I got my hair colored and cut while I was waiting to find out whether I was pregnant. That was last June. Somehow, I never got around to having another haircut while pregnant. Sometime after A died, I lazily thought that I should get a haircut and maybe a color, since I wasn't pregnant anymore. But I wasn't getting around to it for two reasons. One, I have known Mia, the hairdresser, for something like 6 years, and just couldn't face going there for what she would think was a routine haircut just to tell her what had happened. Two, I knew I would start loosing my hair soon. You know, all the hair that doesn't fall out while you are pregnant that eventually falls out afterwards, and in giant clumps to boot.
About two weeks ago I couldn't stand the look of my hair anymore and I thought that maybe I didn't start loosing the hair for like 5 or 6 months after Monkey was born, so I called and made the appointment. And inspired by Julia, I wanted to ask about doing a perm. I had the cut last Wednesday, and a perm. I like the look, and it's easy to take care of (as desired). I shouldn't be too surprised, though, that my hair promptly started to fall out, should I? Oh, well.
The more surprising thing is what else happened at the haircut. Mia was recommended to me by a friend who found her through her stepmother. Turns out that my friend had been for a haircut and has told Mia about A. Mia was very nice, offered condolences, and didn't say anything stupid. And then she blew me away. I have known for a while that Mia does acupuncture too, but never cared much. Out of the blue Mia says "I want you to come for acupuncture. I want to give you a session free." I was a bit skeptical because the only acupuncturists I encountered before were Chinese men. But I have this new policy not to decline kind offers, so I said thank you and made an appointment. And it was good-- I felt better afterwards, and the things she said made sense. I am even thinking of scheduling a couple of paid appointments in the future. But it's the kindness of the offer that I am still amazed by.
When we were at the hospital, I remember feeling so much gratitude to the nurses and doctors, to our rabbi, to the funeral director. They were doing their jobs, yes, but they were also being kind, and somehow that mattered. Why is it that human kindness amazes me so? Is it because we are so fragile that it feels like we can't take any more hurt (even if we can), and when someone is kind, somewhere in the back of our minds we think "wow, that was nice. what if s/he didn't do that-- it could've hurt more," and we feel "extra" gratitude? Or is it just that I wasn't paying nearly enough attention before?