A Scotland Rendezvous, Chapter 5 (Final Chapter)
There’s an advantage to going to a place you never dreamed of going to before. You have absolutely no expectations, really. You never imagined yourself there so it lets you experience and feel everything and lets you be open to it.
What I needed to be open to was this idea of love.
After our quick journey through the Highlands of Scotland, we returned to Dundee. There was one more day before I had to return to the U.S. Steve planned a day trip to St. Andrews. We walked around the campus of the University of St. Andrews (the third oldest university in the English-speaking world, by the way) and when the bell rang, students poured out into the courtyard where we sat and I told Steve, “They all sound like they’re from Harry Potter.”
“That’s because they come from predominantly upper class families,” he explained.
That made sense. To be honest, I didn’t know a thing about St. Andrews University except that Prince William was enrolled there, and wouldn’t that be cool if I saw him? I scanned the group of students and alas, no Prince William.
We also visited the Old Course at St. Andrews. I know just as much about golf as I know about Scotland. Steve informed me that it was one of the oldest golf courses in the world. “Do you play golf,” I asked him, wondering if this relationship progressed if I was going to be getting involved with a golfer.
“Not really,” he said. “I’ve played, but it doesn’t interest me.”
For some reason, I felt relief. I have nothing against golf, but already we’ve established that he likes to look at birds and I don’t have experience with that. If we add golf to the mix, I wasn’t quite sure how I would fit in.
We returned to Dundee where Steve had a phone meeting and suggested that I spend some time walking around the town. Super idea! I thought. I wanted to go get my hair blowed out straight so it would make the long flight back easier on me. (Really, it makes a big difference when you’ve got hair like mine.) I was to leave the next morning and so today was the day to take care of this. Plus, it would give Steve a chance to see me with straight hair, which to be honest with you, I look pretty damn good with straight hair. (All women with curly hair say that, you know.)
After a little bit of shopping in the department store in town, picking up only a few things, I found a hair salon and asked if they would blow out my hair straight. A very cute quintessentially Scottish girl with bright red curly hair (she understands!) sat me down in the chair, put the black plastic cape over me and then off to the sinks I went to get a nice shampoo and condition.
While back in the chair she asks, “Are you here on business or holiday?”
All of a sudden I started to feel. I could tell that water was wanting to push out from my eyes and I wasn’t going to have it. Be strong, for crying out loud my inner voice told me.
“Holiday,” I said with barely enough sound for her to hear.
“Oh!” she chirped. “Are you visiting family or friends?”
Holy cow. Here it comes. I STARTED TO CRY.
“Um, I met this guy online and we’ve spent the week together touring the highlands,” I said, choking out the words.
“Awww, sweetie, are you going to see him again?”
“I don’t know,” I said with enough courage to look up at the mirror and noticed that my eyes were red.
“Just a minute,” she said. “I need to go grab something.”
She walked away and I was there in the chair. In a hair salon. In Dundee, Scotland. BAWLING MY EYES OUT. Oh, for Pete’s sake.
I didn’t know the answer to her question. I didn’t know if I’d ever seem him again. I wasn’t even sure if this was a fling or the beginning of something fantastic. I looked in the mirror again and could see the hair stylist whispering to another stylist and they both looked over at me. Oh geez, I’m the big story in the salon today, I suppose.
Eventually I got a grip on things and there were no more tears. My hair was straightened beautifully, I paid and tipped (quite well, for the awkwardness she had to endure) and then made my way back to Steve’s flat.
“You look fantastic!” he said when he saw me. Big grin and all.
We made dinner together, went to a movie and I spent the rest of our time together in tears. The poor guy didn’t quite know what to do.
We drove to the airport in silence and then said our goodbye.
Scotland, you were the place I never dreamed of going to before. I had no expectations. I never imagined myself there, but there I had been.
I experienced everything, felt everything, and as a result, opened myself to finding love. Thank you Scotland.