I have this thing about my hair. I am 56 and I have really long hair. 

When I had my daughter Helen, I went through some kind of hormonal short circuit and cut it all off. 

My mom, at least in my lifetime, always kept her hair short. She was chic and flowy….a new age flair with an outward bound grittiness. 

Yesterday I got my hair “did.” I tried a year or so to stop dying it (highlighting it for those who prefer the euphemism) but I just wasn’t ready. 

This is a picture of Mary Rizzardi-Henderson. She’s been “did-ing” my hair since 2004 (or thereabouts.) Her dad did my hair before that. 

Yesterday we got to talking, as we always do, and I realize that Mary knows more about me than just about anybody. We talk about everything. Politics, music, children, sex. Yes even that…😜

Lately I’ve been taking note of the hard working people who surround me everyday that keep this universe-train moving. Mary is one of those. If she doesn’t work, she doesn’t get paid. Vacation? Sick days? Doesn’t matter. No work, no pay. 

But there’s something special about Mary. We have a relationship that spans longer than just about any I’ve ever had. We’ve gone through medical issues, children issues, work issues, relationship issues, parents dying, and every time I talk, Mary listens. I think Mary is about the best listener I know. 

And so 8 or so years ago I invited Mary to a Girls on the Run 5k. Mary, at the time, was waify-like. Beautiful, tall and slender without an OUNCE of interest In working out, running or exercise. 

But, after years of listening to me (even when I sat in her Dad’s chair) talk about connection and love and running, she decided to give it a go. 

Since then, Mary has become a full-blown exercise expert. She is vegetarian, works out five days a week with a trainer and loves it. She is strong (like a beast I tell you) confident and one of the most empowered women I know. 

I share all this with you to say…Mary and I are friends. Sure, I pay her to “did” my hair but we don’t limit our friendship to a purely financial-transactional one. 

Nope. Not me and Mary. We get real with it. Mary taught me how to listen and I taught her how to run. 

I think hairdressers are some of the most amazing people in the universe and provide a service that for many like me…goes way beyond the surface. 

And so today I want to give a shout out to Mary and all the other amazing hairdressing, people-listening, beauty-making, comfort-giving humans in the universe. 

(That’s Mary with a photo of her dad behind her. He passed a way a few years ago.