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Wednesday, September 14, 2011


This post is a copy of one I posted to my private blog.  I hope you enjoy it.  Alice

In my last post, I mentioned an interesting conversation I had with Sherrie, my hairdresser of several years.  First though, I have to say, I hate getting my hair done.  Way back in my twenties, I started getting it highlighted.  In all its natural glory, my hair is a very dull and unflattering shade of brown.  Some might call it "mousy" but I think mice are cute and my hair color definitely isn't that.  So coloring it is a necessary evil on the way to that elusive thing called "beauty".  Getting my hair highlighted, cut and blow-dried takes at least two and a half hours.  The results are nice but the chair time is pure torture, worse if the stylist is either not fun to talk to or uses me as a therapist as one short-lived stylist did.  I truly felt like she was a guest on Jerry Springer and, while I tried to give helpful advice, I could see right away that it was a lost cause.  The clincher was when she dribbled hair gunk on my shirt that bleached the color out of the sleeve.
So--I moved on to Sherrie who is cheerful, attractive, nice to talk to and does a consistently good job on my hair.  She is also from Iran.  That comes up occasionally.  I find her stories about life in Iran fascinating.  One time she told me that the penalties for crimes like stealing are so stiff that shops are left wide open in the middle of the day as people go to pray.  Alcohol is illegal.  If a person is caught with it, the consequence is serious jail time.  Even so, citizens, including her brother, make their own wine at home.  Last week, we talked about 9/11.  I asked her if it had a big impact on her.  She shot me a look and said that people here called her and her family "murderers".  She said that it was hard to explain to her son but as an adult, she managed to cope.  She mentioned Timothy McVeigh and said that the fact that he did the unthinkable, didn't make americans in general murderers.  Of course, the unfortunate thing is that Timothy McVeigh's actions did bring shame on all of America just as the pilots on 9/11 put all muslims under a cloud of suspicion.  It's unfair in some ways but is understandable all the same.
I next asked Sherrie about the capture of Osama Bin Laden.  She said, "killing was too good for him.  They should have tortured him first.  Men like that, it's like they have a devil in them."  I didn't know quite what to say to that.
In a related conversation a few days later, Mia asked me, "Mom, why is September 11th sad?"  Mia, like the babies of many killed that day, was on the way when it happened.  So I told her and her younger sisters about the planes, the three that hit the towers and the Pentagon and the one that went down in the field.  They asked a few questions and we moved on with our day.  That night, Grace said to Chris, "Daddy, the people on that plane were really nice"--she meant Flight 93.  "Nice".  Not quite adequate.  But it wasn't lost on me that the girls focused on the "nice", the good, the heroic.  The very things that won the day.  How very american of them.

God bless the USA!

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