Saturday was hair cut day in our house. This takes about two hours of me circling the kids (and Husband) one at a time on a stool in my kitchen with buzzing clippers.
Let me back up and say that I am not a trained hair care professional. My ‘job’ as family barber began once upon an early marriage. Back when we were in a one-bedroom apartment filled with hand-me-down furniture. And stacks and stacks of take-out menus. And one night, after we were newly married, Husband said something like, “I need haircuts once every two weeks.” And I said something like, “That’s crazy!” And he said, “I think you could do it.” And because I considered that some kind of challenge, I told him to run out that night to buy clippers.
My hair-cutting abilities have somewhat evolved. (I say somewhat because Husband has had the same hair cut for ten years.) But in the decade we’ve been married, I’ve cut his hair without fail, once every two or three weeks. Only one time has he had it cut by someone else. And that was once when he flew out to visit his dad, already in need of a haircut, and his dad wanted to have some family photos made…and so he made a run to Great Clips. But other than that, I’ve done all the rest.
Do the math and you’ll see that’s saved us a TON of money. Over $2K by my calculations.
When the boys came along, it never really entered my head that I would cut their hair though. I don’t really know what I’m doing. And it’s one thing to goof off and make my husband unnattractive. Another thing all together when I do it to my kids. But after shelling out $20 with tips for them to sit on the firetruck chair and scream and cry in front of a Barney video while waiting for their sucker, I decided that was stupid. And bought my own bag of suckers.
So now I cut their hair. And they don’t really complain. Or look weirder than they already are. So we continue to save money. Which is just great by me.
I’m thankful I cut their hair.
Last night I got my hair cut. By an actual professional. Who also happens to be my friend. She was cutting my hair before we were friends, however.
It’s probably because I’m from the South, but getting my hair cut is supposed to be a social thing for me. All my life, I’ve found good friendships with the people washing my scalp. Each time we move, and I try out new hair stylists, I’ve struggled with getting locked in. It’s more painful for me to find a new salon than it is to line up new doctors or neighbors or friends. And it has nothing at all to do with hair.
When it comes to my hair, I’m convinced I will feel ambivalent about it no matter how it looks. I’ve tried different colors, lengths, and styles. And they all just make me shrug. I really don’t care one way or the other. And so I always sit down and say to the person with the scissors, “Surprise me.” And it’s always fine.
But the trick for me is finding someone I want to spill my life story to. Because getting my hair done is really code for cheap therapy. It’s an hour of moaning, groaning, secret confessions, and outrage. There’s much to be said about the Husband. And the little monsters who suck the life right out of me. And the deranged extended family members. And whatever else is on my mind at the moment.
See, what I really want in a stylist is someone I can talk to. Someone who will nod with her mouth full of bobby pins and say, “Mmmhmmm. I know exactly what you mean!” It’s like drugs. A shot in the arm of Feel Good. I don’t care if I’m paying big bucks to get it done. I don’t care what it looks like. All I care about is that I get to run my mouth and listen as she runs hers and feel a connection that is, at its core, Female.
If this is sounding all Steel Magnolias on you, well…that’s because it is. But if you’re knocking it, then you clearly haven’t tried it.
Or maybe you belong to that “other” group of people. The group that just wants to sit there with a magazine. And have no one bother them.
That’s just crazy.
As introverted as I am…as much as I love a good read or to be left alone…getting my hair done is not the time or the place for that nonsense. It’s a time for Talk. Period.
So I’m also thankful today for my wonderful fun friend/hair stylist. Who knows ALL my deep horrible secrets. And still likes me anyway. And who said, more than a year ago, “We never have enough time to finish talking when you come into the salon! So come to my house and I will charge you half and we can take twice as long to catch up.”
It doesn’t get better than that.