SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 35: A New Definition For “LOL”

My daughter receiving the royal treatment at Wana’s.

Hair and nail day for the Radstone women and a chance for me to take five from the office.

For my haircut, the usual routine is a meeting with my wife, trusty number 2 blade length, and a an electric shaver. You see, mother nature has found a wonderful way to save us $60 bucks a month, less the start-up investment of a modified version of sheep shears.

So when my wife extends an invite to tag along to Wana’s Hair Studio, I gladly accept the offer to be part of ladies salon day out.

My definition of a beauty salon, “Take one part styling, mix it with one part social activity and top it off with 5 parts of psychological therapy.”

OK, let’s get honest here in this entry. It’s been a long day. Last night I stayed up way too late with my daughter and writing my 365 entry. And today, I’m paying the price. No disservice to today’s friend, Homyra, a very cool lady that I will be introducing to you soon.

But in sincerity to the 365 journey I’ve so willingly promised to you, I’m humbling up a little in this night’s entry to open my life a little further to you. So far my family has been with me. This evening we hit the first real bump. Not that they are non-accepting or lacking support of the project, they are 100% behind me. Rather, it’s a total emotional meltdown.

It’s not the wisest choice to keep a lovely, but moody eight-year-old up two hours past her bedtime; a mistake we are all paying for today. Wana’s was a highlight of the afternoon, however, since leaving the sanctuary of its walls, the day has slowly been unraveling. I have literally witnessed my beloved bride leave for several walks of parent time-out. As I write I am soothed my overly sugared-up little darling, very upset at the length of her chosen hair style.

She and I have just agreed to allow me the time to finish this entry and with my lovely wife now back in the house (from walk number ?#?), I do my best to settle my nerves so that I can give you my evenings entry.

As I have promised, no matter what, I will not let you down by not entering a daily blog. We have all vested too much effort to get to 35 days, and even though this night is not picture perfect, it would be a great disservice to not publish the  wisdom of today’s new friend.

So without any further delay (and venting over,) it’s time for me to fully and politely introduce you to Homyra.

I’m sitting in reception chair number one (at least that’s what I’m calling it), flipping through the monthly hair mags. As I reflect on the good old days (when I had hair to style), I take time to glimpse around the salon.

There is a buzz in the air. One that is a touch different from what I’ve felt at the swanky Beverly Hills salons I’ve done photo work for. I promise, I’m not bagging on Beverly Hills. I like the community and have many friends there – just this vibe is grabbing me today. Lots of upward smiles, lots of open conversations and not a single person is ignored or not involved in some activity other than the ritual of hair styling. Wana’s is a rocking place! More social than business of hair cutting.

The salon is run by three sisters, all long ago immigrants from Afghanistan. They got out before things got too bad. My friend of the day, Homyra, the youngest of the three, came to the states when she was four.

Happy and vibrant, she tells me of her challenges being the youngest of a somewhat traditional family. Yet even as we talk of such things, her sisters kick in, exclaiming supporting comments from across the room. This family is a blast. They agree and disagree with the same compassion and commitment of a charging bull. But there is no way to ignore either their quick sarcastic wit, or their loving unity.

I ask, “Is this the way it always is here?” With smile on their faces they all resoundingly agree, “YES!!” and back to business.

They tell me of a family vacation where eleven family members crammed into one Las Vegas hotel room. Sleeping sideways, on floors, emotions high and low. Their stories have my stomach cramping with laughter.

My take away? Homyra comes from a great and loving family. My eyes are opened to her culture and I’m a better person for being allowed in.

We laugh and invent a new definition for LOL. Our version: Loud, Obnoxious, Loving.

I’ve spent an hour in the eye of a beauty salon storm. A great staging for the evening I’m now experiencing at home now with my own utilization of the new definition of LOL.

Per Homyra’s counsel to the world, she leaves us with this:

“Live each day to the fullest. No regrets, life is short. Do things that excite you and try something scary'”

Words that in closing our chat, Homyra says, “I’m doing my best to live by my council.”

Hey check this out, my daughter just came into the room, kisses me on the head, and says, “Daddy, dinner is ready.”

Guess the storm has cleared.

FYI: I finished writing this entry hours ago. Had to take my family up on the dinner time. And yes, my girls are sound asleep.

Talk tomorrow friends!

Homyra sends me one of her favorite photos.