Monday, March 16, 2009

the jerk who sells the hairbows

oh man...

On Saturday we were at the park. After a few minutes of being annoyed with the "big kids" talking about wee wees, penises, pieners, etc, I was glad to see a lady with a few younger kids arrive. There were two little girls that Lillian decided to tag along with, and one had a headband thing with a scarf type thing attached to it to cover her balding head.

It was pretty obvious that the girl didn't have any hair.

One thing I'd LOVE to do is figure out how to get my pinkadink stuff into a pediatric cancer facility of some sort, but I haven't figured out how to go about that type of thing yet. So when I saw this girl, I knew I wanted to give her one of my beanies with a flower so bad. I thought about how I love putting bows and such in Lillians hair, and this girl doesn't ever get to wear bows.

I shaved my mom's head the first time she got cancer. It was all falling out, and she didn't want to go through that terrible process, so we just shaved it all off. We saved some bangs and some long hair, glued and sewed it onto some velcro, and sewed velcro into all her new hats so that we could attach her real hair into the hats and she'd feel a little more normal. I fought back tears the entire day we worked on that. I knew it was a big deal to my mom to not have hair. I'm sure anyone who loses thier hair wants to find some way to look or feel normal. And I kept imagining my trying on all her hats and scarves...

And I found some courage. I knew that if my daughter had something that touched another mom's heart, and they wanted to bless her, I'd want them to get the courage to ask me.

so...I walked over to thier side of the park. I had gathered from conversation that one of the girls' names was Zoe. The other girl (with the scarf) was hiding behind a tree. Since Lillian was playing with Zoe, I decided to strike up conversation.

"So, is Zoe your daughter?"
"No. Alicia is. Zoe is a friend."

Perfect opportunity for me to say, oh, is Alicia the one with the scarf? And that would have been a rather acceptable segue into that coversation.

but i say nothing. dummy.

So then I have to get all my courage up again and just bring it up out of the blue. The mom had moved to a different area (away from me...I can't take a hint) so I just kept walking around the park watching my kids. I finally do it. I just walk over there. Intentionally, so that i have to say something otherwise I'll look like even more of an idiot.

"Is your daughter getting chemo?"
I know that some people have a serious problem with the word 'cancer,' so I try to be sensitive and blame the chemo, not the cancer.

okay great. crap. What the heck was I supposed to say now? She obviously didn't want to talk about it. And I obviously WAS talking about it. I couldn't just walk away. Then she'd just think I was nosy instead of caring...

"Oh, that's good!"


"So...she just doesn't have a lot of hair?" I'm a jerk. That was obvious.
"no. it's an auto immune thing." goes.

"well, I just started this business where I sell hats and flowers and hair bows and stuff, and I'd love to give her a hat if you don't mind."
"um...that'd be okay I guess."
"can I get your address so I can mail it to her?"

I figured she didn't want me to come over with it. I can tell when people have had enough of me.


NOTHING. I was so nervous and embarassed and I wanted to cry and run away. I didn't realize that she didn't have a purse or anything.

"are you going to remember it?" crap.

"no, I'm going to ask my husband if he has some paper or something. I'll be right back."

I go tell Steve how embarassed I am, and I consider just grabbing my kids and making a run for it. This lady wants NOTHING to do with me. I am a huge jerk.

He gives me his PHONE to get the address. I am NOT a texter. I don't know how to work Steve's phone. I mess up about 4 times and Steve keeps fixing it for me. Finally he does it himself. She doesn't really want to give me her last name, but I ask if I need one since I'll be mailing it. She gives it to me. We have the address. and a last name. We are safe to go.

Instead, I think of another insensitive thing to say.

"I remember when my mom had cancer and she lost her hair. It was a big deal to her." (ya know, since your young daughter's auto immune baldness thing is exactly the same as my mom losing her hair to a drug.... STOP TALKING.)

so anyway, I got the address. I'll send her a hat. I'm even putting two flowers in with it. I want her love it. I want her to wear it. I want her to feel cute. and to wear bows on it if she wants.

and I never want to see her mom again. because she's probably at home blogging about being at the park the other day when this insensitive jerk came up to her....


Anonymous said...


I think you are right, she may have felt awkward about it. She's probably had other awkward moments about her daughter's disease and was having a bad day. But I'm sure she will feel so blessed by recieving your gift to her!!! The Lord has used the trials in your life to give you a sensitivity to know how to love and bless others in need. I never would have been so thoughtful, I would have just felt bad for their situation and not said anything. Another thought I had as I was typing this is just how surprised the mother probably was when you approached her. I have had a difficult time with this in Mississippi. I keep to myself in public, but here in the South this is extreme rudeness compared to the friendliness of others. So she may have just been caught off guard and then to have you ask for her address on top of it might have made her uneasy, but I'm sure she'll be so blessed by your thoughtfulness when her cute beanie arrives:)!

Hope you are doing well!

Carmen said...

You're not a were trying to do a nice thing, it just came out weird. I'm sure this mom will understand some time what you were trying to do and her daughter will definately feel blessed and beautiful getting the hat. Your intentions and compassion are what count.

Amanda said...

Do NOT feel like a jerk! That was a really brave and kind thing to do, even if you feel like the delivery was lacking. (I feel like I botch things all the time, and it's always WAY worse in my head.) I swear I saw one of your headband/flower combos on a baby at a fish fry Friday night! I was going to ask where they got it, but I was too chicken. (see?)

Renee said...

I LOVE IT! You Rock Andrea... even if you feel like a jerk.. YOU ROCK. ;)

Angela Kim said...

I'm so proud of you. Mom would be too.

Mandarina said...

You are wonderful, Andrea. I'm sure the mom has dealt with plenty of awkward situations and insensitive questions, so she was probably just automatically defensive on her daughter's behalf-though I totally understand how you feel. I hate that feeling like everything I wanted to say came out all wrong. It might make you feel better to hand write a note to put in the package about how awkward you felt at the park, and give yourself another chance to articulate more exactly how you were feeling. The woman would have to have a heart of stone to not be deeply touched by your motivation and intention in giving the gift.

Anonymous said...


Some day, somehow, you will be blessed by those actions!! You did the right thing no matter how uncomfortable.


Wanda Ulmer said...

You did the right thing and thats all that matters...and it took so much courage...I love you...Wanda