Well hate may be a tad strong but strongly dislike isn’t. What triggered this deep, contemplative subject was the fact that it’s time to get a haircut and I, as usual, don’t want to do it. I’d gladly pay for a barber that made house calls but don’t know any. I mentioned this to the wife of a friend who stated that her husband hated getting his hair cut as well. Perhaps this is a universal problem with men that’s worth exploring. Here are some of my thoughts on this socially relevant issue apparently plaguing many American males.
When I was a boy, the local barber, Mike, had a toy horse for boys to sit on when they got their haircut. That is my first memory of haircuts. No crying, kicking, screaming, just a stupid horse that I possibly had to sit in far longer than I wanted to. I couldn’t wait till I was old enough to go down the street to another barber that allegedly had Men’s magazines. Kind of a barbershop rite of passage.
Once I got the courage to go down the street I unfortunately, no fortunately, never developed enough courage to actually look at the magazines though I went biweekly with that goal in mind. Perhaps that was the start of my dislike of haircuts, that confirmation of my lack of boldness, courage which is reinforced every time I sit in the barber chair remembering that horse and watching the greying reminder of my lack of courage cascade down in front of my face whispering coward, coward, coward. How much of this can one man take?
Also the price of a haircut borders on outlandish. $15 for someone to work 15 minutes to make you look somewhat socially acceptable. Seems a tad expensive. Add to that the fact that you talk about the same things every visit; weather, kids, UK v. UL, you get the picture. You end up paying $15 for 15 minutes of babbling about nothing only to have to do it again in 2 weeks.
I could say something about taking time out of my busy schedule but in all honesty my schedules not that busy.
Another factor is you’re never sure what barber you are going to get. For the longest time getting the barber that did a half way decent job was always a crapshoot. I’ve finally gotten brave enough to only allow one barber to cut my hair which of course lengthens the time it takes to get a trim. Unfortunately the first time I exercised that right the gentleman before me kidded the barber with the empty chair about why no one trusted her to cut their hair. She started sweeping up and he commented that he hoped she cut hair better than she swept. I felt like a jerk and sleeked out after paying another $15. Now I have to wrestle with being courageous enough the next time to wait for my barber or offend this poor lady again. The battles we men have to fight!!!
My final, original thought on haircuts has to do with the inevitable, unfair, time-wasting problem of having to take two showers in one day. I know it’s stupid but after a haircut with your neck itching from all the hair, you have to take another shower to remove the memories, proof of that horrible barbershop visit. It’s kind of like showering after a humiliating basketball defeat in high school. You showered but not because you wanted to. It was with a bowed head and slow descent into self-loathing which was even harder to bear cause I hardly ever got to play. If we lost because we weren’t good enough to win and I didn’t play much because I wasn’t all that good, then losing a game was even more my fault and though I didn’t really need a shower, I did need to show solidarity with my teammates. Showering after a haircut is more confirmation that I’m a loser, and not just a loser, but a loser who doesn’t even get to play.
I know a lot of you think that I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill and, perhaps, over simplifying the difference between the sexes since most women like going to the beauty shop. But women are more relational than men to the point that they won’t even go to the bathroom alone. Men on the other hand are more hunter/gatherers, going it alone, a man and his weapon, with visions of Sampson’s invincibility as he heads out to Kroger, no the woods, to put food on the table. But haircuts, we can’t help but remember what happened to Sampson when a woman cut his hair. Humiliation, blindness, weakness, taunting. Why do you think so many of us old 60’s men wear ponytails even though most of our hair is gone. The world’s not going to take our strength from us, never.
Oh well, another hairy problem dealt with using cutting edge intellect and razor sharp insight. Not to mention another giant step for men. So ladies, the next time your husband delays getting his haircut, just remember man’s strength is in his hair and we aren’t going to give it up without a fight. Why do you think we get hair pieces?