Natalie rolled her eyes, having heard or told the story on several occasions. That story has been told over and over because I think it is funny, though at the time, I found no humor in it.
It happened at Panama City Beach this summer on vacation. We were at Pier Park, a popular hangout, with shops, restaurants, movies, etc. Sheri and Tyler were at Target, while Natalie and I were on our own. We walked past a sidewalk booth that did hair stuff for girls. When I say stuff, I don’t really know what to call it, except stuff — you know, hair wraps, feathers and the like.
Natalie tugged on my shirt to get my attention, pointed to a sign at the hair booth and said, “Dad, it only cost $2.90.”
At this point in the story, her memory differs from mine. I think she said for that price she could get a hair feather. Have you seen these feathers? Lots of little girls have them, and they are really cute. I’m a sucker for anything cute for my kid. I did see the sign that read $2.90, but I thought it was for the feather. So, I thought, no big deal, good price. “OK, you can get one.”
Experience should have taught me to ask more questions, but on vacation my brain doesn’t work. Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco, and I left my brain in Carrollton.
So, as she sat down to get what I thought was a $2.90 hair feather, I turned my attention to people watching. After some time, I decided to turn around to see how things were going, not knowing how long such a procedure takes. Much to my surprise, she wasn’t getting a feather, but rather she was getting a hair wrap. That is when I read the fine print under the advertisement for hair wrap. The fine print almost gave me a myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack. It said, “$2.90 per inch.” One quick glance and I knew this hair wrap was about the size of a foot-long hot dog.
I paid $42 for a hair wrap! Since this article goes out to Christian audiences, I can’t tell you what Sheri said.
The lady at the hair rip-off place, I mean booth, did say the hair wrap would last at least four months. I said it had better last six, and “Merry Christmas Natalie.” I will put a bow on it in December.
Back to the nice girl behind the Chick-fil-A counter — after hearing a condensed version of the story, she smiled and said, “That will teach you to read the fine print.” I think that the hair rip-off place should have had a sign in big, bold print: We cater to girls, and we are out to get your money.
When we left the hospital with a girl nine and a half years ago, the hospital should have given me some instructions in bold print. Warning: Girls don’t operate like boys. With our son, we never had to deal with hair wraps or feathers, or meltdowns in the morning over what to wear, or hurt feelings over not getting a birthday invitation. No one warned me about such things.
I know the Apostle Paul said, “Love is patient,” but perhaps he meant to say “Love overlooks the fine print.” Maybe Paul had a son, but I’ll bet you anything he didn’t have a daughter.
Davis is the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Carrollton.