a particular day

November 29, 2004

Haircut confessions

"I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special."
Shelby (of drink your juice Shelby, fame)

I'm not big on getting haircuts of late. No real reason, other than I'm lazy and I frankly don't spend too much time thinking about my hair. So I wear baseball caps.

Lately though, the hats need a notch loosened.

I love my barber—haven't cheated on her for over 8 years unless I was outta the country or state.

There was no waiting today and she greeted me with a hug in her small old fashioned shop over in Kentucky. She always grills me, "Why do you hide behind all that hair? You're a handsome guy." Today she pressed on, "What is it about yourself you don't like?" and I take her ribbin kindly, searching for the bits of truth.

I told her it's no different than someone disguising themselves with style. I just happen to look more intently, outward.

When talk turned of Thanksgiving, she put the scissors down with a hand on her hip and said we shouldn't talk about it.

She presses me so I press back. Turns out, she lost her mom, dad and aunt all within the span of 6 months this year. I didn't know. Here I sat in the chair getting ready for a funeral to attend not months ago (during my last haircut) and she was solid as a rock, giving me the extra talc and rub on the shoulders as we finished up.

Turns out she couldn't stop sobbing this past holiday, couldn't make it out of the house to her sister's... All the makeup would just stream off as soon as she tried to put it on—and this is a strong woman. She doesn't tolerate misbehavin' kids or tears that have no reason.

I told her women live longer 'cause they cry. It's something we gotta do from time to time, she'd just bottled it up too long.

She scoffed at that notion and started taming the mop on my head.

There was lots more dialogue, and don't get me wrong, it wasn't a sad scene at all. There's always a little bit of catharsis every time I sit in that barber chair. I should be more regular with haircuts.

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Comments

Barbers and bar tenders are potentially the wisest people on the planet. Thank you for this entry. It's been a rough two weeks for me as well, as I lost one of my cats, as well as my maternal grandmother. It always takes me awhile for the reality of a situation like that to set in. When it does, I find it very helpful to have someone with me who knows me well. An ear is a most valuable gift during such times.

And she's right. You do clean up well ;-)

Pax,
CMH

Posted by: CM Harrington | Nov 30, 2004 4:47:50 PM



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