Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hair's a Good Story About Eyes

This evening, I had a hair appointment. Everything started out fairly normal, except that they were out of clean smocks, so I had to keep my shirt on. It was an off-white shirt that I like, but I wasn't too worried about it. I was enjoying my typical entertaining conversation with my stylist, Shelly, while she added color and foiled my hair. My long hair, held up with purple foil, was sticking up everywhere.

Shelly then looked me in the eyes and asked me if I wanted to have my eyebrows done. Right about then, the whole salon went black. No kidding! This was a first for me. All the ladies in the salon began gabbing loudly:

"Where are the candles?"

"Who has a lighter?"

"How am I going to go to work tomorrow with half a haircut?"

"The whole street is blacked out!"

"Let's get outta here before the ghosts start acting up."


"Yeah, strange things happen in this place."


"Who has a key to lock up?"

"Turn off the water. Don't shampoo! Our water pump doesn't work without electricity."

"These candles are great!"

"Can you come to my house to finish my color & cut?"

"Where's a candle? I need to find my scissors."

"I can't find my purse."

While all of this commotion was going on, I found my blinking cell phone in my purse and confirmed with my husband that we had power at home. My husband joked, "tell them to pay their electric bill." No one else thought it was funny. I asked Shelly if she would follow me to my house to finish my color and cut. She agreed.

"Where are my keys?" someone said.

"Don't worry about paying."

"Let me put a cap on your hair. Don't let your head touch your car seat."

"Blow out all the candles."

"I can't find my cell phone."

"Can I borrow your phone?"

And so it went until we all finally huddled around the door and walked out together into the darkness. As I walked out the door, I was glad that I had my shirt on and not one of those loose doctor's-office-like polyester smocks. Headlights from passing cars provided moments of light as we all found our way to our cars. The clock was ticking for me or who knows what color my hair might turn. She followed me home, even though her gas tank was on empty. She wanted to get gas first, but the gas stations were down too. No power, no gas.

Shelly said that she hoped that this was the end of time, because she'd rather be in heaven anyway. At times like this, I'm reminded of the story that Stephen King tells in his book, The Stand. It's an eerie time when people are dying of of plagues and every modern convenience is shut down. No electricity, no running water, no phones, no roads. People are so ill that they're dying along the roads, so the roads become impassable. It's miserable for the people left behind.

And that reminds me of the Left Behind series telling the story of Revelations to come:

...on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.

On this night, Shelly and I both made it to my house. She disassembled the foil in the laundry room. I shampooed my own hair in the tub. Then she did my cut on our back porch, while I coaxed my husband into trying a new, more spiked style. So then he got a great cut.

Shelly didn't know what to charge. She left it completely up to me. She said that she wasn't sure which one of us should pay the other tonight. She's great! She's customer focused because she looks straight into the eyes of all her customers. That's the nature of her business. I gave her a hug and walked her to the door. Many people are too far removed from their customers and may never look into their eyes.

Who are your customers?

Do you have the advantage of looking into their eyes?

If your lights went out, would you leave them behind?

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