Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Now it can be told: the traumatic tale of switching hairdressers

You are forgiven for thinking I fell off the face of the earth (although technically that metaphor makes no sense, but whatever). I did not write for most of last month and most of this month. There is a reason for that: I was wallowing in immense sadness. I suffered a great traumatic event last month, and it took me all this time to recover fully. Well, not fully. I still have nightmares, but don't tell anybody that.

But now, dear readers, it can be finally told. Just for your collective sake and just for your entertainment (for, if you read the banner of this blog closely, we do promise to sacrifice our well-being for your entertainment) I have summoned every picogram of courage I possess to write this piece up. You're welcome. We accept checks, although we really prefer cold, hard cash. Email me to find out where to send the goodies.

This is the story of a guy who, after years of hopelessly searching for the perfect haircut, finally found the right hairdresser who not only understood every whim fancy of his truculent (look it up) hair, but also creatively cajoled it every damn time.

It went something like this: here in the city of the great Saint Louis, I stumbled into a venerable hair salon, wild eyed and frazzled (literally), looking for assistance. This place is majestic: plush leather chairs, free hot towels, and free beer. Did you read that last part? Yeah this place serves free beer with your haircut. I got down on my knees and begged them to tame my unruly mane. One hairdresser brave and adventurous enough took up the challenge.

Over the next four or five visits, she told me the same stories, meaning she didn't really know who I was and thought I was a different customer each time. The next visit, though, the stories began changing. After hearing about her how her three children keep her busy at home and how my hair looked a lot like her husband's for the first four times, I began hearing about siblings in the military. I learned her daughter's soccer coach was a mean jerk. The teenage son broke the truck door and was now mowing lawns to pay for it. The younger son broke his leg but the idiot ER doctor wouldn't give him anything stronger than ibuprofen. By the seventh visit, she started saying "shit" around me. Now the talk turned to politics and war and elections and alien documentaries on history channel. She was mortified her young daughter was humming Flo Rida's "Whistle".

And then it crashed to an end. Visit #8: I called to make an appointment and requested her.
"Oh she doesn't work here anymore."
*Deadly silence on my end*

The world started spinning. I whispered some incoherent nonsense and hung up, too shaken up to say anything else. The next few weeks were rough. My slow descent into despair was halted only by a looking patient session. Can't afford to look like bazooka joe for that. Wearily and sullenly I trudged up to the salon and found the next available person.

The replacement and I have had two sessions so far. I was told about her days as an aerobic instructor and jewellery model in Vegas in the 1980's, of the wild parties the good folks of Cahokia, Illinois throw. It's a work in progress.

To this day I jerk awake in the middle of the night, sweat draining on my bedsheets.


  1. She told me my hair looks like her husband's. She tells everyone that--PLEASE PLEASE--don't feel special.

    Also, Obama likes my blog more.

  2. It's true. I like Amir's blog much better. His analysis of domestic and foreign politics is insightful. Universal Gravitation is just mental masturbation.