Even cock-eyed optimists get hit with reality some days.
Over on the chip aisle, I passed a couple of store employees loading tortilla chips on the shelf. "Nice haircut," one muttered snidely* under his breath.
Now, my children could have told him that not only do I have excellent hearing, but when it comes to snide remarks muttered under one's breath, my bionic bat sonar ear clicks on.
I didn't turn back, I just said clearly, "I shaved it for charity."
Immediate backpedaling. "Oh, I, uh, think it's really a great look." I turned back (because I needed tortilla chips) and he gave me an ingratiating smile. My glance went over him and I perused the chips, expressionless. "I can help you with anything you need," he said weakly.
I went back to my shopping.
What sort of meaning do I draw from this, I wondered. Well, on one hand, maybe I'll make him think twice before muttering in public again. Hey, I can take it, it's no hair off my ... elbow. If it means that when he runs into a cancer survivor whose hair is growing in, he holds his tongue, or better yet, smiles at her ... terrific.
Next time? Well, if it happens again, I'll turn around and turn on that big megawatt smile that all we Southern women are endowed with and just sweet as sugar, I'll say, "Really? Do you like it? You think it's a good look?"
And when he stammers out "Yes," I'll say, "Aww, bless your heart.** Thank yew."
*It was snide. And no, I wasn't walking around with a chip on my shoulder. Between all the kindness and love from my seminary, church, and friends, I'm walking around thinking I'm the bees-knees. This startled me.
**Which all Southern women, lesbian, straight, bi, and questioning, know to mean, "Screw you and the horse you rode in on." What can I say. I'm a work in progress.