It’s Thoughtful Thursday! What I learned from Betty’s weekly hair appointment!

One of my earliest memories is my Dad making dinner for us on Friday nights.  He only cooked on Fridays because that was when Mom was at the hairdresser for her weekly appointment.  I probably remember those dinners so well because Dad only cooked two things:

Scrambled eggs or Tuna glop.

I believe the ” Tuna Glop” consisted of a can of tuna mixed with cream of celery soup served over cornbread.  It’s about as appealing as it sounds.

Some Fridays we made out if Mom cooked ahead of time and had it ready so the only thing Dad had to do was serve it.  Back then I really didn’t get why Mom had to have this weekly outing.  Now many years later I understand it was probably her only time away from us kids and the house.  It was her girlfriend time.  I’m sure there was a 1960’s Steel Magnolias thing going on at the shop and not only did the new “do” make her feel better but I’m sure the time away with other women did as well.

I remember going with her on a couple of occasions when her appointment was not on a Friday evening and I always thought it was strange to see the women in their curlers under those big bulbous hairdryers sleeping.  My 6 or 7 year old self couldn’t understand why anyone would want to nap under a hairdryer.  Why would anyone voluntarily take a nap?  Of course I get it now and it seems like the perfect plan and the roots of multi-tasking: new hair do, girlfriend time and a little nap..the perfect trifecta..add in some wine and it would be amazing.

So fast forward a couple of decades and a change of location. My siblings and I are  grown but the one thing we know for sure is that you don’t mess with Betty’s hair appointment.  A tornado, hurricane or the apocalypse would be coming and you could be sure Betty would some how, some way make it to her hair appointment.

I still didn’t get this ( much like I didn’t get the napping earlier).  I mean what happens if a hair appointment got skipped?   I knew what would happen!  Mom would be unhappy and  my family knows “If Betty ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy.”

A couple of years ago my Dad started chauffeuring  Mom to her hair appointments.  He would regale the hairdressers with his latest jokes or stories, ask about their families, settle himself in with his newspaper and visit with those who were waiting their turns. My father was the original social butterfly..he truly loved to chat and have good conversations.  The shop in turn loved my Dad.

I started to “get” why this shop was so special when the week of his 90th birthday they honored Dad with a surprise cake, candles, cards and treated him to a  shampoo and blow dry with what little hair he had left.  He was thrilled and touched.  I heard all about it from Mom. She went on and on about how Bonnie and Joy and everyone else there had fun celebrating Dad.

When Dad unexpectedly passed away in March I took Mom for her hair appointment.  Now I really got it.  For one the shop is as nice as it could be. Not large but just so warm and lovely.  Bonnie and Joy talked with me, told me how they loved my Dad, how they made sure he had his favorite cookies, his favorite red cup and how he was intrigued by the Keurig coffee maker and loved the hazelnut coffee which they, of course, made sure was there for him.

Their concern for my Mom as nothing short of amazing.  As we left they handed us an abundance of food, their phone numbers, email addresses ..just about everything except one of their sinks.

And now some 4 months later I don’t like to miss the appointment with my Mom.  It is a community of love and support.  They even washed and blew dry my hair as a treat for being there for my Mom.  It IS Steel Magnolias.   I so get it!!  Its not just the hair do..it’s an infusion of joy and love and I am ever so grateful to them.  Here’s to the crew at Side Street Salon in Springfield, VA….Joy, Bonnie, Rosario, Sara and Natalie and everyone else who brightens Thursdays for us. Yes her appointment is always on a Thursday..so perfect!  A living Thoughtful Thursday if I ever saw one.

Now go out and make it a Thoughtful one for you and someone else!

A little crazy yes but this “new” writing tool is awesome!

Before you think I have totally lost it read the whole post and then you will “get it”!

So one of the things my husband and I love to do is go to auctions.  Sometimes we buy stuff sometimes we don’t but it’s usually a good time and we see some interesting things.  I go mostly to keep Paul from buying something just because it’s a “good deal”, as in” Um no we do not need that Krispy Kreme Donut Cart”!   Novelty yes, useful no.  That’s one of many examples that come to mind.  Plus we still have my parents’ house to unload and that pretty much kills our desire to want to add anything new to our possession collection

We needed a break  one week-end  from house stuff, paperwork..pretty much life in general so we went to an auction/estate sale. Of course we picked the hottest Saturday of the year and it was an outside auction.

How this guy got all this stuff into his little house is beyond me.  So much stuff.  Made my parents’ basement look like just a few things ( trust me it’s not).  Most of it was collectible toys, Nascar stuff..nothing that would much interest me so I started to wander around the yard ( 4 outbuildings with stuff and more items in the yard).  I tell you it was like a scene from American Pickers..they would have loved it.

No kitchen sink but a bathtub!

