Totally and completely desperate for a haircut, I tried to book an appointment yesterday at last minute with my regular stylist because I was having one of those days where all of the sudden my hair just.would.not.work.for.one.more.minute. But my stylist couldn't squeeze me in. So I was left to my own devices -- cut my hair again all by myself (which I believe is part of the reason I was in the horrible hair disaster boat anyway) or try a new stylist.
I opted for choice number two after the hubby rolled his eyes at the thought of my going all Edward Sissorhands on my bangs again.
If there's one thing I don't really like, it's changing hair stylists or really swapping any professional for a new one with whom I don't have a pre-existing relationship because the first encounter is always like an awkward first date.
Stylist: "So what do you do?"
Me: (thinking in my head and trying to compress what I do into a small, three-word answer) I have two boys and run a business.
Stylist: Sounds like you're busy.
Me: Oh, yes, both keep me on my toes.
And the awkwardness of the first conversation usually goes on with both of us chatting about the little things while responding with very tried and true, trite answers. See above conversation if you don't know what I mean.
But this time it was different. The stylist and I, well, we hit it off. We were talking like we'd been friends for years. You see, our dynamic was excellent for one reason:
I am a young mom of a toddler and a baby.
She is a woman who would really, really like to be a mom soon, and thus wants to hear about everything toddler and baby-related.
See how this was a match made in hair-cut heaven?
So we're quipping on and on about how funny kids are and how it changes your life so much and how you really have to be ready for that next step.
I then share my secret to sanity with her:
Wednesday morning Bible studies where the kids happily play and are attended to down the hall from my class and MOPs.
"What's MOPs?" she asks?
My eyes get wide because I've just got to let her in on this secret before she has kids so she can go and sign herself up the minute she gets a double line on any future pregnancy tests.
"MOPs," I tell her, " is God's gift to mothers. It's for mothers of preschoolers. You go twice a month and while you're there sitting around a table and chatting with your girlfriends, someone else adoringly looks after your kids downstairs while teaching them all about God."
I'm gleaming at just the thought of a MOPs morning when I break into a huge smile and my voice starts to quiver with excitement.I look around and pause to make sure my toddler isn't within ear range even though I know he's at home driving daddy nuts but I still must protect the best-kept secret about my beloved MOPs days.
"And the best part is each group takes turns bringing brunch ... and you get to eat all.by.your.self!"
Laughter suddenly erupts from next to me. The lady in the chair next to me who is getting her hair colored and reading a magazine is the owner of the giggling. She puts her magazine down, looks at us and chimes:
"I'm sorry to butt into your conversation, but I thought it was just me who craved a meal alone! Sometimes I feel like a dog in the corner hoarding her food!" she says.
I look at her knowingly.
"Two" she says.
I nod sympathetically, hand her a card and tell her to e-mail me for more MOPs info.
The stylist takes note immediately that this is a pearl of wisdom she needs to hold onto for the future.
I catch her eye in the mirror as she continues to flat iron my hair.
"Don't worry," I say. "I'll save you a seat at our table."
The other mom looks over at me with pleading eyes and also catches my gaze.
"And I'll save you one, too."
Because everyone, my dear friends, including mothers of food-pilfering toddlers, should get to have one meal where she doesn't have to feel like a dog protecting her food just to get a few bites off of her own plate.