February 21, 2007

Getting a hair-cut

One of the things that I really don’t look forward to is getting a haircut. There are a lot of reasons that go into making me dislike this simple activity, that experts recommend should be undertaken at least once every month.

I think it started when I was in school. One day a guest speaker talked to us about how a barber’s blade could be a medium for transmitting several infectious diseases, and why it should be ensured that the barber uses a new blade every time. Till then, I had never paid attention to the blade that the barber used, and now I was sure that I had been infected with not one but many infectious diseases, and these would raise their ugly head any time. Then as time passed, I came to know about more and more diseases that one could get at a barber’s shop. This, coupled with the fact that most barbers in my part of the world seem ignorant of the basic rules of hygiene is reason enough for me to stay away from the barber’s shop as long as is humanly possible.

But it does not end here. The hardest part of getting a hair cut comes when one is seated in the barber’s chair.

I choose a fine morning (early enough to be the first customer of the day) for getting the hair cut, and sitting on the chair, I wait for the dreaded question:

“So, how do you want it to be?”

Despite trying my best to be ready, I always find myself unprepared for this question. I look around, at the various pictures on the wall. All those haircuts look very good. But, experience, being the good teacher that it is, has taught me that what looks good in a picture, does not necessarily look good on one’s head. I quickly look away from the wall and stare at my image in the mirror, trying to remember what the magazines say about head-shapes and hair styles. Failing to recall any thing at that moment, more often than not, I reply with a vague,

“Not too long, not too short. Something that looks good”

Mostly that satisfies the barber. When it does not, he asks again and I come up with something even vaguer, if possible. That satisfies him and he begins his work while I just tilt my here in this direction and that, as I am asked to, without looking at the mirror, hoping that the barber’s idea of a good hair style falls in the realms of ordinary mortals like me. But all hope is usually in vain. It is not every day that the barber gets a guinea pig to experiment on- someone who has given him the right to do, with his hair, as he pleases.

Soon it is over. I look at myself in the mirror-making sure it’s me-at the image of the barber standing beside me with a smile on his face, proud of his handi-work. Then, he holds a mirror to the back of my head, where I have no idea what he wants me to see, but I pretend to see what he wants me to see and smile on the outside.

Inside, I prepare myself for the jokes and the over-smart comments of my friends on my new hair style. I prepare myself for the fifteen minutes, or more, that I am going to be spending in front of the mirror every morning, trying to make my hair look “normal”.

But, then, I know that will be over too, in a few days, and it will be time again to start preparing myself for another hair cut.


Jay said...

Oh man I feel so sorry for you. Haircuts are the ultimate experience for me. My scalp is a total erogenous zone, and I adore having people mess with my head.

Marilyn said...

Ooohh! I hate haircuts too. I solve this problem by going to the same lady all the time, putting it off for three months, and convincing her that "the shorter, the better". Since she only sees me every three months, she believes me.

I know I have to go for another one when I have to spend a lot of time in the morning convincing all my hair to lay down and play nice. Yes, I am a woman. I still hate having to mess with my hair.


Blue Panther said...

Jay: Thats another reason I hate hair cuts. I dislike anyone else touching my hair.

marilyn: I am going to try "the shorter, the better" solution next time I go for a hair cut!

MXI said...

I hate when you beat me on the blog battle, but your post are so #@%$# well written! I enjoy reading It.

Blue Panther said...

Mxi: I am glad you enjoy reading the posts. Thank you for the comment!


great style, great choice of words, great narrative... hats off to you...

Sue said...

I hate the process, but usually approve of the end result. Like you I hate the dreaded question, of what do you want because although I prepare my answer ahead of time I always tend to freeze up at that moment of truth.. lol! Wecome to Our One Old Green Bus, looking forward to rooming with you this week!

cooltopten said...

I,m with you on the hair cuts.Once I had a hair cut in thailand and when it came to them shaving the back of my hair line they used a cut throat razor and as she was doing it , i felt a little nick .I said did you just cut me , she was like no , but she kept dabbing this white powder where i felt the nick , when i got out yep I had a cut there and was freaking out about all the diseases I could of caught for the next few weeks :)

Blue Panther said...

bibliophile: Thank You for liking the blog!

Sue: Sometimes, I too, approve of the end.

Cooltopten: Trust me I know how you must have felt after that nick.

The barbers in India mostly use a cut throat type razor too, but with a changeable blade and I make sure that he changes it before he touches me with it.

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