I was going to write a long post about this, but I’m running out of time and I’m leaving this afternoon for a long weekend at the beach, so here’s an abbreviated version:
Coupon for free haircut at Supercuts comes in the mail. Awesome? Probably not. But maybe? Probably not. I’m a sucker for anything free? Absolutely.
Enter the store: immediate sense of dread. Greeted by a guy who looks at my shoulder when he speaks. Maybe gay? Maybe a robot? (Gay robots?) I contemplate leaving, but that would require a distraction and this guy won’t stop looking at my shoulder.
I sit down in his chair. He puts the cape on. We stand to go get my hair washed. Halfway there, he turns me around and sits me back down to ask me what I want done with my hair. I make weird hand gestures and use the word “choppy.” He makes pretend to understand. Not sure he speaks English. In fact, unsure he speaks at all. We go over to get my hair washed again.
I lean back in the chair. As he starts up the water he hits me in the head with the nozzle; tries to recover and sprays me in the face. If he were a woman this would be foreplay, but he’s not so it’s just incredibly awkward. I consider saying, “Hey, it looks better already! Thanks!” and leaving without removing the cape. He keeps his hand on my shoulder as he leads me back to his chair, reassuring that no part of this process will feel normal.
He starts cutting. And cutting. And cutting. Slow and deliberately but with such calculated motivation that I am transfixed. It’s like watching someone about to be hit by a bus – all you can do is point and say “Oh!” but you can’t stop it from happening. You can’t help them. Fate will have its way . . .
Already so much hair is missing. Before I know it, he has the hairspray out. Before I can say, “They still make hairspray?” he is unloading the canister on my head with unrelenting ferocity. Then he pushes every hair on my head forward. Then he forms a flip in the front. Then I almost die of embarrassment for the man in the mirror in front of me. The cape seems like it is 50 lbs. My arms are useless. In five minutes this man has managed to do what six years of paralegal work couldn’t: my will is broken. This is my Vietnam.
But then he takes out the hair dryer. I can’t imagine what purpose this could serve, but he apparently intends to use it on my hair-sprayed head. I honestly believe he is making this up as he goes along, that yesterday he was “in computers” but he found it “unrewarding.” Then he takes out the buzzer and goes to work on the sides. He nearly removes an eyebrow. We laugh. His is hearty, mine is desperate. I want to leave so badly, to see my family and friends again, to have hair and be loved. To run in wide open fields of dandelions and open presents on Christmas morning. I feel the “Free Haircut” coupon burning in my pocket, the remembrance of a Faustian deal. I regret.
Finally, it is over. He shows it to me in the mirror and all I can do is nod in disbelief at what stands before me. Nothing good; everything bad. It is almost impressive in its atrocity. I give in the coupon, tip the man, all the while looking down. I walk home looking down. I shower looking down. I am hideous.
My only hope is this thought: “If he can cut hair (and he can’t) so can I.” I refuse the bad logic and set about “fixing” my hair. It is a tedious process of misjudging the motions of my hand inverted in a mirror. In the end clumsy + no skills + limited range of movement = better job than Supercuts. I am somewhat relieved, though still noticeably ugly.
On the plus side, finally found a deal I can refuse:
P.S. I’d rather sign up for a reminder to get a colonoscopy from a kangaroo than to get a haircut at Supercuts.
P.P.S. I hate this woman with a passion.
P.P.P.S. Everyone have a great weekend. Especially me, because mine will be four days long, cut off from the technological world with only mojitos and steak to survive. I promise to think of each and every one of you, as I drink away the need to feel pretty.