A couple weeks back, I needed to get a haircut before going on all my trips to Notre Dame and El Paso. I hate traveling to meetings and looking like a scrub. Don’t ask me why but I just like to look clean cut: suits pressed, nails cut, pimples popped and hair cut so it parts and combs nicely. It’s just my thing but I would imagine I’m not the only one who cleans up before going to these meetings.
Steph and I were out and about running errands and it worked out perfectly that there was a Sports Clips next to a Trader Joe’s. Steph said she would run and get the small amount of groceries so I could get my trim. Great plan, right?
Yeah, I thought so too.
I walked in and the TVs were blaring on the 20 different ESPN channels. It should have been a warning because there was no one in the store and after signing in; I walked around the counter to see if there was anyone in the back. No one was visible so I sat down and played on my phone
Out of nowhere, a short Latina walked out from the back and in broken English asked, “Choo need hairs cut?”
I didn’t know what to say and simply nodded. She said something else and I couldn’t hear her because of the TVs. She turned and said, “Well, choo want a cut or not?”
Again, I should have heeded warnings that this was going to go poorly but I didn’t. I needed a haircut and time was ticking.
I sat down and told her what I wanted: a 4 on the back and sides with everything blended in to the rest of my hair, ¼ inch off the top, square in the back. Pretty simple I thought. She stood on her steps that made her taller. All 50 of them.
She began to run her fingers through my hair, mumbled something and then took out the clippers. I tried to watch the pre-season baseball that was on while watching what was going on. I kept seeing her head sway back in forth like a metronome with the occasional fingers swishing my hair.
“Did choo know your hair very thin?” she said as the clippers ran up and down the back of my hair.
“Uh, yeah I suppose it’s thinning. It kind of runs in my family.”
“Well,” she retorted in the sassiest way. “This is too thin honey. You too young.”
“Thanks?” I didn’t know what else to say. How do you respond to someone who thinks you’re too young for thinning hair? Apparently it wasn’t the only thing she had on her mind.
“Es too grey. No me gusta verte así.”
Ha! I didn’t know I had such a close relationship with her! Amazing!
I actually thought she was just going to try and sell me on the fashionable wash-away-grey service they had a sign for but I was surprised when she didn’t say anything. I stayed quiet.
She continued clipping and began trimming with scissors and I tried to just sit there without saying anything. I didn’t know what would happen next. As she cut the hair on top of my head, she started making faces again. I knew she was about to say something when she stopped and put her hands on her waist.
“Ay, mira. Did you know you have a bald spot here?”
Seriously? Who tells someone this? First you tell me my hair is thinning, and then proceed to tell me you don’t like that my hair has grey in it? NOW you decide to tell me I have a bald spot? Are you fucking kidding me?
Sadly, instead of getting mad at the fact that she felt the need to tell me all of these horrid things about my hair, my mind went right into panic mode. I began to imagine a splotchy head with wisps of grey hair all over the place on a soon-to-be-35-year-old. I might as well have had warts on my face and scraggly teeth hanging on to dear life in my mouth.
She finished the hair cut and I don’t even know if it looked decent. I paid and walked out. I must have had a look of fear on my face because Steph immediately asked what was wrong. I told her what happened and then bent over in the middle of the parking lot to ask if I had a bald spot. I was freaking out.
“You have to be fucking kidding me!!” I said out loud. “I really do have a bald spot, don’t I? Damnit Greg, I’m gonna kill you!” Steph looked at me weird.
For those who don’t know, my brothers Greg and Danny and I had a crazy child hood filled with pranks and such. At one point, we had been given mechanical spinning tops that were a ton of fun to play with. They would spin for forever and you could do all kinds of things with them. They were great. That’s at least until one brother decides to put that spinning top into your hair.
Yes, you read that correctly. Greg wound up his spinning top while we were playing on the floor of the kitchen and for no reason at all put the top on my head, effectively ripping out all the hairs, roots included, on my head. My hair was gone in an instant and the scalp that showed took up the space about the size of a dime. His top was so full of hair it stopped spinning.
Initially, I wanted to pummel him but pain immediately set in. My mom yanked me away as blood ran down my head and he sat there with a look of shock. To this day I think he thought the top would spin but there’s a small part of me that thinks he did it on purpose.
That son of a…
For years, the hair that grew in its place was noticeably different. It was indeed thinner and lighter than the rest of my hair. I tried to always comb my hair in such a way that the part would almost meet up with that spot on my head and no one would notice.
That worked, at least I thought, until I went in for that haircut. The damn hairstylist drudged up all kinds of stuff. I guess the spot really does look bald now.
Son of a…