Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Long-haired Freaky People Need Not Apply

As I mentioned earlier, I got my hair cut yesterday.

Whenever I talk about getting my hair cut, I feel like Melvin Udall, Jack Nicholson's character in As Good As It Gets. For him it was pills; for me, it's haircuts. "I hate haircuts, hate them. I'm using the word 'hate' about haircuts." (Yes, I've used that line before.)

It's been this way for as long as I can remember, ever since I was young. No matter which way I moved my head, it was never quite what the barber wanted. That drove me crazy, because if there's one thing I've always been good at, it's sitting still. I hated the way he would ask me to move my head, then just grab it and move it himself when it wasn't quite right. I hated the way he always scraped my ears with the clippers. It was just never a pleasant experience.

It's a little bit different now. For one thing, I generally go to a walk-in type place where appointments aren't required. Hating any kind of structure the way I do, this is an automatic improvement. The stylists at these places are almost exclusively women, so they're usually a little more gentle in guiding my head to where it needs to go. This is a skill I've apparently improved upon at some point along the way, so not as much guidance is needed at any rate.

As far as making it a better experience, these "improvements" are pretty mild. I still hate it. The worst part? The small talk. I hate small talk in any circumstances. I don't want to talk about the weather, or traffic, or gas prices. I'm a quiet guy, and if I'm going to have conversation, I want it to be worthwhile. I want it to be thought-provoking, or at least amusing. I don't want someone to blather on about what kind of haircuts they give their kids. It makes me want to grab the shears from the stylist's hand and jab them into my eyes.

Okay, I'm overstating. Small talk isn't the worst thing in the world; I just don't have a need or desire for banal conversation. Also, I'm not very good at it, so mostly I just listen while they talk. I'm friendly and try to play along, but if I could just go to sleep for fifteen minutes instead, I'd take that option every time.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I think I look dumb with short hair? I do. I think maybe I liked this style when I first started getting it done, but those days are gone. It's easy to take care of, though, and everyone else seems to like it, so I keep it. I just don't know what else to do with it that would be socially acceptable.

This morning I ran across a picture of myself from my freshman year of college. My hair was pretty long then. I'm not proud to say it, but I had a mullet throughout much of high school. After I graduated, I just stopped getting my hair cut altogether. That was awesome. It took a while for it to grow out, but I wore a hat most of the time anyway. I can't remember why I eventually decided to get it cut (before I went back to school for my sophomore year), but it was a mistake. I'd stop getting haircuts again in a heartbeat if I thought it would fly.

I'm tempted to just start wearing my BGSU football helmet whenever I go out in public.

The glasses were big, but the hair was cool.

No comments: