Monday, August 2, 2010

Snip, Snip

I think its the simple pleasures in life that we should enjoy the most. Sure, I may sound like Hitch or a Hallmark Card, but its true. Otherwise it wouldn't be a cliche. Enjoy the small things. You know, fresh cut grass, sleeping in, meeting someone new...having a Vietnamese man massage your face.

Soak it all in.

What? Fine. I'll explain.

I hate going to the barber. Hate it. I'm one of those people you can always tell just got a haircut. I let it grow out until I'm sick of it, then I have them cut it short. You know, so I won't have to go back for another 6 months.

I dunno, I'm just not that concerned about how my hair looks. I could be like my brother and try to pull off a Euro, half mo-hawk, Justin Timberlake, type do. Or, I could sleep in for 10 more minutes. Its a toss-up.

Here's the thing about barbers, as a guy you get the luxury of choosing between two awful options: The local cheap-o place like your local barbershop (or God forbid, a Super Cuts) or an expensive, "designer" hair engineer.

So I can pay for a $12 haircut where they aimlessly throw scissors and clippers at your hair until they get bored, or $40 to have them scoff at the style you want and say it's "last season" and that you really need to buy their hair "product" if you don't want to look like an alligator has been gnawing on your head all morning.

First of all, if you can't name something based on what it is you shouldn't sell it. Hair "product"? Right...I'm buying that about as much as I'm buying food "product" at my local grocery store.

Recently, however, I've discovered a barber shop I don't totally despise going to. It's called "BARBER" and its run by a group of very pleasant Vietnamese folks. Yes, I have a terribly difficult time trying to communicate the style I want because to me, you should just look at my hair and think, "He wants his hair to be less long than it is at this moment". And yes, they either try to talk to me during my hair cut, or talk to each other in Vietnamese. And yes, every time I go I have to have them fix what they did after they finish. However, at the far side of the barber shop is this little box, about the size of a microwave, that holds the secret to them keeping my business.

As you know, any good "BARBER" should straight razor your sideburns and neck, its standard these days and it used to be my favorite part. Now I anticipate what comes next. My barber finishes up, walks down to this box, and pulls out a white cylinder. I close my eyes now because I love the surprise.

I hear a spray bottle spray twice. Then footsteps approaching my chair. I relax my shoulders as a warm washcloth unfolds before my face. My nostrils are filled with a magical scent that eases my senses and relaxes every muscle I have (read: both my muscles). Then "BARBER" begins to massage my face.

It might be the best thing ever.

Granted, the scent is probably some sort of stimulant that makes it dangerous to drive just after inhaling, but for whatever reason, I find myself forgetting all about the numerous corrections and the difficulty explaining what kind of cut I wanted in the first place. I end up tipping the guy an undeserved amount as I stumble out to my car, half-asleep.

Its only later, when I awake from my coma, that I realized what happened. I have a haircut I don't love, a wallet that is much lighter (due to that stupid tip), and I feel a little cheap because I let a stranger rub my eyeballs.

All things considered, for 2 minutes of intoxicating euphoria I'll take it.

And the bowl cut it comes with.

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