Slice 6

“What do you have going on under that hat?”, Katie D wanted to know. In her mind I hadn’t been to see her at her hip-and-cutting-edge-for-the-suburbs haircut place in a few months. I don’t like to let her know I also see Kelsey sometimes. It took me a long time to settle on the two of them and I am not grown up enough to not make haircut appointments last minute and this place is always booked and it makes me feel more grown up to come here rather than the place where they wear referee costumes. She knows, at this point, that although my hair is long (I can tell this is an issue for most friends and family, and students, or at least my subconscious tells me it is) it isn’t as long as it should be. I, for whatever reason, told myself I’d have one final shaggy haired summer before settling into the adult cut I’d live out my days with. I’m weird like that. I don’t know, man. But I am a teacher and a dad and I may as well look a little more like it, impending symbolic post-ish Covid summer or no. 

It’s further awkward that I’ve chosen Katie D and Kelsey when I usually see Maria there. Maria was why I started coming to this place for weddings and funerals back when I either had very long, unkempt and uncut hair or a shaved head depending on what I felt like doing and/or maintaining on my own. Maria is my high school buddy’s sister. I feel bad for not coming back to her but, again, it all sprung from my just going to whoever was available. Eventually I figured I needed a hair person. Or two. 

I knew this was the main thing I’d be doing before slicing today. I knew I wasn’t going to be the dude writing about a haircut. I took my grandparents for their second vaccination shot yesterday but I am not emotionally there yet to decide how that slice will go. But I walk around doing life like a writer for this thing, like I tell my students to do, and so little moments and feelings are noticed.

The haircut was not exactly what I wanted. Which brings me to the last writer-eyed radar noticing I had. As she’s washing my hair she asks what we’re doing today. So I pull out my phone and the screenshotted ideas I found online for this new shorter look. 

In my head the look in her eyes was, “Yo, you know I’m not a plastic surgeon, right? These cropped heads belong to young model guys who got paid for those pictures that pop up when you Google ‘men’s haircuts’, so should we just end this transaction here, or…”

I know she probably just looked at the hair part of the pictures and did her best to recreate them on my non-model, graying head, but still. Anyways, I guess it looks better. Part of my identity has always been to try and allow myself to be unique, but at some point if you’re trying, can you still call it unique? I am a teacher dad guy, and looking like it isn’t the worst thing ever.

Until I start my haircut headshot regular dad guy business for people like me who find that stuff weird. There have to be some out there, right?

4 thoughts on “Haircut

  1. Glad you got a hair cut you [think you will] enjoy. There really is so much to this post here. At first glance, it’s about the hair cut, right? Just a slice of life, right? At the same time, you hide all of these wonderful nuggets about your life as a WRITER – your writer-eyed radar, the determination NOT to make this the subject of your post, the shelving of the vaccination post until you’re ready to craft. Beautifully written, and well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your posts are really speaking to that stream of consciousness part of me that wishes I would just follow that instead of self-editing.
    I have not been for a haircut for exactly one year. I need one, but I am scared that my hairdresser will react poorly when I walk through the door (not really, she will want my business). I think your cheating on your hairdressers mild to moderate guilt rings true for me too. I am still afraid to bump into my former hairdresser. I changed the way I walked to work so that I would avoid the street that the salon was on. It’s gone now, so he could be anywhere.
    Thanks for sharing this… sad there wasn’t a picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Two things stood out for me: the training to make sure that “little moments and feelings are noticed” and that tension between being unique and realizing that you are, in fact, like the other middle aged teachers being unique. That, and the fact that I went for a haircut this past week (a whole other story). As always, your voice (which is incredibly unique) rings throughout and makes me happy. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad you were that dude who wrote about his haircut. Your voice really came through, and it’s complex. There was the sensitive part when you mention your grandparents and a vulnerable, wish-washy guy in the beginning. There was lots of humor in this piece, too. Thanks for writing and sharing it, teacher dad guy.

    Liked by 1 person

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