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Laura Yeager: Where Women Talk

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Some days, I’m more inclined to talk about my illness than others. I guess this occurs if I haven’t been suffering too terribly from my disease. The illness is kind of on the back burner; my medications are adjusted perfectly, and I’ve had pretty good “luck” for a while.

Today was one of those talkative days. I happened to have a beauty parlor appointment. Nowadays, I guess they call them “salons,” but when I was growing up, they were called beauty parlors. Call them what you will; they’re terrific places to strike up conversations about anything with fellow women.

My beauty parlor is M.C. Hair in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. It’s a wonderful place, and it’s the locale where I met my new friend, Mary (not her real name.) Mary and I had our heads covered with hair dye and were sitting at a big, round table, waiting for the dye to process.

All of a sudden, she opened up to me about her life threatening illness she’d just survived. And in turn, I told her about my (almost) 20-year battle with bipolar illness. Her story got even more complicated when she told me about some legal trouble she was having. I told her about two friends who were battling life-threatening illnesses. Then, her hair dresser pulled her away to rinse the dye off her hair. My hair dresser soon did the same to me. While she was having her hair washed in the shampoo bowl, I told her I’d pray for her and for a quick resolution to all of her problems. She told me she’d pray for my friends and for their children.

What all this means is that the beauty parlor, a.k.a. the “salon,” is a great place to meet fellow women (and men) and discuss all kinds of issues including health issues. Before we had places like empowher.com, beauty parlors were one kind of forum for all kinds of women’s issues.

Playwright Robert Harling made this notion popular in his play (which was then made into a movie) Steel Magnolias. Truvy’s beauty salon was the local gathering place for women, where they discussed their lives, including their successes and their failures. It’s the place where the main character of Steel Magnolias, Shelby, played by Julia Roberts in the movie, obtained support in her battle with Type 1 Diabetes. Shelby didn’t survive the battle – her illness – but her friends from the beauty parlor lived on to carry on her memory.

M.C. Hair is my Truvy’s salon.

I’m sure most of you have your preferred beauty parlor. What would we do without them?

Mary told me in parting her motto: “When the going gets tough, the tough get pampered.”

If you’re suffering from an illness today, go to your salon for some T.L.C.

Thank God for beauty parlors.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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