I sat in Jamie's chair as she worked magic on my hair. I am so blessed to have found her as a hairdresser and have followed her through stints at several salons, to her current happily settled spot at Gravity Salon in Barrie.
I not only love what Jamie does with my hair, but I love her. I love to connect and catch up on her life and she with mine. She is a sweetheart and a joy.
A young girl, about 14 years old and with pink hair had just left the chair of another stylist. As her dad stood at the cash register she told him about something she had noticed and asked him to come look at it, but he paid, and they left without him coming back to the thing she wanted to show him.
"That little girl is begging for attention," she said as she scooped up a swathe of hair with her big round brush and aimed the hairdryer at it.
"I observe people," she went on, "no wonder women grow up doing anything to get noticed. It makes me so mad!"
That led to a story about a motivational speaker she had heard recently: Charles Marcus. After a traumatic childhood experience, Charles developed a debilitating stutter and in spite of seeing several speech therapists he still stuttered badly when as a young man he went to apprentice as a stylist in a salon owned by Vidal Sassoon. His inability to talk to the customers was a handicap, but he could cut hair.
One day a ripple went through the salon, "He's here. Vidal Sassoon is here."
As the legendary stylist walked into the salon, he gave the managers barely a glance. He went right to the back of the salon to the young apprentices--the 17-19 year old boys.
Charles was back there when Sassoon came up to him and took his hand. Charles remembers that he was wearing a blue silk suit. His skin was smooth; he could smell his perfume.
"And you, young man, what is your name and where are you from?" he asked.
Charles froze. The hardest question someone who stutters can be asked, is their name. Although he tried, no sound would come out of his mouth. It was a moment of complete humiliation before someone he looked up to so much.
But Sassoon's response was unexpected. He squeezed Charles's hand, leaned in and said quietly, "Take your time. I've got all the time in the world."
As Jamie told me the story, I found it so moving. The response of someone so important in the eyes of the world, to someone who was least in the hierarchy of the hairdressing business, reminded me of the graciousness that marked Jesus.
I long to slow down enough to make each person who crosses my path feel important and that they would leave knowing that for them I had "all the time in the world."
I've a long way to go to get there, but a new and unexpected hero has given me footsteps to follow in.
Click here for an audio interview with Vidal Sassoon