November 13, 2011 12:09:00 AM
One of my best memories is quite a simple one. The night before Thanksgiving, falling asleep with the sounds of Mama clinking pots around in the kitchen, the smell, how heavenly, of turkey baking slowly in the oven put me right off to dreamland many nights.
Daddy would have a big roaring fire in the stone fireplace, and I would lie snug as a bug in a rug on a pallet of blankets just beyond the glowing flames. I still miss the smell of those pecan pies and fresh logs seasoned with an occasional gust of cold wind from an open door. It was a little boy's storybook life set to the music of Mama humming into the wee hours. For me, anticipation was a pre-Thanksgiving feast.
Today more than ever, I count all those memories as blessings. Other memories remind me of my years at home with Mama, like the nights of painting her fingernails and toenails as we laughed out loud about most anything and everything imaginable. I remember us burning the midnight oil, energized by sugar highs from oven-warmed glazed doughnuts, Crunch & Munch caramel corn with peanuts, and Yoo-Hoos in the bottle.
It was a never-ending series of makeovers, with Mama donning blonde one season, vibrant auburn the next. On rare occasions, I would even break out the Frost & Cap highlighting from a box (thank you, Miss Clairol), and who knew what shade of beautiful we would expose by morning's light. Daddy was always puzzled, but never surprised.
It was this early time spent with the most extraordinary woman in my world that lit the spark within me, leading to my makeover madness nowadays. I do love, still today, taking a woman from good to great in record speed, armed with nothing but shears, makeup brushes and a blow dryer. I once thought I was doing it for selfish reasons because I always felt an immense sense of pride for helping a woman find her most beautiful self. Now, I know it is both for me and for those countless women of all ages who grace my styling chair.
A haircut is just a haircut, and color, whether it's lipstick or hair color, well, it's a step in the process. But a makeover can be life-changing. It's magical to help a woman fall in love with herself over and over again, and especially if it is for the first time. I have had women cry with joy over a bang or a ravishing shade of brown, not just because it's delightfully different and new, but because it's finally as beautiful on the outside as the inside. I have always said, once the exterior is in balance with the interior, life is in synch and perfect harmony.
I'm going home for Thanksgiving, and I'm going to spend the night with Mama, telling stories near the fireplace while the turkey bakes and fills the house with memories ... and, who knows, maybe even another makeover for Mama!
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.