I need a haircut. I mean, really – I so badly need a haircut.
In my neighborhood I can go to the butch dudes’ barber shop, where the hipsters go. But I would have to make an appointment days in advance, even though it's corona-time; and my goatee is so ordinary I feel judged in there.
I could go to the old dudes’ barber shop, but the last time I went there I had a woman barber who I didn’t realize was a woman until I looked at the receipt and it said, “Shirley.” She looked and smelled like Mac’s mom on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. No thanks.
I could go to the retail hair styling chain with the race car sponsorship and the mobile app. The staff there is a revolving door and the margin of error is wide but the wait is reasonable and it meets the absolute minimum viable definition of a haircut.
I could go to the franchise Sports Bros’ place but I find it oddly inappropriate to have a cheerleader rest her boobs on my shoulder while cutting my hair. I have nothing against cheerleaders or even boobs on my shoulder, mind you, but there’s a time and place for everything, know what I mean?
I’ll tell you where I wouldn’t go.
I wouldn’t get a haircut from someone who clearly needed a haircut. Someone who was unwashed, unkempt. I wouldn’t let someone give me a haircut whose self-image was not rooted in reality but in some mental image I couldn’t see or understand. I would not trust someone with my hair who was clearly unable or unwilling to take responsibility for his own. Or for those around him.
I know, we all grew up hearing that “the cobbler’s kids go barefoot,” so it should be OK if the haircut guy or gal doesn’t represent. But jeez, it’s my hair. I deserve some indication that the person wielding the scissors has the judgment and the skills to do the job. I deserve someone who can make me feel confident that I won’t regret my haircut decision. Don't I?
I really do need a haircut, bad. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s an allegory.
Think about it.