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” Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It’s crowded and dirty. You’re crazy to go to Rome. So, how are you getting there?”
“We’re taking Continental,” was the reply. “We got a great rate!”
“Continental?” exclaimed the hairdresser. ” That’s a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they’re always late. So, where are you staying in Rome ?”
“We’ll be at this exclusive little place over on Rome ‘s Tiber River called Teste.”
“Don’t go any further. I know that place. Everybody thinks its gonna be something special and exclusive, but it’s really a dump.”
“We’re going to go to see the Vatican and maybe get to see the Pope.”
“That’s rich,” laughed the hairdresser. You and a million other people trying to see him. He’ll look the size of an ant.
Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You’re going to need it.”
A month later, the woman again came in for a hairdo. The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome .
“It was wonderful,” explained the woman, “not only were we on time in one of Continental’s brand new planes, but it was overbooked, and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot..
And the hotel was great! They’d just finished a $5 million remodeling job, and now it’s a jewel, the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner’s suite at no extra charge!”
“Well,” muttered the hairdresser, “that’s all well and good, but I know you didn’t get to see the Pope.”
“Actually, we were quite lucky, because as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder, and explained that the Pope likes to meet some of the visitors, and if I’d be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me.
Sure enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me..”
“Oh, really! What’d he say ?” He said: “Who fucked up your hair?”
I heard this term the other day and I wanted to share it with you.
We always talk about post traumatic distress syndrome and I would by no means want to minimize that.
But you know the breathtaking growth and clarity that we have seen coming from people who have been through bad things, horrible things, life’s worst?
It is like some sort of flower that pushes through and grows impossibly after a devastating fire.
That is post traumatic growth. And it is spectacular.
One of my first moments when I felt like a grown up was when I was going out when my children were toddlers and I was really dressed up and I kissed my girls good bye and they said “Mommy, you look really pretty. And you smell so good”
I felt like a mother. It made me think of how safe I felt as a little girl being tucked in by my mom and dad as they went out all dressed up. Like grown ups.
Once, a few years ago, when we were lost on a road trip- I screamed “where the hell are we?”
My sassy one said “You are the grown up. You are supposed to know.”
My ex husband used to do all the driving ( because he loved it) had a innate sense of direction (all men seem to) , all the BBQ ing, all the fixing and all the putting together of complicated things, all the lifting of all the heavy stuff.
You come to rely on this.
Soon after we split we were on the Courtney Campbell Causeway (have three tequila shots and then say 10 times quickly- sounds like a drinking game to me) in Florida and I got badly lost. Then I drove onto one of those no enter roads with spiky things to wreck your tires and pulled over for a long overdue tantrum.
“Your dad used to do all the driving. He always knew where he was going. I am lost”
Well if that isn’t a metaphor I don’t know what is. Only really the reverse was true, I just did not know it in the moment.
Soon the three of us were crying and nice trucker with 18 wheeler knocked on window with large kleenex box and gave us directions.
Rough little angel that he was.
It is hard to be a grown up sometimes. And even harder to admit that you are still a little girl at others.