Sometimes, after a rough day, there is only one thing that can help. (If you’re a nursing mom, then you probably won’t turn to the liquor stash. Then again, you might. I’ll admit, at the risk of shame, being sorely tempted!)

The offer will seem too good to be true, and maybe you’ll feel like you have to deny yourself the relief it will bring. But then desperation (or the whispering of your guardian angel, perhaps) will win out, and you’ll drop the kids off with that dear grandma-type who offered to take them for the afternoon.

And then you’ll go to a new place to get your hair cut, recommended by a friend back in April. Though it makes you quake a bit (seeing as how you never have any luck with beauticians), you figure “why not?”

There will be time for a stop at a coffee shop, and you’ll have appetite enough (thanks to nursing!) and time to spare for a decaf pumpkin latte and a seven-layer bar.

And then, then, you’ll go meet your new best friend, Erin. Erin will take your hair out of the ponytail holder and keep her face straight like a champ (she’s a pro, after all). She’ll ask what you want, and when you reply, in total seriousness, “A miracle!,” she’ll nod and get to work.

You will glance down, at some point, and see all the hair on the floor. “The problem,” Erin will say, “is that you have a lot of hair and it needs thinned out. Because really, you have beautiful hair, the kind of hair every woman wants to have.”

Before she’s done, Erin will have won you over. You’ll tip her too much, but you can’t help it. That woman in the mirror is you. That hair on her head is yours.

On the drive to get the kids, you’ll call the friend who referred you to Erin, because you feel like you owe her a tip too. And since she’s sympathetic, she’ll listen to you gush and smile over the phone.

When you pick the kids up, your friend will light up and tell you how great your hair looks.

When you get home, and find that your husband is already home from work, the second thing he’ll say is “Wow, I like your hair!”

And suddenly, it hasn’t been such a bad day at all.