OK, here I am. New barbershop. Feeling uncomfortable. Is this place too hip? I don’t wanna walk out of here looking like a kid from One Direction. Alright fine, a father of a kid from One Direction. Maybe playful uncle? Hmm, that guy over there is wearing a Ramones t-shirt, but doesn’t look like he knows the lyrics to any of their songs. I can work with that. That’s just my level. Uh oh. The guy standing next to him has several tattoos. And some of them seem ironic! Shit. That’s a PBR logo on his arm. This place is too hip. Abort! Abort! Wait, they’re waving me over— what do I do?!….
Alright, here we are. In the chair. Feeling calmer now. Other people have to take an Ativan to get a haircut, right? OK, get comfortable, take in your surroundings. Look at that. Why does there have to be pictures of men’s heads taped everywhere? To remind me what hair looks like? I know the vast potential of shapes that can be achieved by cutting hair, I don’t need flashcards. And do the pictures of all the dudes need to surround the perimeter of the mirror like that? So I constantly compare the image of myself to all these male models — like the most soul-crushing game of Memory ever? “That’s what you could look like, that’s what you do look like, that’s what you could look like, that’s what you do. Could, do, could, do.” I guess the idea is that I point to one of these pictures and say “Give me that haircut, please?” If I point to the picture of Ryan Gosling, the barber’s just going to start laughing, right? Let’s find out. OK, I’m just going to lean over in the direction of Gosling and…YEP. Yep, he’s definitely laughing….
OK. Here it comes. He put the weird bib lining thing on my neck to make sure I don’t get any hair on my super nice Old Navy t-shirt, and we’re off. Now he’s gonna ask that one dreaded question… “What would you like?” This is always so awkward. I don’t know hair terminology. I would like you to use the scissors and the electric razor device in such a way that I do not leave here looking any more like an idiot than I already do. But no, you can’t say that. So now I’m gonna bumble on about “short here” and “trim there,” which will all mean the exact same thing as “See what my hair looks like now? Do that, except shorter.” Isn’t that what everyone wants? How many people come in here with a totally normal hair cut and say “Make me look like I just went through a hazing ritual?”…
The cutting has just begun, and already I’m really close to his balls. Like two inches and a thin layer of blue jean are all that separate me from this stranger’s nuts. Seriously, if I turn my head to the right this stops being a haircut and starts being a porn movie. Are there no other angles we can do this from?….
Uh oh. We got a talker here. Really? Do we have to make conversation? I will tip you two extra dollars if we don’t have to say anything to each other, how does that sound? Four extra dollars if you can somehow convince me with the way you hold the back mirror that I am not losing my hair. Did I say four? I meant four thousand…
Oh God, he’s screwing it up. Look at that section by the ear! It’s like a blind person is cutting my hair. I should say something. I mean, it’s my hair, right? I’m the one who’s gotta leave here looking like a white Mr. T. I’m gonna say something. But would that be insulting? I don’t want to insult the guy. Not out loud, anyway. I mean, he’s right in the middle of the process. Maybe he’s got a plan I’m not aware of. No one stopped Michelangelo in the middle of the Sistine Chapel and said “Hey, you know that part over by the angel? It looks you painted that with your eyes closed. Are you even really an artist? Also, why are your balls so close to my face?”
Ohhh, wait! This is starting to look good. It’s a miracle! Maybe I should just tell him to stop right now. I mean, it really looks good, right? That’s what I should do. I should be the sort of person who jumps triumphantly out of the seat and says “No! That is enough! This hair is perfect! Go no further!” With wild gestures, like I’m conducting some sort of hair orchestra. I think women would be impressed by that sort of person, wouldn’t they? I’m gonna do it. I’m getting up! Actually, this seat is cozy. Plus he has scissors near my face. I’ll wait.
OK. That’s it. Is that it? We’re done, right? Yep, the smock is coming off, he’s wiping the hair away like I’m the King of France, I think we’re done. I look… um… I look exactly the same as I always do. I’ll take it! Next time I promise to not worry about this. It’s just a haircut. Relax, you weirdo.
Or maybe I could just wear more hats.