Quietly I sat reading tehillim (psalms), with a handful of nickels
and a small wooden pushka (charity box), as my hairdresser twirled my
thick, beautiful curls into an updo. A bit distracted by the imminence of my
upcoming wedding, which was scheduled to take place that afternoon in my
hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, I glanced up at the mirror and watched her
work for a minute. If any curls give you a hard time, feel free to cut them,
I said nonchalantly. Tomorrow morning Im cutting my hair off anyway.
A bit taken aback, the hairdresser asked for clarification. I explained
that as a religious Jewish woman, I intended to cover my hair after getting
married, and would be cutting it the morning after the wedding. Curious, she
asked who would be cutting it for me. When I revealed my intentions to cut it
myself, she immediately insisted on having the privilege to be the one to cut
it. After a brief explanation of why it wouldnt be modest for me to have my
hair uncovered in her salon the following day, she responded, Not a problem,
Ill come to your hotel room. Its a hairdressers dream to be able to chop off
such thick, beautiful curls like your own. Ill give you a discounted price,
just please dont deny me the privilege. Upon finishing the updo, she checked
her appointment book to schedule a time to come to me the next morning. It
would be tight, but she could manage to sneak away just before my hotel checkout
time. We agreed upon the time and parted ways.
The next morning, I was awakened by an urgent phone call from my mother.
Apparently, we were being asked to leave the hotel room an hour earlier than we
had expected, so she had rescheduled my appointment with the hairdresser, who
was willing to leave her other clients to be at my room in 30 minutes.
Scrambling to get myself together, I hardly had time to mentally prepare myself
for what was about to happen to the curls I had cherished for so many years,
when the hairdresser suddenly rushed in.
She explained that when she received my mothers urgent phone call, she had
two Jewish ladies in her salon having their hair dyed. She told them about the
pressing situation, and they agreed that she could run out while they sat under
the blower waiting for the dye to set. However, wondering how rescheduling an
in-home haircut could be such an urgent matter, they obviously questioned her.
They understood the part about reading psalms and putting coins in the wooden
box, she said, but they had never heard of such a thing as cutting your hair
and putting on a wig after marriage. Could you please explain to me your
reasons for doing this so I can give them an answer when I return? Smiling at
the obvious Divine Providence in this sudden turn of events, I elaborated upon
the spiritual and physical advantages of covering your hair after marriage.
Upon finishing the haircut, the hairdresser glanced at her watch and realized
she was running very late. As she ran to the door, I reminded her that I still
had to pay her. Rushing into the hallway, she smiled appreciatively, as if to
thank me for letting her be part of such a big mitzvah, as she
exclaimed, Just put it in your wooden box!