Sunday 12.5.10

Failure to Communicate.

To sum it all up in advance I suppose your response would be “Well, what did you expect… you went to a Cost Cutters!”

That was just to help you get through this in case you did not have the time to read this during this busy holiday season.

It was time for a haircut. I was feeling a little shaggy. My hair has always been fairly short except for a few years back in the mid seventies. It sort of gets to the point where I feel it on my ears and I just know – it is time for a trim. Since I have had hair I have always had the exact same hair style: short and parted on the right side of my head. In the mirror, this looks normal to me. I look like all of the regular people who part their hair on the left side of their head, which seems to be more common. When I see my head in a picture I get the feeling that my part is going the wrong way.

Years ago I used to get hair cuts from people who were actual barbers. You know, some grungy old place with shit all over the floor, a razor strap hanging from the chair, a bunch of other old guys telling stories about when they were not old guys. The barber always smelled like some kind of hair tonic, the back of my neck was always shaved up and I could feel the little stubbly hairs back there. It was awesome.

Since moving to Wisconsin I’ve looked for someone like this but they all seem to have died off or something. So, I go to a local Cost Cutters. I’ve been going to the same place for about 10 years. I don’t think I have EVER had the same person cut my hair more than once. Always someone different. Each time, the same questions: do they use clippers or scissors? How short do you normally cut it? I tell them people have used everything and pretty short, please. They usually take a preliminary whack at my head and then ask if this is short enough. We go shorter. Once in a while I’ll get someone who completely gets my hair style and I’ll walk out with a decent cut.

Yesterday, the same routine. Come in, sit down, answer questions, go shorter, some random chit chat. The gal gets kind of “done” with the top of my head – does a tossed salad move with her fingers and then asks me how this looks. I look into the mirror and start moving my hair into position with my hand, parting from the left. As I am doing this the girl says “Oh, is that the way you comb your hair?”

My simple answer was yes. The dialogue on the inside of my head was more like “What the fuck? I JUST came in here 5 minutes ago –  you JUST evaluated my entire noggin, asked the questions and everything and you did not get that my hair was a certain way?” So, she invented a new haircut for me on the spot. Next, we trimmed the ears and neck and I was done. In, out in about 10 minutes. No stories about when old guys were young. No tonic smell. Nothing. Pay the bill and out you go. I guess it’ll grow back.

In the meantime: More long underwear…

2 responses

  1. Having never gone to a barber, I have to admit up front that I don’t know dick about tonsorial culture, but it seems as though the missing link in this cyclic make-over procedure that pretty much always involves some degree of disappointment in the performance of interchangable kids with scissors is a picture (or six) of the photographer whose hair is about to be butchered anyway.

    December 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm

  2. I doubt we went to the same location but I too have recently had a disappointing experience at Cost Cutters. They must not pay as well as other hair places.

    December 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm

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