Thursday, April 19, 2012

Before you cut my hair, how do you spell your name?

Hat Hair
Earlier this afternoon, as most days when I decide I need to go to my barber for a haircut, I quickly called the shop to make sure Roy would be there until 6 o'clock (the usual closing time). The place is located closer to my parents' house - it's usually a time crunch for me to get there in time and he is kind enough to not lock me out when I need his services. There aren't any appointments in a place like this, and I typically have to wait behind one or two customers who arrived earlier.

I walked in and noticed someone was already in his chair - and I plopped down in a waiting area chair more than content to wait. Less than an hour earlier I had walked out the door for the last time that I had been walking into for seven years and was exhausted mentally and emotionally. My hair accurately reflected my state  - my new job at a new company starts Monday and new coworkers might not be as accepting of my "crazy hair" that is a regular result of a stressful workday.

My first words to Roy... "Big day."
Midway though my reveal of my employment change, my entire train of thought was derailed - I noticed a note pinned to the other side of the wall:

"AFTER 50 YEARS OF CUTTING HAIR, I AM RETIRING TO SMELL THE ROSES ON MAY 19..."

Roy has diabetes. He's had it for about seven years. I didn't know these two facts before tonight. Suddenly my nervousness and worry about my future felt very small and petty. Roy's health had started to become a larger concern, and he wants to travel with his wife while his kidneys won't make it too cumbersome. The chapter of my life spanning the past seven years - unquestionably the best seven years of my life - were at an official end. But that same time my trusted barber has not had as great of luck. In addition to another superior haircut, I received a much needed shampoo of perspective (please pardon the horrid pun-metaphor).

Exactly one month from this new haircut Roy will leave me a barber widow. Chances are high that I'll make my way back in there just for one last cut while I search for another barber.

A quick rundown of the barbers who have cut my hair successfully on multiple occasions:
Don
Jim
Tom
Don (different guy)
Vic
Roy

A quick run down of the barbers who have been horrible:
Mike
Mary
John

The trend is clear. I need a barber that has a 3 letter name. This is non-negotiable.

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