I got my hair cut yesterday. Not a very exciting event in my overly exciting life but a necessity nonetheless. I like getting my hair cut and us guys with short hair need to have it groomed quite frequently, lest we start looking like Tom Brady or Justin Beiber!
(Sidenote: people often tell me I look like Tom Brady, what do you think? I only wish I had his athletic skills and money).
I’ve never really had a barber or a hair stylist that I’ve frequented for a long time. Often I’ll patronize the same place for a few years, but I never really care about who is actually doing the cutting. My hair always seems to look okay when they’re done so I haven’t spent too much time courting a relationship with someone. In hindsight maybe I have “barber” commitment issues! I can only imagine building up this magnificent, wonderful relationship with a barber (we’ll call him Gus) only to one day, on a whim, decide I want to get my hair cut somewhere else. How do you break off a relationship with a barber or a hair stylist? Could that possibly be harder than breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend? I don’t know. I guess you just stop showing up… but I live in a small town, what if I bump into Gus in the grocery store or at a school function?
Gus: Hey Steve, how’s it going?
Steve: Uh, great, things have been really busy!
Gus: Great, haven’t seen you in a while.
Steve: Yeah I’ve been really busy with work, haven’t had much time to get my hair cut.
Gus: Oh… well it looks pretty short right now.
Steve: Yeah… uh… well… um… uh, well you know I’ve been trying out a new diet, kind of a vegan thing, sort of, but where I can still eat some meat… and uh, well… uh… I think it is affecting my hair growth.
Gus: Okay, well good luck with that diet. If it starts to grow again, well you know where to find me.
Steve: Okay, see you around Gus.
Wow… see how uncomfortable that would be. I’ve worked up a sweat just thinking about it!
Lately I have been getting my hair cut in one of the larger suburban towns nearby at a place called SportsClips. If you’re not familiar with SportsClips it’s a chain-style hair salon for GUYS ONLY and its all full of SPORTS themed paraphernalia, TV’s showing SPORTING EVENTS, and CUTE STYLISTS wearing black and white REFEREE style clothing. I have to admit they do a nice job so that’s been my latest “hair cut” fling.
I don’t mind getting my hair cut by women. I’m a pretty stylish guy and somehow I feel they know better how to make my hair look… well, you know… FABULOSO! A little buzz here, a little snip-snip here, a handful of sticky hair-gel and VOILA… $20.00 and I’m outta here. Plus, since us macho guys can’t be running around frequenting massage salons and getting our toenails done, getting our haircut is the closest thing to having a “tryst” with a pedicurist and getting a foot rub, and having a cute stylist dressed as a referee is (at least for now) better than some old guy with shaky hands and stale coffee breath.
But I also hope someday to find a great barber shop, where I can go and get a haircut and maybe a straight razor shave and a shot or two of single-malt whiskey and feel like the men of the first 60-70 or so years of the 20th century… before men started, well you know, putting gel in their hair. The old-fashioned barber shop, with it’s spinning red and white barber pole, is really a lost art and a diminishing cultural institution in this country. Barbers in the early days used to do all kinds of crazy medical treatments like bleeding people when they had diseases. In fact, I read somewhere that the red and white barber pole stems from a representation of the bandages used during a bleeding treatment. Thankfully most barbers are only cutting hair now and even the straight razor shave has been eliminated from most shops because of the liabilities involved with disease transmission if someone were to get cut. But there are still a lot of great barber shops out there and hopefully that profession will continue to survive as a valued service in small and large towns and cities across the country.
For now though, I’ll continue to drive up to the “burbs” and get my hair cut at SportsClips. At least until I start to get that relationship “itch” and feel like those “referees” are starting to know me a little too well. Then, once again, I’ll have to break-up with my barber shop and go out into the world as a “hair bachelor” searching for that elusive stylist who can keep me groomed for a few more years.