I walked into a place to get a quick haircut, Julie motioned me to her chair and I took my seat. I noticed the lady next to me and I felt the tears welling up as I watched her going through her little purse and took out her glasses, which she held folded in her hand instead of putting on. She continued to rummage. She was very old. There was a walker sitting in front of her. The lady about to do her hair asked her (and honestly even with good hearing it was unintelligible) if she wanted someone to “hang on” to her purse for her. The old lady was confused, couldn’t really understand and the lady speaking repeated it a little louder, firmer and I thought a little impatiently. The old lady was so gentle and complied so meekly, that’s when they started, as they are now. I remembered my mother and how she would comply with things she didn’t understand because she didn’t want anyone to know she didn’t understand. They took her to wash her hair and she saw me looking at her, she widened her eyes, leaned forward and said (oh God, again just like my mother), “Hello” Me, “Hello, how are you today?” Her, “I’m just fine! How are you?” Me, “Oh middling I guess” That made her laugh and she took her seat. By then the tears were flowing and the lady about to wash my hair handed a Kleenex to me. I couldn’t control the tears.
While I was trying to control myself I began to listen to people around me for distraction. Hair dresser to client “How are you?” while she went on cutting, the lady began a story on how a friend of hers was a hair dresser and won many awards, and then continued about that friend of hers, who cares about her friend? The lady doing her hair was paying no attention at all. A man came in and took a chair and began to flirt with the hairdresser, told her how he wanted his hair and then asked if she were married. She flirted and he continued trying to be funny. There were many other conversations, well not really conversations because that would indicate that it was a two way talk right? It was people talking about themselves and things that concerned them and the ears it was falling on couldn’t have cared less about what they were saying.
Epiphany: No one cares about your problems except you. They are generally acting interested while they are trying to sort through stories in their mind to tell you when you get through. I thought of the old hymn we used to sing, “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus, there’s no other friend so kind as He. No one else can take the sin and sorrow from me, oh how much He cares for me.” And then, “Are you weary are you heavy hearted tell it to Jesus alone” No one cares or listens to us that can really do anything to help us except when you take it to the Throne Room and offer it to God through Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
When I was finally finished, no blow dry, no mousse, no style, just let me out of here, the old lady I had shed tears for was still in the process of having her hair rolled with the fine ends being caught in paper so it would hold on the rollers, I walked over to her chair and asked her, “What is your name?” She asked me to repeat and I did, she said, “Roberta”. I said, “Can I please give you a hug?” She laughed and said, “Yes if you promise not to bite me! You don’t have a face that looks as if you would!!” I had to bite my cheeks to keep from bursting into tears all over again, that little sense of humor, again so like my own mother. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and left.