Monday, November 21, 2011


No, this is not about being overexposed to songs by Britney or LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” (but if you ask me, Right Said Fred had a lot more fun with the subject of egomania).
You can, however, surmise that this is one of my shallow posts. You’ve been warned.

I suppose it’s even shallower when you realize this isn’t the first time I’ve written about my hair. But then you—or some other reader—may be equally fixated on follicle follies. HIGHLIGHTS OF SUMMER remains my most-read post. (I’m sure it has nothing to do with the shirtless shot of David Beckham. Sometimes the writing just crackles, right?)

Here’s the “problem”: I’m overdue for a haircut. Three weeks overdue! Every morning I awaken to a nightmare. Something like this. At 47, one might think I am flaunting the fact that I still have a full head of hair. But this goes beyond fullness.

I have clown hair.

All I need to do is spray the rainbow colors into my curly mop and put on a pair of who-knows-how-many-feet-have-been-in-‘em bowling shoes. It’s enough to make Mary Richards cry that I’m not dead.

So how did I become an afro-topped, mullet-backed tragedy? It’s all about stylist loyalty. I can’t cheat on her. I should. I am entitled to. She had the nerve to get chummy online with a deejay from Dubai. Skype chats, text messages,...who knows what else? And he had the nerve to break the virtual barrier and fly here for a visit. They have two weeks to turn a techno-crush into true love. My stylist took no bookings for the first half of November.

Now I’m all for people finding love. Unless, that is, my hair has to suffer. It can’t work. What if she moves to Dubai? How can she leave me?

Is this what it’s come to? As a chronically single man, I am now reading more into casual service relationships. Oh, no! What next? What if Tara quits her job as barista at the Starbucks on Hastings? What if Mabel—or is it Mavis?—walks away from her job (and me) as the weekend librarian?

Egad! I’m not so monogamous! Okay,...easy. One possible breakup at a time. Back to Carrie. We’ve been seeing each other for five years. Initially, she was just my rebound hair stylist after Christine up and moved with her husband and child to the B.C. Interior. (She had the audacity to want an affordable family home!) Surprisingly, Carrie and I clicked. Yes, opposites do attract. I’m a guy. She’s not. She’s a big-dog gal. I’m a small pup dude. (Though, really, I must cringe at calling myself a “dude”. I’ll never be a surfer—don’t like all that sand getting in my swimsuit.) She has ink art expanding across her shoulders, arms and legs while I can’t even handle temporary tattoos for the Terry Fox Run. She always fits in crass remarks about her vagina—or someone else’s? I try not to listen too closely. I joke about how six-year-olds relate to the world. Somehow it all works. Except, of course when she’s not working.

I won’t try a haircut from the lady two streets down from me. She can’t even prune her hedge right. Who knows what horrors will happen in the darkness of her makeshift basement salon?! I confess that I have gone online at looked up other hairdressers. City folks. A ferry ride away. Carrie will never know. Except she will. She will recognize the uneven line in the back. She’ll notice that someone got lazy and finished up with a razor instead of shears.

Why am I fretting? She gave me permission to cheat. Still, I can’t do it. I have this mole that new folks always nick. I don’t like it when a stylist massages my temples during the shampooing. Certain smocks make me look fat. And what if I have to spend forty-five minutes in a chair listening to a Susan Boyle CD?

There are too many risks that come with cheating.

So here I am, the eternally loyal, risk-averse schmuck who has to avoid glancing at myself in mirrors until The Return of Carrie. Sound like a horror movie? Let me reiterate: clown hair. There are many who get wigged out by the imagery.

So I wait things out. In a fortnight, peace will be restored. In the meantime, I’m going hat shopping...even though I hate anything on my head. Do hats come in XXL? At least ‘tis the season for toques.

Thank you for reading. I promise to spare you any more fretful reflections of my bad hair days in the near future.

Unless, of course, Carrie is Dubai bound. Then I’ll be looking for a support group. And, of course, another salon chair where I can plop down, clench-grip the arms and sweat profusely as I begin a whole new relationship.


The Happy Homesteader said...

Now if only I could find a man who would be as loyal to me as you are too your hairstylist *le sigh*

isabelcostello said...

You're right, that photo of David Beckham didn't hurt. (One of our finest exports, until he opens his mouth and sounds like a gerbil, but that's another story.) Your post is hysterical and your loyalty to a particular hairdresser totally understandable. I'm the same. When my original longstanding coiffeur moved from London to Brigton I was so upset I forgot to get his details and spent a very long time (pre-internet !) trying to track him down calling every salon sounding like an idiot. In my desperation I got my highlights done by someone I didn't know anything about and spent a miserable couple of months looking like a character from a dodgy sitcom (salt n peppa look). And then, sigh, I discovered Greek God Lakis, and although to date I have only followed him around London, I suspect I would follow him a lot further. Hope he doesn't decide to go and live in Cyprus...

Rural Gay said...

Thanks for the comments, Happy Homesteader & isabelcostello! My loyalty comes from some bad haircut experiences that began with my mother and a cereal bowl and continued with a series of hair hackers into my twenties. I might just have to check Travelocity deals to Dubai!

Rick Modien said...

Yup, we can all relate to this. Same problem for me when we moved from Victoria to Metro Vancouver. I even thought about scooting over to the Island every six weeks or so to see the stylist I was used to who always did a good job. Except you know what? She beat me to it--went on maternity leave. No loyalty, I tell you. What's more important?

Great piece. Love your writing as always. Had a few good laughs.

Rural Gay said...

Thanks for reading, Rick. Darn that mat leave, eh? I know I'd have been planning activities to go with Haircut Weekend Getaways to Vancouver Island!

JustAMike said...

Too funny! "She can’t even prune her hedge right" made me laugh out loud.

Me, I use a number two blade all around. Never had much luck doing it myself but my ex-wife used to and my sons have (while gleefully carving ridiculous shapes into my scalp). Now I get my boyfriend to do it. He does a great job. In fact, I think it's time for me to get a hair cut too. My bed-head looks like Phyliis Diller designed it.

My boyfriend, however, will not let me cut his hair. I'm sure I'd do a great job but he prefers to remain loyal to his stylist too!

Enjoying your blog!

Rural Gay said...

Hi JustAMike!

Thanks for following the blog and for posting a comment. You are so brave to allow loved ones to cut your hair. For me, there is too much at stake. The repercussions would be most unpleasant during the 4-6 weeks of waiting for it to grow back. I'd do my best to be civil, but the rants in my Hair Log would be cutting.

What?! You don't keep a Hair Log? Hmmm,...maybe there is some insight here into the "mystery" of my ongoing status as a single guy.