Saturday, February 20, 2010

Service Boot Camp: The Best Bad Haircut I Ever Got

Letter from Basic: Day 20

Wow, just when I thought that Service Boot Camp couldn't get much more realistic...I went out tonight to get a long-overdue "cut & color" and returned with the worst hair cut and color job I have had in at least the last 12 years. And no, I am not exaggerating.

If I had thought that my stylist was capable of it, I would have just asked her to go ahead and give me one of those military-style buzz cuts so I could get a fresh start...but I'm pretty sure that also wasn't a skill she kept in her beauty school tool belt.

Instead, I stayed in the chair and politely pointed out the parts that needed to be fixed (basically the whole thing) and did not leave that chair until someone else came over (twice) to fix her many mistakes.

Sadly, by that time, what length I had grown out since Thanksgiving was lying on the floor, and my hair color was still...not good. It took at least an hour longer than it should have (time that I could have been home with my family), and I still paid pretty good money to have this harrowing experience.

Don't get me wrong. My stylist was a sweet girl. I could sense that she came from a rough home situation. And I felt for her. I honestly did. Seeing the mistakes that she made, and watching her trying to fix them unsuccessfully on her own, made me ache for her, more than for my vain self. She was trying her best, and she had only been cutting hair for 2.5 months...a fact I didn't know until halfway through our encounter.

Nevertheless, my hair...was her.

But in the moment, as I was contemplating what I would say to her in parting,
choice words such as "you should be fired" didn't even come to mind.

Instead, my love for her overpowered my selfish pride.

Instead, I said sincerely, "It's ok. (smile) Don't worry, you will get better."

Perhaps I did a huge disservice to every woman who will go to her for a haircut in the future.
But maybe, just maybe, I did us both a favor tonight.

Who knows?

Day 20: Practicing grace again this evening.
Lately, I have wondered just who is running this Boot Camp, anyway.
I definitely feel two forces pulling on me. And it weighs on me.

But I am determined to allow my experiences to teach me and to change me into the person that the Lord needs me to be. Tonight, as I watched this poor girl fumble with her comb and scissors, I couldn't help but catch of glimpse of the Lord's perspective. It must be heartbreaking for Him to sit back and watch as I pitifully struggle and stumble. But I am very thankful...that during these times especially, He has only encouraging words to show that He believes in me, and that I will, in fact, get better.

As I type this, I realize that tonight was not about getting a haircut at all.
Given the insight that I have gained on how the Lord sees me, tonight's experience was worth much more than what I paid for it. Had I realized all of this before I left the salon, I would have added "Thank You," to my closing remarks.

A Note about the Photos: These photos are here simply to illustrate what happened when my kids "helped" me make bread this week. Wheat sure is a blast. Note the Martha Stewart cookbook on the table...which is really making me laugh, after the fact.
Welcome to OUR cooking school, Martha!


  1. you're a saint...hope you wear a bag over your head to church today. lol!

  2. I love that you took a negative situation and learned a valuable lesson from it. Way to go Jocelyn! (I feel like I say that a lot on your blog) I had a really bad cut and color that cost a lot of money and 3 hours of my time. I didn't say anything, next time I will remember your story.

  3. i am so sorry...but at least hair does grow. But look at adorable with those piggy tails!

    but you have always been able to make your hair look nice. let the ends relax and they'll be ready for your curling touch.

  4. So, I agree with your mom, I think we need to see a picture to fully appreciate your grace in the situation. I'm not sure I would be so graceful.

  5. hey, we all have to go through at least a couple of these bad haircuts in our life! I've had at least two! are'll be fine.

  6. Hey Somer - I posted some pics in the next post, but those were after-AFTER photos...after the other woman came over twice to fix my cut...To fully appreciate the magnitude, you'd've had to been there. Patience paid off though. I'm getting used to the short-short style now.