Earlier this year, I changed hair stylists after having been with my previous stylist for over a decade. My decision had nothing to do with the stylist, but with the COVID-protocols (or lack thereof) my former stylist’s salon was taking.
Like many salons, even the new salon lifted its mask mandate in late June. I was concerned about bringing Isabelle — who is unvaccinated due to her age — in this fall for a haircut. Our new stylist agreed to add Isabelle’s curly cut on to the end of a weekend day so we’d be the only ones in the salon.
Two days prior to the haircut, I received a confirmation for an earlier arrival time. I called the salon to find out why that happened. Apparently, things got mixed up and we were moved to an earlier time, which didn’t thrill me since we were supposed to be arriving when it’d just be us at the salon. I told the receptionist I was concerned that Isabelle would be in the salon with a lot of unmasked people. The receptionist told me she’d chat with our stylist and would call me back later in the day.
When the receptionist called me back, she told me to still bring Isabelle in at the earlier time, but promised me that everyone in the salon would be masked. I was skeptical it would be possible to ask all of the clients in there to wear masks. However, I figured it was worth trying. Worst possible case scenario: we could leave if there was someone hacking in another stylist’s chair.
Isabelle and I walked in at precisely 2 o’clock. Once I hung up our coats, I looked around. The receptionist, both stylists who were still there, and each of their clients were wearing masks. Tears began to well up in my eyes. Isabelle went to the bathroom and I grabbed the receptionist to thank her profusely.
She shrugged it off. “That’s what I’m here for.”
“No, you don’t understand,” I continued. “Everything for the past 19+ months has been complicated. Everything we do is a calculation of how much risk I’m willing to take. I can’t begin to tell you how much this means to me.”
I could see her smile through her mask. (It is possible to see someone’s smile even when they’re wearing a mask!)
I’m eagerly awaiting the FDA’s decision about vaccines for children ages 5-11 since I am hoping this will lead to our family being able to return to some semblance of normalcy. While I’ve committed to homeschooling this school year, I am planning to have the kids resume activities like Hebrew school, art classes, and museum visits. Heck, I just want to be able to take my kids to the grocery store again without worrying whether a quick trip inside will be a grave mistake! (NOTE: Like many Americans, we live in a place with high transmission and no local mask mandates.)
8 thoughts on “A Sprinkling of Kindness!”
Let me just say that it is no small thing to change hair stylists – a sacrifice of love, indeed. I can also relate to the need to do so for lack of protocols. There are people who still believe COVID is a hoax; I cannot fathom it. At school we continue to space children out at breakfast and at lunch, all across the building, requiring 4x the staff to supervise and clean properly – it is extremely taxing but we do it every day, because safety is first. If nothing else, shouldn’t we err on the side of caution? What a gesture of respect and grace on the part of the new stylist and salon! When it comes down to it, I think that’s the issue: respect. I am glad to see it still has a heartbeat…
The moment in which you tell the receptionist about everything being complicated- that is it. You capture a universal truth there.
The worry and then the gratitude felt as you walked into the salon comes through so well in this piece. It also gave me a glimpse of living with small ones during Covid. It’s just my husband and me at home now as our kids are grown. Reading another persepctive is so I can quickly start to only consider things from my point of view. Thanks for sharing.
I believe we will all have deeper eye wrinkles because we have to smile bigger beneath our masks- to make our eyes also smile. You can totally see a smile beneath a mask. What a sweet gesture from your salon. They showed you that you matter and they value your business. Kindness goes a long way these days!
I was wondering today if people including children could tell I am smiling behind my mask. Smizing so to speak. This pandemic has been so difficult for our youngest humans. I think of the complete disruption of life as we hoped for them. I hope soon we will all be safer.
What a moment of kindness – it made my eyes tear up just to read about it. As I’m writing, the vaccine has been approved for 5-11 year olds. Surely Canada is next? I can’t wait to get our family back to something approaching community. Fingers crossed for museums and grocery stores – and thank goodness for the kindness of others.
Stacey, I have so much admiration for parents right now. It has to be so hard to navigate this world for your children. What a beautiful story this was! You don’t hear this kind of thing very often. If I lived closer, I’d want to switch to this salon just for their kindness (okay, it’s a bonus that her curls are cut so beautifully).
My stylist is great, but my son’s former barber not so much. I’m about two weeks past when I should have found someone new. I totally understand how you felt when you took Isabel in.