Hi, I’m Connie Kendall, here today to bring you the newest version of The Odd In Odyssey!
My story today is about something that happened to me a few weeks ago… it was kind of embarrassing, but it really taught me some important lessons about contentment, and God’s plan and all that stuff, so I guess that’s kind of the theme for today.
It started last Tuesday at Whit’s End when I was cleaning the counters. Bernard, Wooton, and Whit were there too.
“Hey Connie, grab me a root beer float, will you?” asked Bernard. “I’m going to the dentist later this week, and I need something to show for it.”
“Wouldn’t it be less expensive to stay away from sugar and not get cavities?” I asked.
“Yes, I suppose.”
That didn’t make sense to me at all, but I grabbed the ice cream and root beer and started to make Bernard’s dessert, when Wooton said;
“Hey Connie I noticed you’re looking kinda glum today… are you ok?”
“Yeah, I guess,” I sighed. “I’m having one of those ‘I need purpose in my purposeless life’ kind of days.”
“Oh no,” Bernard moaned, “not another one.”
“Oh please,” I rolled my eyes. “You don’t have anything to do with it, I promise. I did have a couple of ideas for getting out on my own, though.”
“If it’s a fitness program, I don’t want any part of it. God knows I couldn’t live through one of those again,” he muttered.
“Yeah if I had to do one of those again, I’d have to go all the way down to getting my liver removed!” said Wooton.
“It is not a fitness program,” I said. “It’s a business!”
Everyone said ‘oh!’ at the same time. “How do you plan to start a business, Connie?” asked Whit. “What about ‘Dreams By Constance’?”
“I can’t run a business planning weddings when no one’s even getting married,” I complained. “Let’s face it; everyone gets married in June. That’s two months away, and I can’t wait that long.”
“Well, what kind of business do you plan to start?” Whit said. “I’ll help you with it, whatever it is.”
“I wouldn’t say that if I were you,” said Bernard in his ear.
“It’s a hair business,” I said proudly. “I’m going to be a hair stylist.”
“I think that’s a wonderful idea, Connie,” Whit said supportively. “But you have to be careful- there’s a lot more to running a business than you might think.”
“I know, I know,” I replied. “But I’ve watched you a lot running Whit’s End, and I know practically everything there is to know. If you could just help me get started, I think it’d be great!”
“I’ll help!” volunteered Wooton. “I’ll be your first customer!”
“And I’ll wash your windows,” said Bernard. “Maybe I’ll even get a shave, if you give me a discount.”
“It’s a hair salon, not a barber shop,” I said dryly. “Unless you want a perm,” I teased. “You’d look great in curls!”
“We’ll all help,” said Whit. “If this is God’s calling for you, Connie, I want to help all I can.”
The next few days were spent getting a building, getting hair tools, and I was learning how to cut hair from an expert lady at a different salon downtown. I wasn’t sure how well this would work out, since I can barely trim my own bangs. But, before long I was ready to open for business, and my first day I had three haircuts to do! But that was okay, because I practically had no idea how to do it anyway.
My first haircut was a girl who had really long hair! She wanted it trimmed across the back and layered. It looked okay, even though she demanded a full refund.
Then, the second girl had the brightest red hair that I had ever seen! She wanted it dyed blue for this crazy high school party she was having. Actually, when we were done it looked great… except that I got the bottles mixed up and used the permanent dye instead of temporary…
The third girl wanted her hair buzzed off on one half of her head and braided on the other. I cringed as I buzzed off the half of her head. She had the prettiest blonde hair. I had tried to convince her to do something more… attractive, but she refused. So as I shaved, I found the chance to share the gospel with her. I told her all about the creation of the world, the fall of man, sin, atonement, the resurrection, Heaven and Hell, and the evidence that God exists. It was really good time for both of us, and after a while we got to talking. Her parents had just divorced and she was living with her grandmother because neither her mom or her dad wanted her. It was really pretty sad, and I invited her for tea at my house. So that was great! By the time I was done cutting her hair, she wished she hadn’t done it, and I made a little extra money when she bought a blonde wig.
Another girl came in with the straightest hair I had ever seen! “Hi,” she said, “Could you crimp my hair and make it wavy?”
“Sure!” I said. “Do you want me to use a heat waver, or do you want a perm?”
“I’ll just use the crimper,” she said, plunking down in a chair.
I was relieved that she didn’t want a perm because I didn’t have the equipment to give her one. The only problem was, I wasn’t super experienced with using the crimper either.
So we talked a little as I held the hot iron on her hair. After a little while, I was wondering how long I was supposed to hold the crimper there anyway, and I realized that I probably should have pulled it off a long time ago.
I went queasy as I pulled the iron off of her hair. The strands were dry and they cracked and fell off onto the floor. The girl screamed and ran out of the salon crying.
I was just ready to quit the whole thing when the Mayor of Odyssey, Margaret Fay, came in. “I need the works, Miss Kendall,” she said.
My stomach turned. What if I ruined the hair of our very own mayor? “Uh… yeah, sure,” I said quietly. “Sit down.”
She wanted an entirely different hairstyle! She gave me a picture of a girl who had way too many curls, different cuts, and different tapers. I held my breath and decided to give it a shot.
I nervously picked up a handful of hair. In the picture it looked like it was supposed to curl outward, but when I did it on Margaret Fay…. It wasn’t curling outward. It looked more like a jagged mountain top, so, I tried to layer it and cover it all up. And then as I tried to cover up the jags, a door in the next building slammed. I jumped, the scissors closed on Margaret Fay’s hair, and then half of it was on the floor!
I went cold. Her head had a slanted cut going across the back of her neck. “Miss Kendall, what have you done to my hair?” she asked me.
“Uh-uh- nothing,” I stuttered. “It’s… it’s not bad, just… very… unique.”
She jumped up. “Let me see.”
The mayor screamed when she looked in the mirror. Actually she hasn’t spoken to me since then. She stormed out without a word.
I closed down the shop and drove over to Whit’s End. I needed a talk.
“I’m just not sure it was God’s will after all,” I said.
“Well, you never know Connie,” Whit said. “You may just need a little more practice is all.”
“I don’t think so,” I sighed. “I think I’d better just quit.”
“Well, if that’s the way you feel,” he winked. “Your old job here at Whit’s End is still open to you.”
“Hey, Connie,” Bernard poked his head through the door. “Uh- I think you’d better get back to your business.”
“Well… it’s on fire.”
The sound of fire trucks screaming down the roadway reached my ears. The three of us jumped in Bernard’s truck and drove to my salon as fast as we could. There it was, exploded in flames, just like Bernard said.
We watched as the firemen drenched the flames, and in a little while the fire was out. But the building was ruined. It was completely black!
“Oh no!” I moaned. “It’s gone!”
“You could always start a business selling charcoal,” said Bernard.
“No,” I sighed. “That was probably for the best anyway. Turns out I wasn’t such a great haircutter after all. I guess I must have set the flammable hairspray next to the heater. Whit?” I turned to him. “Do you think I could have my old job back?”
Whit laughed and gave me a hug. “Of course you can. How about we head back now? I could dish you up some fresh ice cream before the rush hour.”
“Sounds great,” I said, relieved.