In Need of a Barbershop


I need a haircut. I know this because my bangs now flip upward once my hair dries and it resembles and inverted barrel of a wave. It also keeps flipping over my ears and the girls are fussing at both the 8-year old and me to get our hair out of our faces while we’re at the dinner table. They even offered to put it up in clips.


I’ve needed one for awhile, but I hate to take the time to do it. Besides, no longer does it seem you can find a simple barbershop like when I was growing up. Everything is a hair salon nowadays.

My first haircut was done at Ellis’s Barbershop by Ellis himself. I don’t know whether that was his first name or his last because all I ever heard was Ellis. Actually, it was Ellis, the Barber, and as a young kid I just thought The Barber was his last name.


Ellis had cut my hair since I was four and continued until I was married. He knew me the minute I walked in and I always walked out with a peppermint stick. I also sat on that bench that crossed from arm to arm so he could reach my unruly locks. He never asked me how I wanted my haircut. He just cut it and it looked the same every time. There was one cut. You either liked it or endured it until your hair grew back.


When the boys were little we took them to a barbershop much like Ellis’s. It was full of New York men and one female and all seemed related somehow. They yelled across the room at each other, either fussing with one another, complaining about whoever was in office or making a joke at someone’s expense. A television played in the upper right corner, not that it was paid much attention. They had three cuts and you didn’t deviate. If you wanted something fancier, you needed to go to one of those “uppity salons that catered to those who thought they were something special. We do haircuts here. Now, you wanna haircut or not?”


That’s what I want when I go for a haircut. I don’t need it washed. I do that daily. I don’t want products in my hair and I don’t want you to blow dry. If you did it right it will be dry by the time I hit the exit. I also don’t want the hot towel treatment, whatever the hell that is. It was part of what this one placed their Man Package. I told them my Man Package was just fine and didn’t need hot towels or products and unless her version of blow drying was what I had in mind she could just cut my hair.


Nowadays, everything has been made more complicated. Even something as simple as getting a haircut has become a giant production of upselling. That’s probably why it takes me so long to get mine done. It’s enough pressure to make me go bald!


*****

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