Sidewalk Ghosts /LOL — Loud, Obnoxious, Loving

I asked; is this the way it always is here? With smile on their faces, and in perfect harmony, they all resoundingly agreed, “YES!!”

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

For my haircut, well that’s nothing–my wife, electric shaver, trusty number two blade, and I’m good. You see, Mother Nature has found a wonderful way to save us sixty bucks a month with my hairline, or lack there of. So less the start-up investment of a modified version of sheep shears, I figure I’m a cost saver, but with this, it never gives me any time for salon gossip. What’s a guy to do?

So when my wife extended an invite a tag along to Wana’s Hair Studio, I gladly accepted the offer. To be part of a ladies beauty day had to be an entertaining proposition, Right? Opportunity to first hand be at the epicenter of what I was guessing would be the best of the best in good old salon chatter, and taking it as an honorable right of passage, I whole-heartedly accepted.

My definition of a beauty salon: Take one part styling, mix it with one part social activity and top it off with five parts of psychological therapy. That about does it.

The set up: I stayed up way too late with my daughter and writing the night before. Was paying the price for lack of sleep and my family was starting to feel the toll of this project. No disservice to today’s friend, Homyra, a very cool lady that I will be introducing to you soon, but in sincerity to the transparency I promised you, I’m humbling up in this entry to open my life a little further to you. To that point of the journey my family had been with me, but on this day we hit the first real bump. Not that they were non-accepting or lacking support of the project, they were 100% behind me. However, we did go through a total emotional meltdown.

You see, I had kept my daughter up way too late the previous evening, probably not the wisest or most responsible choice to keep a lovely, but moody eight-year-old up two hours past her bedtime. A mistake we were all paying for post our time at Wana’s that day. The salon time was admittedly relaxing. A real highlight to the afternoon, however, upon leaving the sanctuary of its walls, the day slowly unraveled. A reality that I witnessed when beloved wife left our home for several walks of parental time-out. All part of a series of events happening in the background of my writing session, the culmination, as my wife walked out the door, was my being drafted to deescalate my overly sugared-up little darling who was very upset over the length of her chosen hairstyle.

At first, I almost lost it. Thinking the sheep shears my wife used to trim me to a number two earlier that day were a most promising solution. But that was just my frustrated mind taking over. I readjusted to a more benevolent fatherly approach. Calming the moment as she agreed to allow me the time to finish my writing as my lovely wife walked back into the house. My nerves frayed I did my best to settle my thoughts so that I could give my full attention to the evenings entry.

The account above was about as organic as it could get. Written in the moment in keeping true to the promise I had made, and continue to uphold in the sharing of Sidewalk Ghosts. That being, no matter what happened, or is happening in my life, I will not let you down by not entering a daily blog and in keeping it transparent. We have all vested far too much effort to get to past the eight-year point in this outreach, and in support of the life bettering movement we are growing, it is now time to get back to the wisdom of today’s stranger-now-friend.

Flash back to earlier that evening as I politely introduce you to Homyra.

The scene: I was sitting in reception chair number one (at least that’s what I’m calling it), and as all waiting husbands do, I was happily flipping through the hair magazines, reflecting on the good old days when I had hair to style.

But contrary to my anticipated curiosity for good dirt on who’s doing what with who, I was caught off guard by a different buzz. One that was a touch different from what I’d felt at the swanky Beverly Hills salons. I promise, I’m not bagging on Beverly Hills. I like the community and have many friends there, it’s just the vibe of Wana’s grabbed me in a unique way. Lots of outward smiles, lots of open group conversations, and with the expected movement of a room full of stylists and customers, not a single gossip point was thrown into the air.

From the salon, run by three sisters, all long ago immigrants from Afghanistan (they got out before things got too bad) arose my friend of the day, Homyra, the youngest of the sisters who came to the United States when she was four.

Happy and vibrant, she told me of her challenges in being the youngest of a somewhat traditional family. Yet even as we talked of such things, her sisters kicked in with sarcastically supporting comments from across the room. This family was a blast. They agreed and disagreed with the same compassion and commitment of a charging bull. But there was no way to ignore both their quick harassing wit and loving unity.

I asked; is this the way it always is here? With smile on their faces, and in perfect harmony, they all resoundingly agreed, “YES!!” Back to business they went as all customers gave out an advocating smile or nod.

They told me of a family vacation where eleven family members crammed into one Las Vegas hotel room and of they’re sleeping sideways and on floors. With emotions high and low their stories had my stomach cramping with laughter.

My take away? Homyra came from a great and loving family. She opened my to her culture and I was a better person for being allowed in.

We chuckled hard as we invented a new definition for LOL. Our version: Loud, Obnoxious, Loving.

I’d spent an hour in the eye of a beauty salon storm. A great staging for the evening I was earlier explaining through my introduction of home stress. In a way my own reincarnation of the re-written definition of LOL.

Per Homyra’s counsel to the world, she left 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 as we closed our chat, Homyra amended, “and I’m doing my best to live by my council.”

Not sure if you are wondering how the day ended at my house, or if you are thinking my little angel became a full-blown devil. Well as I finished my writing, she came into the room, kissed me on the head, and said in a sweet and childlike tone, “Daddy, dinner is ready.”

The storm had cleared.

Talk tomorrow my good friends,


Readers, if you are returning, so nice to be with you again. If you are new, looking forward to getting to know you.

To all: please comment, like, and forward. Every engagement goes a long way toward connecting us; as together, we grow a movement that betters the way we view and treat one another.