Life Lessons, Two for Tuesday

I found the perfect stylist, or why I hate haircuts

Two of the things that I hate the most in the world sometimes occur simultaneously:  getting my hair cut and making small talk.

For the majority of my life, I hated getting haircuts. Probably because I didn’t like the way I looked with a fresh haircut, or maybe I just didn’t like the way I looked period (discussion for another day). I’m sure the experiences of my mom giving me in-home haircuts as a child factored in. A fidgety kid like me and a perfectionist like her was never a good combination. It was such an ordeal that we would put off the next haircut as long as possible and thus each haircut took a long time.  The first volley for power in a years long parent-offspring battle of wills.

Please don't shave your initials again  (Photo by Charles Chan)

Please don’t shave your initials again
(Photo by Charles Chan)

Once I started paying for my own haircuts, I was always trying to find the combination of economical (cheap) and stylish (not looking like a dork who just got his hair cut).  At some point I found Aimee. She managed to do the one thing I really depend on, remember how we cut it last time and doing the same thing. Over time we came up with our Summer Cut and our Winter Cut.  She also liked to trim my eyebrows, which at the time I thought was too girly (the Metrosexual Revolution was a few years away) but I let her.

I was doing cart wheels to fit into her schedule

It was a wonderful relationship while it lasted but alas, it became harder and harder to get an appointment with Aimee.  So much so that I was jumping through hoops to meet her schedule.  I had to plan my haircuts two or more weeks in advance.   I was doing cart wheels to fit into her schedule.   I decided that the person who cuts my hair should be available on my schedule, not the other way around.

When she moved locations, I used the opportunity to break up with Aimee. Breaking up with your stylist is easier than cheating on them because you basically make a commitment to never set foot in their shop again. So once I was free to find a new stylist, I vowed I would never get committed to a specific stylist again.

Since then I’ve gone to a variety of places,  most recently a place near my office that is staffed by teenagers. Talk about Small Talk Hell.  I have nothing in common with these kids yet they really try their darnest, going through the ST script.  I’m not good at small talk in general and when I sit in the chair at a salon with a stylist I’ve just meet,  everything empties from my mind and I suddenly become the Least Interesting Man in the World.

I was willing to put up with the teens because I got a decent haircut at a reasonable cheap price.  Even if they sometimes forgot to ask if they could trim my eyebrows (Aimee’s legacy still lingers!).  However, their hours didn’t mesh well with my schedule.  So I checked Yelp and found another place nearby.  For about $10 more, I got a better haircut (wife approved) and I found a stylist who provides just enough small talk from the second camp and then stops talking in order to concentrate on my hair!

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship….until she becomes more high maintenance than me.

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