Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Hair Salon and Talking

The other evening I watched a 1939 movie The Women starring Norma Shearer. The plot revolved around mindless gossip with the manicurist and how it ended up destroying a marriage. Believe it or not, I think it was a comedy.

Today while waiting to get my hair cut I sat reading a hair salon magazine's article that captured my attention. That article tackled the problem of gossiping at hair salons. It also gave pretty good advice on how to avoid gossiping when a stylist is cutting hair. I guess because it was a hair salon magazine, the blame seemed to lay on the shoulders of the clientele. It was still good to know that the hair cutting industry did address a problem like gossip.

My reading was interrupted though by one of the stylists and her customer. In a very loud voice the hair stylist went on and on about her weekend, her family, her children...ad nauseum. Then she would stop and ask her customer all kinds of questions about her life. Maybe they knew each other. I don't know. It just seemed that whether or not we wanted to, we had to be privy to their conversation.

I started to observe the other stylist. I noticed she was very quiet and seemed to be paying much attention to the way she cut her older customer's hair. In fact, both ladies were very quiet.

Then it was my turn with the quiet stylist. Ironically, it seemed to me that I was going to be the chatterbox as I proceeded to make small talk as soon as I sat down. But after telling her just how I wanted my hair cut, we both fell into a mutual silence.

It occurred to me that the talkative stylist was not gossiping. She was freely sharing about her own life and her own family. She was asking questions out of making conversation more than gossiping.

But that brings me to another observation. Once a person is in the stylist chair, they seem to feel a strong compulsion to share their entire life story with the stylist. It makes no difference in the gender either. The talkative stylist's next customer was a man. I noticed that the stylist did not ask him any direct questions. Yet, this guy felt a need to share about his trip, his job, etc. It felt uncomfortable knowing so much about these strangers.

...In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions. Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze.

The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna.

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Scripture Source

It may be very prudent if we keep a rein over our tongue.  Think before speaking, yes.  But maybe more beneficial to us, pray before speaking.


Anne said...

Pray before speaking. A wonderful suggestion!

Esther G. said...

Thanks Anne.