Thursday evening was Focus's staff Christmas dinner. In order to give everyone time to go home, get sparkly, and return to Langley with their spouses for the big event, the office closed at 3.
I? Went straight to Vivid Hair Boutique and had Danica play with my hair.
It's been, like 30 years since I've had my hair done in a salon. My sister's done my hair ever since 1982. Which means I've either leaned into her laundry tub or had my head soaked by a spray bottle.
Salon sinks? With chairs that recline perfectly? AND HAVE A FOOTSTOOL? Are to die for. I could've fallen alseep. Seriously. I thought the whole shampooing experience was heavenly. And then? Then she put something with a lovely scent on my head.
"That smells good," I observed.
"It's conditioner," she explained.
"Ha. First time I've had conditioner on my hair in, oh, probably 10 years," I told her as I faded away. She was massaging my scalp and I was floating...
"WHAT? NO CONDITIONER? Why don't you use a conditioner?"
"Because it just makes my hair slippery. And within a day I have to wash it again because it's so greasy..."
"What kind of conditioner were you using? What shampoo"?
"Whatever's on sale at Safeway."
"Please don't stop massaging. This feels sooooo good."
"You have 2 people in your family who are hair stylists. You have access to good products. WHY ARE YOU BUYING CRAP SHAMPOO AT SAFEWAY?"
It was weird getting a verbal spanking and a loving head massage at the same time.
(I think I'm getting hair products for Christmas...)
I left there, completely relaxed, with styled, clean, sweet smelling hair.
And went straight home, down to my dark basement bedroom, and fell asleep for a few hours.
As you guessed, I didn't go to the staff dinner.
I met Max at an NA meeting instead. He was presenting a 3 year medallion to his friend and invited me to come out.
So I took my fancy, schmancy head of hair to New West and hung out with a couple hundred, mostly male, young adults who are in various stages of recovery, and celebrated clean time with them. Seriously the absolute best way to spend an evening. Every time someone shared, my world got a little bigger. Every time someone shared, I prayed a little more specifically. Every time someone shared, my heart did a happy dance.
There's something intensely moving about hearing your own son share. On Thursday it felt like I was given a glimpse of a Holy moment.
And then it was Friday.
And I had a day off with pay.
It was a Flex Day for me, and I get 5 of them a year. I can take them whenever I want (not in a row, and not more than 1 in a month), so I've been saving them for something good.
I used the first one in July, on the Friday before moving day, so that I could sleep in and finish up my packing in a relaxed manner. I used the second one in August, on the Friday I went to Creationfest. We didn't leave til noon, but I took a Flex Day so I could sleep in. My third Flex Day? I used in September, when I went on the impromptu trip to Puerto Vallarta, where I slept in everyday til noon.
So, with only two months left in the year, I was told earlier this week that I needed to use my last two in November and December.
So Friday was Flex Day #4.
I used it to sleep in til noon.
Then rush around like a mad woman to get to Langley Hospital for my afternoon appointments. First up? Getting my boobs handled by Betty, then smashed by a uniquely designed hydraulic breast squishing machine. Mammogram appointments are always a treat.
Then? Next door to the Blood Lab where they were surprised I was coming in so late in the day, considering I'd been fasting for 12 hours. (Most folks are in first thing so that they can go eat.)
"Uh, yeah, well, this IS first thing, for me. I just got up..."
After taking 173 vials of blood, they directed me to the bathroom so I could leave pee in a bottle for them.
I absolutely didn't have to go.
So they suggested I go get a bite to eat and drink, and come back in an hour. Seeing I'd paid for two hours of parking, I left my truck at the hospital and walked over to my old neighbourhood and stopped in to see the guy who used to thread my eyebrows. Did he have an opening?
"Come in, come in!"
He was happy to add to the number of tortuous experiences I was having on this very special Flex Day. So. Many. Hairs. Yanked.
(If I had been better at planning this particular Flex Day from Hell, I would have added some sort of lower body waxing to the agenda. Then I would've had throbbing, tingling, itchy parts over my entire self. Maybe next year. Something to look forward to.)
Unbelievably, after all THAT, I still had 2 hours to kill, on this, my day off. And nothing to do. So I drove over to Potters and wondered if wandering around a Christmas store would put me in a Christmas mood.
Have you been? Holy Hannah. It's like the Christmas Fairies and the Ice Queen and Father Winter and Santa Claus had temper tantrums and threw all their toys n crap everywhere and then their moms came in and tossed sprinkles and glitter over it all and declared it good.
So. Much. Sparkles.
So. Much. Twinkle.
And it didn't do a thing for me.
Oh. My cold, hard heart.
I have no feels.
I went home and had another nap.
By 7:30 I was back in Langley in Kwantlen's auditorium, waiting for the Kwantlen University Chorus to come out. Twas to be an evening in song for me. The theme? Part One: Classic Choral Hits from Movie Soundtracks. And after the intermission: Academy Award-Winning Songs.
How long has it been since I've heard a professional choir sing?
A hundred years? Maybe more?
The first three songs were in the Key of D Minor. I know this because the director told us. Her name was Gail Suderman and she was so interesting. No, really. Everytime she introduced a song, I found the trivia to be fascinating. Is this a sign that I am getting old? (That I am old?) Or was her trivia hitting a soft spot with me because 1. It was about the movie industry, which I happen to love? or 2. because she was simply a great communicator talking about a topic she was passionate about? Hard to know. Regardless, it was a fantastic evening right up til the last song before the break.
Then it got even better.
That choir belted out Handel's Messiah's Hallelujah chorus with invisible heavenly angels accompanying them from above. So, so, so incredibly awesome.
I was moved into having positive thoughts about Christmas it was that good.
The second half was all Disney and other recognizable movie tunes that had me humming along in my head.
We ate a late dinner afterwards and as I drove back to my mom's place at midnight, I was overcome, again, with how good life is. I am a lucky girl.
Three things I'm thankful for:
3. Medical procedures
4. Mom's house.