Friday, November 15, 2013

The Blunt Truth

There are some beauty routines on which I will not skimp, highlights being the prime example. My hair is far too fine, as in thin, for me to be messing with bleach out of the box. This is a job for pros. Price is (almost) no object.

As for haircuts, not so much. I've been to some of the swankiest salons in Manhattan and, try as they might with potions and dryers and sprays (oh my!), my locks remain limp. There's only so much magic in even the trendiest stylist's bag of tricks.

To be blunt, all I need is a straight cut. For that, I can pay $20 at the old-timey local barbershop–the same one where my son lost his luscious first head of curls after I finally relented and agreed to take him at 3. (There are photos of me cringing in the background as his locks hit the floor.)

Which is how I found myself in that testosterone-infused no-woman's land the other day. I watched at the two sixtysomething brothers who own the joint chatted away with their patrons, talkin' guy talk. One prime snippet: "I saw that Miley Cyrus riding a wrecking ball. The only thing real on her was her teeth."

I decided to close my eyes and relax–there was no point in trying to interject my feminist opinion or engage my guy in chit chat. And so I sat quietly...until they cranked up the Lionel Ritchie.

They usually play Frank, and I love me some Frank. But listening to the guys singing "You're once, twice, three times a lady" was too much for me. It was all I could do not to fall out of the chair laughing.

They failed to see what I might find ridiculously funny about one of the schmaltziest wedding tunes of all time. Instead, they launched into whether it wouldn't be better if the woman in the song was "once, twice, three kinds of lady," leaving my barber to quip, "Yeah, a cook, a cleaner..." "and a breadwinner," I finished, ignoring the fact that the guy had scissors to my head.

Did I get a decent cut? Sure. Was the price right? Yep.

Do I care that they may have resented a woman entering their bastion of manhood? Nope. After all, I'm the one who won't hesitate to use the men's room when the line to the women's is winding around the block.

But will I be back?

Given that the last time I was at my salon, my colorist was dishing with me while Donna Summer and Edith Piaf played in the background, I may just have to find out what a junior stylist costs.

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