Cutting through Yorkville recently, I happened upon a little store that was bursting with colour. En route to visit my pals at Continental Hair, I was toying with the idea of experimenting with a headscarf, rather than a wig, one of these days. (Inspired of course, by Mary Richard’s funky neighbor Rhoda).
So I stopped into this little shop which was tastefully packed to the rafters with a rich rainbow of fabrics. Amidst this colour explosion was a little Indian woman wearing a sparkly pink sari. She was so small that I could easily look down upon her little white head, with hair that looked like cotton candy. She asked me if I was looking for anything special and I sputtered, “I’m looking for something, for a friend.”
I felt like an idiot. I hadn’t used the ‘friend’ line since I was a teenager trying to get my hands on some Kahlua. So I corrected myself, and confessed that the friend was me, that I like blue, and that I was temporarily hairless. Her deep brown eyes looked up at me and I felt compelled to say more. That I was going through chemo, that I was wearing a wig, and that I felt the need for colour.
She put her arm on mine said. “I had a mastectomy three years ago”. Then she broke into a grin and said, “My hair grew back so beautifully, and see how nice it is.” I looked down on her whispy white hairs curled into a delicate bun, and it was indeed quite lovely.
Then she reached up and wrapped her delicate arms around my neck. She was so tiny that she hung off me like a shiny pink pendant. Muffled by my sweater, I heard her say. “You’re going to be fine. I just know it”.
The lesson here could be that when offer your authentic self, you will never be rejected. But that’s not the lesson she wanted to teach me. What she said was that her scarves were pure silk, expensive, and a little slippery. She suggested I get a cotton scarf because it ties more securely, and they have a ton of them, at Winner’s.