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We've tried bribery. We've begged. We've pleaded. All to no avail. After all of our years together, she's leaving us.
Yep. My family's hairstylist is retiring.
We're panicking. And it's not just me; the kids are in a tizzy, too. With the exception of a handful of occasions when our schedules didn't mesh, no one else has ever cut our hair.
Now, if you're a man reading this, you likely won't understand our dilemma. "What's the big deal?" you're thinking. But I can pretty much anticipate the thought from many women: "Oh, you poor girl. I feel for you!"
Shannon is retiring. Well, she's retiring from her part-time job anyway. She has a full-time job as a special education teacher. She put herself through school with a job as a hairstylist. When she started teaching, she kept a shop and did haircuts every other Saturday.
But, now, she has had the nerve to actually retire. She even accepted a marriage proposal from some state trooper named Herman. What kinda name is Herman anyway?
That's beside the point. The most important part is that in July she is moving and giving up her shop.
How dare she. What a colossal nerve.
Does she understand how merely the thought of having to find another hairstylist has devastated us? We're going to have to talk to a gazillion people to find another stylist as good as she is ... was.
And if that doesn't "take the cake," as my mother would say (oh, and both of my parents have to find another stylist, too!), she is also my cousin.
For years now, our haircuts haven't simply been haircuts. They've been family visits. We hang out and chat and catch each other up. We make an afternoon of it about every four weeks.
Now, though, it's like she's divorcing us.
I even offered to cook dinner once a month for her whole new family. All she had to do was bring her scissors and make a few snips after dessert. But, no, she said, if she cut ours, there were too many others in our family who wouldn't think that was quite fair.
OK, sure, Shannon has a right to be happy like the rest of us. And, yeah, if her husband already has a nice house, why shouldn't she move and live in it with him. And, all right already, I'll admit that it makes good sense that she won't have to work two jobs anymore.
But, still ... I feel abandoned.
She and I have been through a marriage and the births of our children together. We've also supported each other through a divorce and then my remarriage.
I guess this means it's my turn to support her through hers.
And I am thrilled that she has found a good guy like I did. Honest I am. But I can still complain ... can't I?
I just better not find out that she's cutting Herman's hair.