Beauty Shop Chat

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I am a squirming environmental hypocrite because I still like going to the beauty shop for highlights. I figure I am middle aged, the body is falling apart so I can’t really deal with bad hair in addition to that. Do men have bad hair days? A bad hair day can completely distort and torment your perspective even if world peace and brotherhood is spontaneously breaking out around you, and also I am fairly shallow. I am sure there are real progressives out there that don’t worry about human unity and  universal planetary love  happening on a bad hair day but I just don’t happen to be one of them. If I was a real progressive I would be killing my own cows and growing my own cotton and making my own clothes with it using non toxic dyes and recycling my dog hair into natural insulation for the house and riding a horse to work. So. Hey I outed myself.

You aren’t going to tell your Republican gynecologist you’re a progressive in the middle of a pap smear, right? So I decided since I live in uber red state town that I wouldn’t mention politics to the nice but conservative lady who does my hair for fear of ending up with a Mohawk. I had one of those when I was 20, I think it might be slightly less cute at 44.

But it happened. My hairdresser told me she was confused she thought both McCain and Obama had some good ideas and she was vacillating but she “heard” Obama was against saying the pledge of allegiance and she found that very anti-American and she was worried he wasn’t a “true” Christian.

I asked her where she heard that. She wasn’t sure. I asked her if she thought John McCain was a true Christian and she said she was pretty certain. So, I asked her what church/congregation he belonged to. She had no idea. I told her where Obama worshiped and i suggested that if she wanted to hear his views she should go to the source and look at his website or hit youtube and see snippets of his speeches.

Aren’t you just far too intelligent to rely on what other people tell you, I asked? Don’t you remember high school when everybody gossiped and told one another what they “heard” and how often was it really true? She said hmmmmmm.

At this point the hairdressers and customers were all staring at me. And I thought hmmmm.

I am thinking here I am in a small town in the south are storm troopers coming in to take me away?

I said to her you’re a Christian, right? Check. And you love saying the pledge of allegiance and holding your hand over your heart when the anthem is sung. Check. You love America, right? Check.

Let me ask you this, I said: would you rather live in a country where people chose to express their faith because it is genuine and hear felt or one where we have a national religion and if you go to the “wrong” church somebody is going to arrest you. Would you rather be irritated because a few people upset you by saying the pledge of allegiance isn’t necessary ( which Obama did not do anyway ) or they piss you off because they don’t stand up for the national anthem or do you want to live in a country where people come to public events and fine you or publicly shame you, you if you don’t. Would you rather live in a country where you disagree with and get irritated by others or one in which we have no disagreements because we all think the same.

I am not American, I said, you know that but isn’t America this crazy place where people have interesting ideas that sometimes provoke others. Isn’t that the difference between having a soul and an identity and being just nothing at all.

No reply. Silence at Beauty Salon. Stare at the weird lady.

Why are you letting other people scare you into believing what Obama or anybody else might think instead of being curious enough to think for yourself? Don’t you owe your country, a place you say yourself that you love, at least that much of your commitment?

At the cash register she said,”Thank you. You made me think, I am going to take up your suggestion and read up on what Obama really says and believes. I know this is an important election and I think I am an open person.”

Did I convert her? Who knows. But phone banking just isn’t me. I can’t read from a script. Even in the red states people might not be admitting to their staunchly Republican friends and family that they are open to ideas. But they might be.


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  1. hey I am a Maple Leafs fan, that takes some faith right?

    • Alma on November 1, 2008 at 22:15

    I think we need more people out there talking like you do.  🙂

    One of my favorite parts is this

    Stare at the weird lady

    Dang cat just tripped over my hands and managed to highlight and delete what I just wrote.  LOL

    It was something like I know how it feels to have people staring at you like you’re weird or crazy.  

    • RiaD on November 1, 2008 at 23:03

    you did Great!

    that lady really will go look. & read. & make up her own mind.

    & all the rest of the ladies will chatter all about it (as soon as the sound of your car wheels leaving is heard) & your hair dresser will be arguing your side & using your points (in her own words of course)& most of them’ll be late to wherever they’re going next.

    it took a bunch for your hairdresser to screw up her courage & ask her questions…right there in front of the other ladies, too…& she asked YOU because she knew you weren’t from there…an outsiders opinion. in effect she was screaming ‘convince me!’

    Good Job calico! excellent

  2. Thanks boss…

    I can haz cheezburger now?

  3. impressed with the manner in which you dealt with this situation and your “gentle” but firm approach to it all.  It’s very easy to alienate these people with just a couple of words, instead, you found a way to open up conversation and shared thought.  Good on ya’.

    I drop words here and there that, generally, open up people’s anger, thoughts, etc. or the kind of “blind” remarks that are not thoughts, but merely hackneyed repeats of the same expressions over and over and over.

    Thank you for this, UCC!

  4. Because you were brave at the hairdressers.

    About 2 weeks after I arrived in Mississippi, about 35 years ago, I went with a guy I know to the stupidmarket for snacks.  While we were in the checkout line, the cashier got into a conversation with the customer before us.  She decided to use the N word to this customer to describe current events.

    My friend, who was a native Mississippian, interrupted them (I gasp even now at the idea) and said, “You know, that’s a word you really, really shouldn’t be using.  Please don’t talk like that.”  I thought the cashier’d reach underneath the counter and shoot us both.  The rest of the check out went uneventfully, I’m still here talking about it.

    That’s similar to what you did.  It is just remarkable to me that it’s part of the culture, we’re trained in ignoring this outrageous stuff.

    So when you do what you did, what Fritz Perls called “breaking confluence,” I applaud.  Brava!!  That’s courage.  And that’s going to build a new world. Really it is.

    Thanks for what you did.  

  5. converted for this election her but you did plant the seeds we need. Winning is just the beginning we have a whole segment of the population out there who have been brainwashed and tweaked. Ideas will seep in as air and sunshine have to make one wonder. I think that the red states are ready willing ad able to not paint themselves into corners that long ago stopped helping them and have held them to a path that no longer offers anything. Just my hope. Ideas, hope and positive change. People to people works!    

  6. Great story.

    Though, as a person who has had the phrase “provoking creature” applied to me more than once, I suspect you may have had it used once or twice in your regard.  Perhaps.

    Whether you converted her or not or even gave her pause, politically, you treated her like a person who was real.  That counts too…and has echoes.

  7. You aren’t going to tell your Republican gynecologist you’re a progressive in the middle of a pap smear, right?

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