Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Haircut Long Overdue

It all started because I was too embarrassed to reschedule an appointment.

I am a walk-in kind of guy when it comes to haircuts. When I need one, I usually go to a salon or barber shop that does not require an appointment.

When I moved to Franklin, there was a national chain salon that took walk-ins. For about six months, I was a regular customer. Then one day, the shop went out of business and I needed someone else to cut my hair. Liz worked at one of the locally owned and operated salons where my wife gets her hair cut. However, I couldn't just walk in. I had to make an appointment.

Liz cut my hair for almost two years. At first, I got my hair cut on Mondays since I normally take that day off. When the owner decided to close the shop on Mondays, I scheduled my appointment first thing in the morning so I could head to the church at a reasonable time. Often I would forget. On my way to Saint Andrew's it would hit me somewhere around the intersection of US-58 and US-460 -- "Oh, no. I forgot my appointment."

I would call Liz and apologize. She was always a good sport about it and we would reschedule. After my third or fourth time absence, I became known as "The Person Most Likely to Miss an Appointment." One day as I sat waiting to have my hair cut, one of the other stylists asked Liz if her nine o'clock stood her up again.

That was kind of embarrassing but I deserved it. After all, a missed appointment is lost income for a stylist. I would try to make up for it by giving Liz a more generous tip but I still felt bad.

Then last October I did it again. I forgot my nine o'clock appointment! I called Liz to apologize but did not reschedule since my planner was not handy.

Several weeks passed and I really needed a haircut. But I kept putting it off. A few more weeks went by. I decided I was going to let my hair grow out. Maybe even let it get long enough to tie back or even braid it. (I know it sounds silly because I feel silly just typing these words.)

Susan was supportive at first. However, by February my hair was curling up in the back and I could not get it to stay straight. Susan was not thrilled with my new look. I did not care much for it either but I thought that maybe in another two or three months I could pull it back.

Three more months passed – eight since my last haircut -- and I could not take it anymore. When I took my car to a quick-lube for an oil change on a recent Monday morning, I walked into the hair salon inside the Franklin Wal-Mart without an appointment and got my long-needed hair cut.

I went eight months without a hair cut because I was too embarrassed to call Liz. I convinced myself that I did not need my hair cut and I would let it grow. I was only fooling myself.

Sometimes we treat God the same way. Our pride or, perhaps, shame prevents us from coming clean when we regret something we have done. Then we convince ourselves there was never really a problem. We go on living as if everything is alright until one day we discover the truth and get right with God again.

I am glad God is patient and waits for me to get right with Him when I mess up. I don't need to carry around that pride or shame. I can always come clean without fear of judgment. God encourages me to live my life with integrity.

Turns out that Liz is pretty forgiving as well and was glad to hear from me when I called. I have an appointment for her to cut my hair in May. She suggested that Saturdays might work better for me. I hope I don't forget this appointment.