So amidst the rusted bathtubs, old bikes and such was a pristine, almost new in box Olympia Portable Typewriter  It was just sitting in the grass being totally ignored.  So I kept walking by it, intrigued.  It had me at first glance!

My husband couldn’t believe I wanted to bid on it.  He thought I was crazy …  yup thats me!  So just for grins I took it up to be auctioned off and got it for a whopping sum of $10.

As we are lugging it back to the car ( that sucker is heavy) I wondered what I had done but when I got it home I made some interesting discoveries.

Surprisingly the ribbon was still good.  I doubt this guy ever opened the case.  More importantly I was having fun with it.  Yes it took longer than  a laptop and there was no way to correct mistakes but guess what?  The only thing I can do on that thing is write.  There was no urge to check facebook, or email or shop at Amazon.  No looking up facts or photos I could use.  It was the perfect no distraction writing tool.

[bctt tweet=”A manual typerwriter is the perfect no distraction writing tool! http://www.seejenntri.com/a-little-crazy-y…-tool-is-awesome-2407 #writing #no distractions” username=”jenniferbross”]

It does have two problems.  One it’s incredible noisy.  I think this is why writers found it better to be alone in some secluded room or at a cabin in the mountains.  I really could not write into the night without keeping everyone awake.  And though it claims to be a “portable” typewriter in reality it’s not.

I entertained myself with the thought of lugging it into Starbucks and writing on it.  They would probably throw me out.  Perfect Seinfeld episode where Kramer tells everyone typewriters are making a comeback and pretty soon all the coffee shops are filled with typewriters driving everyone else crazy.  Makes me laugh just thinking about it.

The other positive is it makes me think about all the writers before me who only had this to write on..kinda cool.  Think about all the war correspondents who lugged something like this around.  Good exercise for sure.

Yes anything I write on it will eventually have to be put on the computer but there is no danger of me accidentally deleting it, and no dependency on the internet or electricity.  Seriously though everything anyone writes goes through several rewrites anyways so what’s the big deal?

I won’t write everything on it and I certainly won’t be lugging it on an airplane but for now I am having fun and enjoying the distraction free writing.  Probably the best 10 bucks I have spent in a long time.

Oh and my husband still thinks I’m crazy…good thing he loves crazy!  🙂

 

So what do I do??

I imagined this scene the other day where I was at a dinner party and someone asked me ” So what do you do?”

In my somewhat twisted mind that is a bit of a loaded question. I could answer everything from “well I walk my dog everyday”  to “I’m a nurse” to  ( if I really feel like being a smart ass)  “I “do” lots of things like sleep, eat, drink, laundry, dishes……”  Yet I know in reality and in my imagined scene they were asking what I do for work and I reply “I am a writer”and this person says:

“Oh really?  And would I be familiar with any of your works?”  “What have you written?” Not that ANY of my friends talk like that and it was recently suggested to me that if they do I need to get new friends but lets move on.

Of course they are expecting me to name a book  they can find on Amazon or in their local Barnes & Noble, or a magazine article or some newspaper byline  but in reality my answer would be ( again with a touch of smart ass)  ” Well lets see I’ve written tons of grocery and to-do lists, papers for school, permission slips for kids and nurses notes but I doubt you would find any of those on Amazon

“Oh and I blog.”

Finally a somewhat plausible answer to that question. In reality the real answer is “I am a writer other because I write.” I write for pleasure, for the joy of it,for personal soothing,as a release and because I love creating sentences out of words. Just because you can’t find me in Barnes & Noble doesn’t mean I am not a writer. I am a writer because I write. End of story….pun intended just so I can entertain myself!

It is the same with running (or whatever you favorite activity is). I am a runner because I run. When people ask me about a race as in “How did you do”  I use to think they were asking for my race results and I would hesitate and stumble over my answer and the words “slow” and “not very good” often punctuated the sentences I managed to form.

I quit doing that awhile back when I realized that my finishing time did NOT matter. What mattered was I did the race or the daily run and I was out there running. So the answer I always give now to “How was the race?” is “It was great! ” “I had a blast and I’m so glad I did it!” Sometimes people will clarify their question. “No I mean what was your finishing time?” And I say truthfully “I have no idea!” “I started, I finished and I had fun!” If they keep talking I keep walking!

So claim your answer to whatever it is you do! [bctt tweet=”If you bike you are a cyclist, if you write you are a writer. Whatever it is you do that brings you joy please claim it.” username=”jenniferbross”]

Do fill your paper with the “breathings of your heart” or your belly if it is a grocery list..or fill the air with your beautiful music, or your soul with poetry…as Nike says “Just do it”

And don’t forget to have fun while you are doing it and above all else you have my permission to channel your inner smart ass when answering that question “What do you do?”

Now go out and tri!