Arthur and then promptly said, “I can see your busy today, I’ll stop by tomorrow to say hi again, but I’ll definitely see you at the meeting tomorrow night.” As the man left the salon my Uncle Arthur told me, “that’s my AA sponsor. He just inherited a lot of money so he quit his job and doesn’t know what to do with his days, so he brings me fruit and makes conversation.” I didn’t remember that he was a recovering alcoholic and I started to ask him some questions because I was curious about what going to AA was like. He said, “I’ve been sober for 11 years and I’m the happiest alcoholic there is because when I admit to being an alcoholic, I’m free. There’s no shame in it. I go to this meeting in North Hollywood every Saturday. People from all over, people of all different sorts come to this meeting and it is so fascinating to watch everyone work together and hold each other accountable. They are all so incredible. And especially in this age of gender fluidity, man, what a crowd. It’s just something to see. We’re all human, babe.”
Those words resonated with me. In a world where I am so particular about what I expect of myself and those around me, I think I forget that we are all human. We are all doing the best with what we’ve got and can we expect more from ourselves? Hell yes. But when we screw up or there are setbacks do we need to beat ourselves up over this? Hell no. I wish we could all be at this AA meeting Uncle Artie goes to where everyone holds each other up but also holds each other accountable. What a beautiful world. We are all human, babe. We are all figuring out ourselves and so is everyone else and as gentle as we would like people to be with our hearts and minds, so should we be with other peoples’.
That’s it. That’s all I have to say on this rainy Friday where I put a plastic bag over my head leaving the salon because I only get these highlights once a year and I certainly was not going to let my freshly blown-out hair get a drop of rain on it…okay, so I’m a little vain, but hey, I’m just human.
Happy Friday, friends! I hope you enjoy being human. Be gentle with yourself and others and also know it’s okay to hold yourself and others accountable. We can all be messy humans figuring things out and that’s a happy thing.