We were talking about funny things the kids have done and I was reminded of a story. I was getting ready for church one Sunday morning and decided to cut my hair. That involves getting out the clippers, putting on the smallest attachment, and cutting it all down. Since I’ve been doing it for so long I usually do it by myself without missing anything. This particular morning I was in a hurry and did not check it as thoroughly as I should have. I left a thin line of hair going down the back of my head. Not just a few hairs either, it was about an inch and a half long. I showered, changed, dressed, had some breakfast, spoke with at least three of the kids, and then left for church without knowing. No one said a word.
I spent two hours before church in meetings, and was two hours into the actual services, when finally someone stopped me in the hall and said “you missed a spot.” He pointed it out and as I reached back it was obvious everyone had seen it. I had interacted with family, friends, and acquaintances all day at church and no one pointed it out. Why would no one say anything?
I decided to mention it to a few people and the flood gates opened. One by one, with a laugh and a grin, my friends acknowledged that they had in fact seen it and were holding back. Ok, they were friends and maybe they didn’t want to embarrass me in front of everyone, but surely they knew I would figure it out sooner or later.
The kicker came when I arrived home and asked the kids if they noticed anything about my hair that morning. Surely if a family member had noticed it they would say something. Right?
I was met with the usual blank stares for a second and then #3 giggled and said he did. After confirming that he had in fact noticed it BEFORE I left, I asked why he didn’t say anything. His reply – “I didn’t want to embarrass you.”
What!? Not embarrass me? How could letting me go off to church, stand in front of 150 people and interact with them for 3 hours with a streak of hair running down the back of my shaved head not be more embarrassing than telling me while I was at home?
Of course he had no answer, and by that time no one could contain their laughter. Apparently no one wanted to be the one to tell me.
So thanks to the friend at church who didn’t care enough about what I thought to actually point it out. Or maybe he cared more? Either way, I learned something about the lengths people will go to not embarrass someone.
And – I thoroughly check my hair after each cut.
Image credit: 0Four/Flickr