going anywhere nice for your holidays?

I had a traumatic experience on Wednesday. It involved flashbacks, anxiety, envy, a pair of scissors and some money.

On Wednesday I took my daughter somewhere that brought back pleasant memories for me. It reminded me of relaxing and pleasant times in my past that will never happen again.

I took her to the hairdressers.

I sat in a chair watching from afar while the hairdresser did her thing to Hannah’s hair. I reminisced about how relaxing it was when I used to have my hair cut. There was something so calming about having someone cut my hair while making small talk about where I was going on my holidays and what I did for a living (which often led to: “Oh”-style responses).

Never again.

Now I normally cut my own hair with a pair of clippers. No, it doesn’t take long – thanks for asking. But before my Mum’s wedding last year I decided to treat myself and went to a nearby Barber’s shop. As I went in the barber looked at me and paused.

“Thank you for not laughing,” I said. I then confirmed that I was there for a haircut. I wanted him to clip my hair.

It was unsatisfactory for several reasons:

  1. It did not take long at all. Not even long enough for him to find out my holiday plans.
  2. I felt rather silly sitting in the chair with other customers looking on and wondering why I was bothering.
  3. At the end of the haircut the barber charged me a couple of quid less than full price!
I felt disappointed, embarrassed and a little sad. It was not the relaxing, gentle experience of my youth (when I had luxuriant hair).
I have not dared to go back.
It seems that nostalgia is not what it used to be. I am amused but not surprised at the complaints of the Hebrews escaping from Egypt under Moses, who started grumbling quite quickly and decided that they wanted to go back to Egypt. What, back to the slavery, torture and perhaps even certain death?
How many times do I ‘want to go back to Egypt’? Do I hark back to the ‘good old days’? Do I reminisce about what God did with me in the past? There’s nothing wrong with remembering (eg Communion!) but good remembering is about reflecting on God’s actions in the past to reassure and encourage to face the present and the future.
I refer you to the joke I made here as it seems immensely apt.

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