Friday, May 8, 2009

The lady in the wig and other people with imperfect lives

"My wife ... well she is going to her honeymoon in Bahamas next month " my hairstylist laughs lightly while washing my hair " with another guy mind you.. oh yes I am totally fine..I think we will stay as friends"

Out of ear shot of his colleagues when he leads me for the hair cut – his eyes are full of hurt as we look at each other in the mirror.

He goes on "Last month I got home to find her sitting on the porch .. she said she needed to find herself" here he makes air quotes around the find herself.

"The next morning she put everything in my name and just packed and left. I have been bringing her things for the other girls in the saloon. What am I going to do with all these handbags and shoes"

I am struggling to reconcile the image of this woman( someone who leaves her marriage on a hunch ) with the girl I once met at the Mall with him.

They looked just like any other couple. The remarkable thing was her flawless skin. When I complimented her on it – she laughed loudly and said "Good make up is all "( winning many brownie points with me )

He continues "She is getting married on my birthday .Can you believe it . I just told myself .. that every year on her anniversary she will think this was my first husband's birthday"

Its hard to turn around to give a tight hug when someone has your hair in scissors. I have a feeling that warm sympathy would be out of place anyways.

Angryoutrageonyourbehalf is usually a better way to express sympathy in situations when it can be confused with pity- no?

So I say "That is just crazy …She obviously had problems. Clearly nothing to do with you.!"

"She is marrying a guy 2 years younger than her dad " he continues.

I tell him" Well I hope he is rich"

One big change I have noticed in LAA ( Life after Autism ) is that due to my seemingly imperfect life(motherofhandicappedchild), people tell me the truth

The truth about themselves I mean.

Its as though my apparent imperfect life(however perfect I may think it is ) releases them from an expectation of judgment.

Its very nice.

Like the way we Autie moms connect with each other.

Like how freely and intensely I had talked about a year and a half ago to a lady I met at an airport – a complete stranger – simply because she was wearing a wig on her head-and so looked like she was in chemo( she was ) . Once I talked about Autism, she talked freely about what a monster cancer was but she thought she finally had it beat !

As the blowdryer is on now – cutting off further conversation – I ponder about why do we wonder so much what people think?

The first truth really, is that most of the time people are thinking of themselves or even wondering about what WE are thinking.

However its so automatic to us – in fact I am doing it at that very time as an old lady on the chair behind me is staring at me.

Is she xenophobic?

It would be a pity because I so liked her loud laugh and her strident, specific instructions to her stylist about exactly what she wanted her hair to look like. She is not beautiful by any means but her attitude – even while carrying a cane and being very overweight – have made me smile and I would have liked her to like me ( kind of how I secretly want EVERYbody to like me )

Still she is staring away and I am thinking of the other truth

The second truth of course is that we cannot do anything about anyone else's thoughts.

I resolutely turn my mind away from the lady.

We come to the end and the hair stylist and I are back to our breeziness.

Like turtles who had temporarily shed our shells in a safe place we are putting them back on before we can go out into the world.

And so I tell him it's now his time to be a carefree bachelor again. Yup no more boring married life for him, he lies back.

As I walk past the loud lady she says" I can't take my eyes of you.. such beautiful hair.. I would kill for hair like yours"

I thank her and think of the third truth.

Which is that sometimes while they may be thinking about us.

Those thoughts may be nice ones






Lyndsey said...

I just knew she was staring because she thought you were gorgeous!!:)

It is so true, about thinking that everyone is staring at you because they're thinking something negative, when in reality they're probably just staring at a fixed point (which happens to be you or something near you) while being consumed with an insecurity or issue of their own. Although sometimes they really are staring at you and thinking something completely opposite of what you think they are; something even positive or envious.

Fingers crossed--I may be moving into your neighborhood next month!

robin said...

I wonder too about what people are thinking. I've started doing what I like others to do...when I see a pretty colored blouse on someone, I mention that to them; or when I admire something about someone, I say that thought. It always makes my day so I try to pass it on. I also makes me smile when I say it...and I need to smile more.

Anonymous said...

=) Great story. I should remember that third I tend to get really defensive. Maybe people aren't thinking anything bad after all. Man, I have problems!

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