Clearly it doesn’t take much these days to rocket me into a state of euphoria. In about a month I’ll be appearing on live television. If you know me at all, you know that that’s not the euphoria part, that’s the pooping in my pants part. I figure if I talk about it the terror of mixing my mouth with no chance of bleeping or editing will fade to black. Judging by the cold sweat forming on my back I need to keep talking.
Anyway, I’m not sure if I told you this already but if I did, well, too bad, indulge a scared to death middle-aged lady for a moment. The show is scheduled for April 27 at 8:15 in the morning (only with god’s graceful hand will I be awake enough at that ungodly hour) and, like anyone, I want to look my best. I booked my flight into Halifax a day early to ensure jet lag recovery and adequate time for de-sasquatching myself.
So you can imagine my horror, yes horror, when I called to book a haircut with my beloved coiffeur Claude only to be told he was teaching in Vancouver and wouldn’t back until the 28th of April. Of all the nerve! What feckin’ good is that to me? By the time he touched down, I’d have been forever recorded and remembered as the giantess with the grey mullet. How does one cope with a catastrophe of this magnitude?
Well, a very good friend of mine —the lovely, peaceful and wise Krista— lived in Japan years ago and she taught me a phrase: shouganai (which you need to picture me saying softly with my eyes closed, bowing slightly with my hands clasped in prayer position). It means it cannot be helped, it is inevitable. Struggle and stress all you want but this shit is going down. I used this a lot in my work as a psychiatrist. In fact, two kids recently emailed me to let me know how well they’re doing and they both referred to it. It’s a good stance for many things in this life.
So there I was, shouganai-ing all over myself. I had made peace with it. What does it matter? So I’ll look a bit scruffy on TV. No one watches TV at 8:15 in the morning anyway. Plus, it gives more credibility to my “message”: a meaningful life is not found in the superficial. Less is more! Live authentically! You are not your job or your hair! Oh yes, I am a guru for the ages.
Then it came. The casual, breezy Facebook message from Claude: “Hey, my trip to Vancouver is cancelled so I’ll be around to do your hair.” See, you made it, there’s the euphoria part. Shouganai, my arse. The sad truth is that the highlight of my trip is the cancellation of someone else’s. What can I say? I’m a guru for the aged.