Monday, April 9, 2012

Getting A Little Trim

There's a new man in my life. I don't want to jinx it or anything, because it's still pretty early, but I really like where things are going. He was kind of nervous and shy and he didn't say too much, but I'm pretty happy.

After the way things ended with the last couple guys, I'm kind of nervous but I really think I found the one.

Yes loyal readers, I have a new barber.

And it's a bit daunting.

I detailed the painful process of finding the right barber previously (in an epic two part haircut special, here  and here) and you'll recall that finding the right place was no small task.

You'll also recall that, at the end of that haircut saga, I ended up with Ralph, the old, Italian barber at the eponymous barber shop near my place of employment.

Truth be told, Ralph was, and is, a good barber, but for wahtever reason, I fell into going to see Anthony, the other guy who had a chair in Ralph's.

While I always envisioned that my hair was cut by some old guy, I was pretty happy with Anthony as my barber. Despite not fitting my weird old-man vision of what a barber should look like, he did a good job cutting my hair. He also was animated and could fill the time spent in the chair with chatter, should the need arise. He was fond of amazing, animated-Italian-guy conversation fillers like "no disrespect," "you know what I mean?" and "not for nothing."

I liked him. It was kind of like having Artie Bucco cut my hair (and apparently I only think of Italians in broad, outdated stereotypes...)

I even liked Anthony when it became painfully obvious that we were pretty much diametrically opposed in all things political following a haircut the day after Rob Ford was elected mayor of Toronto. It was actually as a result of Anthony that I realized how vauable it is to have a barber with whom your opinions differ, for what better way to learn tact than to argue cordially with a man holding a razor to your throat?

Anyway, during my last few visits to Ralph's he made it clear that he might not be there the next time I got my haircut, and he was true to his word. It wasn't a bad breakup, but it hurt nonetheless.

But seriously, it was interesting to note that it actually caused me some anxiety. It was frigging hard to find a barber I liked. "Now," I thought, "I've got to find someone else. What if I never meet the right barber?"

And so it occurred to me that, for a dude like me, happily married to a woman I've been with for over a decade, this is about as close as I'll get to dating anymore.

Think about it.

The relationship between a man and his barber is a lot like dating a new person. There's some awkward getting to know each other, nervous conversation as you feel out common ground, anxiety over the bill, maybe, and of course, the question of whether or not to go in for a kiss at the end of the haircut.

No...wait. Not so much that last part.

But really, there are a lot of parallels in the barber/client world and the dating world:

  • There are barbers that give amazing haircut, but who are dull to talk to. 
  • There are barbers who are fun and lively to talk to who are just not great with a pair of scissors.
  • There are unreliable barbers who are never open when you need them. 
  • There are men who will always opt to just head to a discount strip-mall haircut place for a cheap and dirty fix when they really need it. 
  • And, of course, there are those among us who prefer to just cut their own hair...

I have done virtually no research outside of my own haircuts, but I think I may be on to something here.

I think you can probably tell a lot about a person's approach to romantic relationships by their relationship with the person who cuts their hair.

What do you think? Is this true for you? Does it apply to women and their stylists, too?

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