The room had all the makings of a "real" salon.
Pony tail holders.
And of course......
I donned my best "sophisticated lady" accent, (which sounded like a cross between a southern belle and the queen of England) and waited patiently in the hallway outside of
"Oh dahhhlllinnggg, " I drawled when the "salon owner" opened the door. "I heard you were the absolute best and it was so haaard to get an appointment. Thank you for seein me on such short notice."
The salon owner giggled, and instructed me to sit in the chair so she could begin the beautification transformation.
"I've been invited to a faaabuuulous, fancy ball this evening and I knew there was only one person who could just make me look absolutely perrrrrfffeccctttt!" I exclaimed.
"Please be quiet ma'am and close your eyes, now this might hurt a little bit," said my little beautician as she tugged through the thousands of knots in my long, perm-induced curls.
"Ohhhh Ah don't mind....you do what evuh you need to do...after all, beauty is pain, right! HAHAHAHA!" laughed Lisa the lovely British southern belle!
Without the benefit of a mirror (what fun would that be) I tried to hold steady as she brushed my hair over my eyes, behind my ears, to the front, to the side, to the back, split down the middle, back over the eyes again, up, and over. Her little fingers began braiding and twisting and pinning and tugging until I imagined I resembled
After much concentration and a considerable amount of time, the beautician surveyed her handiwork and nodded an approval.
"May Ah look in the mirror," I timidly asked, only to have my request harshly denied.
"I am not finished yet," admonished the beautician. "I still need to do the make up."
Ah.... the make up.
I stood still once again as my pores took the brunt of 3,000 pounds of perky pink foundation topped off with rosey red blush. Next came the eye shadow, blues and greens and purples and browns, matched to "perfection" with my olive white complexion. Imagining I now looked like
This time, after much serious consideration, the beautician approved my request.
When I saw, first-hand, the extent of my talented beautician's hard work, I burst out laughing and ran down the hall to show my husband Bob how lovely and appealing his wife had now become.
He took one look at me, merely shook his head and uttered these simple words,
"Lisa, that is love."
I don't recall how many visits I made to "Melissa's Beauty Parlor" over the years. All I know is that the salon has long since closed its doors.
I'll be hard pressed to find someone who has the talent to braid my strands into nine puffy pony tails smothered in so much gel they defy gravity and stand on end. I'll be hard pressed to find a beautician whose skill and craft will hide my big, brown eyes behind a coating of make up so thick the casual observer will think I've been in a fight. I'll be hard pressed to find a beautician so adorable that I'll be willing to sit in an uncomfortable chair while she tugs and pulls and twists and turns in an attempt to achieve perfection.
The salon owner exists now only in fond memories, and in its place is a 18-year old who would rather spend hours on her own hair instead of mine.
But that's ok.
As I watch her get ready for an evening out, we chat about school, youth group, the upcoming chorus concert, friends, the senior class trip, prom, graduation, college, and of course, boys. As she skillfully braids the bangs of her long, thick, brown hair, I somehow convince myself that it was all of my visits to her "beauty parlor" that helped shaped her desire to work hard, be the best, and settle for nothing but perfection.
Melissa's Beauty Parlor may no longer be open for business, but its spirit will live on in the amazing, remarkable young woman that my "little beautician" has become.
*This blog originally appeared in December, 2012. It has been modified slightly from the original version.
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