The Magical Headband and Guadalajara

You already know I have a “Happy Hat.”

Now, I have a Magical Headband!

I bought it on a whim from Charmin’ Charlies’, in the Joliet mall.

Every time I wear it, I get so many compliments. Just putting it on, I’m in a better mood.

Lately, I’m wearing it almost every day. I’ve had it a few months now, I’d say.

It’s quintessentially Amee! Orange, and cheerful. It’s got a flower on the side, it looks like it’s blooming four different layers of that fiery hue. There’s a cluster of white “stamens” in the middle– it’s simple and pretty.

It picks up the hint of red in my hair, and makes it a warmer brunette. Without it, my hair looks messy and boyish. Bulky. Add the Magical Headband and, viola! Balance is achieved by adding femininity and reducing the bulk of my awkward layers.

Tonight, I ate dinner alone at the same place I often go. I ordered the my routine meal.  I was feeling a bit lonely, and someone spoke to me.

I was sitting solo at a booth by the window, and an older woman in the booth in front of mine made eye contact as she was getting up to leave.

She had a soft accent that I couldn’t place. I could mostly understand her.

“That’s a beautiful flower,” she said, with such a sincere smile. I couldn’t help smiling in return.

“Thank you,” I said. “Orange is my favorite color. I like that blue shirt you’re wearing!”

She had some flair as well– dangly silver earrings, a long necklace. Her hair salt n’ pepper. Her smile bloomed.

I’m often unsure if I should ask where someone with an accent is from, but she seemed so kind. I knew it would be okay.

“Mexico,” she said softly. “You ever been to my country?”

I told her no, but that my best friend  is on vacation there, right now. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I was thinking of her earlier.

She told me she’s from Guadalajara, and I told her I’ve never been there. Or anywhere else out of the country.

I tried mentioning Aguascalientes, the city where my best friend is now visiting. Her grandmother lives there. The woman couldn’t understand me, so I wrote it on the paper place mat. She nodded,  happy I knew someone who had been to Mexico, even if not Guadalajara.

I asked her, “What’s your name?”

It sounded like “Louise,” but that wasn’t right.  So she wrote it on the place mat.


“Amee,” I wrote.

I asked her, “Do you ever get to go home?”

“Every year,” she said. She stays for a month!

I told her that sometime, I hope to go to Guadalajara, and many other places. I thanked her for saying hello. She reached out and patted my hand, I patted hers. She made her way to the register, to pay her bill.

Lusita was alone, too. She was happy, and she spread joy to me.

Thanks to my Magical Headband!

Moments like these, God is with me. Moments like these, I feel grace.


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