When I lived in Baltimore, I had the *best* hair cutter person. (Sorry, I know that's a weird thing to call someone, but I don't feel like she was my "stylist" but she also definitely wasn't a "barber," and I'm not sure what to call her. So I'm going to try "hair cutter.")
She was great fun. I stumbled across her working in a mall salon, and I worked my haircuts around her schedule for probably at least 5 years. One of the times I took Christopher out to Baltimore to visit, we actually tracked her down at a different salon so I could get my hair cut.
She was brash and opinionated, and we would talk as much about her as we would about me. And, after about the second cut, there was never really any question about whether she might do something I wouldn't want. I'd walk in and she'd ask what we were doing that day, and if I didn't have a particular agenda, she'd just do whatever she wanted.
That's how I ended up with blond highlights one summer. It's also how my hair went from shaggy to preppy and back - but always looked great when she was done with me.
But, of course, I moved to the Twin Cities, and - in case you didn't realize it - airfare is a little too expensive to justify flying to Baltimore for a haircut every month or so. So I started trying to find a hair cutter out here. And, after nearly 7 years of searching, I did find someone last spring.
For the first time in pretty much ever, I got my hair cut by a guy. I've never really worried about who was cutting my hair. After all, I go to the places where you don't need an appointment and you kind of take what you can get. Which, I realize, is also why I don't always love my haircuts. But don't try to get all rational about an irrational subject.
Anyway... I went to get my hair cut and this guy was there and he was the one who got me, so we walked back to his chair and I thought he was going to be a little too frenetic for me. He was hyper - talking most of the time, as he did the entire cut with scissors and never touched his clippers. He just kind of ducked and dodged and snipped when the mood seemed right. When he was done, aside from feeling like I needed some time in a quiet room, I had a great haircut.
The next time I went back, I requested him, and he remembered me and made some suggestions and branched off a little from the previous cut, and I felt completely comfortable letting him take chances with my hair. And that was the first time since Baltimore that I felt that way.
I called in to check his schedule before my next haircut, and was informed that he had left the salon and gone back to school. And I was back at square one.
I told Christopher, tonight, that I don't hate my haircut. And he laughed at my choice of words and assured me that I look as cute as always (his words, I swear).
And, yet, what I wouldn't give for a cut from Karen out in Baltimore.