It's just a small white frame house tucked on a quiet residential street near downtown Austin. A small white house with a red door, surrounded by oak trees, just two driveways down from a busy street, but that's far enough to feel a million miles away from the world where everyone is rushing to get somewhere else.
This little house where Michael works is like an eye in a storm, an oasis in a desert...an indulgence I am going to cling to after years and years of not caring and not pampering. Good music plays in the background, the soft scent of candles fills the rooms, and Michael REALLY looks at my hair, plays with it, listens to me...I can tell he's focused on me and my hair, what will look the best, how he should cut it. It helps that the shampoo by Clint includes a five-minute neck and head massage.
For almost twenty years, friends cut and colored my hair. Sometimes I let them experiment with different products or fit someone in ahead of me in exchange for free or discounted cuts. The problem with friends cutting your hair is that you start taking each other for granted. It can turn into another chore or errand, something you have to fit in - not something you look forward to.
To save even more money, Tom cut my hair for a few years. I got a lot of complements - he did a good job - but he only knew one style, and my hair and I finally got tired of it. And it was really hard to schedule an appointment!
The first time I went to Michael, I felt guilty spending so much on my hair. I mean, I'll be the first to admit I don't have great hair - I never have - but as I age it gets thinner and thinner (just like my grandmother's - she resorted to tight little perm curls to make her hair look thicker.) In a way, it seemed like a waste of good money, although from what I hear, I'm paying about the same as my friends on their cuts. It just seems like a lot after all those years of cutting corners.
Anyway...it only took one or two visits (and shampoos) to convince myself that it's even more important now than ever before to get a really good cut and color treatment. I've got to take care of the little bit I have left. Besides, everyone deserves to be pampered every once in a while. In my case, every seven to eight weeks...
(Thanksgiving is coming up. This week I'll think of five things every day that I'm grateful for...today I'm grateful for Michael, Clint, Kimmy who gave me Michael's number, my new job that pays more so I feel less guilty about my haircut, the fact that I still have hair, and for the beautiful golden and red-leafed trees decorating the hills right now making it a pleasure to drive anywhere.)