Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Crying Game: A Hairy Situation

One time, when I was in London, during my second year of law school, I was stretched out on a couch reading a book when I heard a young woman from the undergraduate program crying and shrieking and waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiling at the top of her lungs. She would cry and cry and gasp and then cry some more. I looked over and the young woman’s boyfriend was patting her on the back as she cried and cried and cried. I didn’t know her well, only enough to say hello. I debated what to do. Her boyfriend clearly had the situation well in hand, but a fellow human was in distress, and I wanted to help.

So after about a minute, I walked into the law center’s pub, put a fifty pence piece in the Coke machine, returned to the lobby, pressed the can of Coke into her hand. I said, “Here. Whatever it is, have a Coke and smile.”

This actually managed to settle her down a bit. A moment later, I turned to a friend of hers and asked in amazement what on Earth had set her off in such a manner. The reply I received stunned me. “She just got her hair cut and doesn’t like the way it looks.”

I considered this for a moment and when the young woman had finally settled down, I said, “Young lady, there are three things I want to say to you. First, I am so relieved to know that you didn’t just lose your whole family in an accident. Second, you look great and your hair looks great. Third, don’t you think that if anyone around here ought to be crying about the way their hair looks, it ought to be me?”

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