It's late morning and the house is a mess. The kids are arguing or, if it's a good morning, they are quietly studying, but breakfast dishes are still piled in the sink. A typical day in my household.
But today is different. Today I'll be going out solo for my once-in-a-blue-moon hair appointment.
I love going to my hairdresser. Her salon sits in the middle of downtown, and once I go through her door and cross the marble entrance, I'm transported to another place and time. Dark, bold colors decorate the walls and furniture. A koi pond, surrounded by lush greenery, sits to one side, complete with a steady waterfall. From the twenty-foot ceilings hang a few tapestries and the music pouring through the speakers can be as eclectic as her decorating and her style. One day I might hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Another day, Seal. Still another, instrumental New Age.
I am the only one in the building, it feels like, while a wait the few seconds it takes for her to come greet me. She steps around the separation wall: petite, beautiful, and always fun and stylish. Her name is Joanie, and she returns a bit of the woman to me I've lost through family life.
She always welcomes me with open arms and a brief catching up of what's going on with life, then by the time she sits me in the chair to wash my hair, she reminds me it's time to just relax. Talking ceases, for the most part. There is no push for idle chit-chat. We exchange a few words when we feel the need, but otherwise, our lips are silent.
Everytime I go in, I feel as though I should have dressed in heels and pearls, not my jeans and sneakers, but she never judges or makes me feel out of place. This is her world which she has welcomed me into. The part of the salon she claims as her space to work takes up nearly half of the building, and I can hear the voices of others, elsewhere in the building, but the sound is muted and does not interrupt or distract. In her area, it is just her and I - and her adorable little dog.
I trust her implicitly, and other than letting her know I want my hair shorter or long, I stay out of whatever she wants to do. She works my hair with a heavy hand. From the strong massage on my neck when she washes, to the tug and pull along my scalp when she's styling, there is no holding back with her. And I relish every second.
Before I know it, an hour has passed and I'm peaceful, content, and look great. We chat a few more minutes and part with a warm hug, and I always pause at the threshold before opening the door to leave.
She's my temporary sanctuary. I know when I open the door, the noise of the traffic and the rush of life will hit me full force. But now I can step back into this world revitalized, and ready once more to face every challenge awaiting me.
Here's a toast to those who pamper us all.
~Ensnare yourself in love