The Haircut

April 10, 2013

I must have had about 1200 haircuts or so in my lifetime.

I can’t remember my first one, but I am sure it was a big deal to my mother who probably took me to the barbershop and then got me a lollipop afterwards.
Usually for the past 50 years or so I have been going to the barbershop on my own.

As a youngster, I went to Frank’s.  Frank and Dottie ran a combination barber and beauty shop that my father and I used to frequent. Although Frank was a friend of my father, I don’t think Frank was all that good a barber, but he cut my hair for free and I always got a Bazooka bubble gum. Frank’s  was where I first discovered Playboy magazines. They were hidden on the back magazine shelf.
When I became an adult and worked in business, I had a certain barber and had  regular appointments that included a snappy witch hazel finish. Being well-groomed was crucial to success in business I had been told.

Lately however, I have developed an aversion to the whole barbering experience. Regular readers of this space know that I have this uneasy relationship with hair and anything to do with it. I do not like waiting in the barbershop with all those fusty old magazines. Reading dog-eared Consumer Reports evaluations of eight track tape players or The Sporting News’ account of how the Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series is just not fun anymore.

So, in order to avoid waiting, I would look for a barbershop that was not crowded. If one had people in it, I would drive to the next one. Sometimes going to 4 or 5 before I found one that was empty. The thought never occurred to me that if no one was in there, then perhaps the barber was not that good. Well it is only hair, right?

Last week, I needed a haircut really bad, but since I was low on gas, I did not want to drive around looking for an empty shop, so I asked Donna if she would cut my hair.
She said “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I can’t stand it any more.”
So she got out her old clipper set and we went outside on the patio, where she began to shear my objectionable locks.
When she was finished, she handed me a mirror. It wasn’t bad and I felt lots better.
I offered her $20 for her efforts, but she refused.
I did not know what to do. My hair was shorter. I felt better. It was a happy day.

I stashed the bill in my shirt!