Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Splitting Hairs

I decided I wanted to get a really short haircut. How short? Short. A buzz cut.

Actually, I had decided this 'way before my retirement over two years ago. I didn't do it because, well, geez, there are a lot of reasons. I had to go to the symphony. I had to meet people. But the real reason was, I chickened out.

So when my girlfriend kept asking, "Ooooh, are you going to get that short haircut now?" I finally decided to go for it. I had admired short haircuts on some friends of mine, and, you know, no crushed look when you sleep on it wrong if it's really short. So, today I walked into the generic version of Supercuts and announced I was going to try an experiment.

I'm funny about haircuts. I don't mind spending a C-note on a nice meal. Or paying a lot of money for clothes that will last awhile. But I hate spending any money at all on something that's going to be gone -- or I should say, be back, as it will grow back -- in just a few weeks. I've heard a lot of women, including my friends, say they'd pay almost any amount of money if they could just be assured of a decent haircut, but not me. So every time I go into a cheap place like the one at the Payless strip mall, I take my hair life into my hands.

I had rehearsed what I was going to say. I knew that I'd be dealing with a language barrier, as the women who work at this place are ESL -- skillful with a razor, but not so skilled on figuring out what you want -- so, yes, a double risk here.

As soon as I walked in, one of the women practically yelled out, "Linda!" (I guess good tipping really does work.) I had to give my phone number, but the woman handling the computer couldn't find it. The other woman, the one who knows my name, helped her find me, and then the cashier woman asked me to follow her.

I knew we had a problem as soon as I said my rehearsed speech. "I would like to do something new," I said, trying to ease her into the situation. "I want it short. Very short. About an inch long, if that." So then she said to me, "Same length?" Ooops. No.

So I would speak to the 2nd woman, the woman who knows my name, and she would interpret for the first woman, the one with the scissors in her hand. It was an interesting triumvirate. She'd say something and we'd all laugh. I had no idea what they were saying.

After the first shave-through, I caught a glance of my head in the mirror and said, "Oooh." She immediately said, "All right?" I replied, "Yes!" more to reassure her. I was kind of in shock, but I didn't really get a good look. The 2nd woman with the better English skills walked by and said, "Very sexy!" Must be the first thing they teach you in hair grooming school.

So I didn't know what the result was. Until I strolled into Payless and caught a glimpse of me in one of their makeup mirrors.

Oh My God. I've never had my hair this short. Not even -- no, not even then. I guess when people mistake me for a man now, I'll have to lower my voice. My God.

You know the saying, he didn't have the brains God gave baby ducks? My hair looks like the fuzz from a baby duck. Without the brains God gave baby ducks.

I immediately bought some hair goo in Payless. Something to tame it. But there's nowhere for it to go, you know? It just lies there -- no, it doesn't lie, it's straight up, sorta.

The beauty of this experiment is that it will grow out. I think it will look just fine -- in the near future. I guess I can say, looking at it in a positive way, I finally got to do one of the things I've always wanted to do.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Some of us like it!