Just A Trim
There’s about a three-to-four day period where I genuinely think my hair looks good. It’s somewhere between the time when it doesn’t look like I just stepped out of the barber’s chair and the time when both of my cowlicks do their own thing.
For girls, the relationship they have with whomever touches their hair is a special one. They make appointments far in advance, they’re friends with this person, their menstrual cycles are aligned; it’s some deep shit. They just don’t go to the Hair Cuttery and roll the dice.
I’ve gone to the same barber in a not so convenient location for one simple reason: she listens to me. That’s all I really look for in a barber. I say “just a trim, leave a little more on top than on the sides and don’t buzz it anywhere” and she says “OK” and then she actually does it and it’s amazing.
What would happen before I found her was that I would give my basic instructions to some random barber and the barber would say “OK”, but what they would really be thinking was “You know what? Fuck it. I’m going to try something here” and then they would shave my head, leave me with their own interpretation of bangs and I would drive home with tears in my eyes.
I’m so picky about my hair because I don’t look good with a buzz cut; if I did, I would shave my head and save the money. The truth of the matter is that I have big ears, which round out my even larger head. My friends will tell me I’m just being ridiculous, but other people who are not considerate of my feelings have been brutally honest about my unfortunate head-size on several occasions.
In fact, in high school gym class during my sophomore year, a black kid with dreadlocks said “you got a big ass head” and then I told him he looked like Whoopi Goldberg, and then he punched me in the dick. When we played kickball later in class and he was batting, he kept refusing to kick because the pitch was too bouncy, I told him to “just kick it, this isn’t Sister Act 2.” He wasn’t familiar with the work of Whoopi Goldberg, so he didn’t punch me in the dick again.
The woman who cuts my hair is pretty and of Asian descent, but I’m not cultured enough to determine where specifically, and although I’m admittedly awful with the ages of women, I’d say she’s anywhere between 30 and 50. Honestly, I don’t have her cut my hair because she’s pretty, it’s just because she does a good job. I tried three other barbers in the same establishment and they all briefly ruined my life in their own way.
The thing is that there are a bunch of guys who get their hair cut by her just because she’s pretty; an obscene amount.
I try to get my hair cut during the week when it’s not so busy but I usually have to go on Saturdays, and it’s a nightmare. The barbershop will be relatively crowded but there will be a huge wait for the woman who cuts my hair. You have to grab a ticket with a number when you walk in the door, and there are always stacks of them by her chair from hordes of old men with literally no hair, fighting death in uncomfortable plastic chairs while reading a six-month old Sports Illustrated.
When I walk in the door and another barber asks me to sit in their chair, I always feel like a weirdo when I say I’m waiting for the lady who cuts my hair. I can feel them judging me as some creeper who gets their rocks off through haircuts. They look at me like I was sitting on a bench by a playground and when they asked me which kid was mine, I replied with a “don’t have one” and winked.
I’ve watched her cut the three hairs of the elderly who adore her on several occasions for educational purposes, and she doesn’t do anything that I would deem flirty or sexual. I mean, she touches your head, but no different than any other barber and it’s strictly for position, and she talks to you a little, like you’re a person, but honestly, I can rarely understand her because of her accent, which makes me feel racist for some reason.
When I’m in the chair, I try to imagine what would set me off if I was old and weird, but it’s generally an uncomfortable experience. I have hair in my eyes and nose, and I have to endure the glares of men who seem to be thinking “Look man, you’re young and you’re still at a point in your life where girls touch you voluntarily, so fuck off and let me get my head touched by this Asian.”
What I really feel is bad for these guys; this is all they have. The joy that’s visible in their faces is genuine and they can’t help but show it, and it makes me sad about growing old.
Basically, I hope my sexual experience isn’t reduced to getting my hair cut by an Asian woman for $9.25.