Motorcycles and Haircuts
“Your hair looks great, by the way, the way the pieces stick out. Great look.”
That period after a new haircut is usually quite ego-boosting because other women are basically obligated to tell you how great you look. Oddly, though, this particular compliment was coming from my very masculine neighbor, Motorcycle Mike, who was calling to me in the parking lot.
It was a pretty drastic cut–8 or so inches off, up to my chin, after years of wearing it long–but I was astonished that this person I occasionally chit-chat with even noticed. Just about every woman I encountered for more than 10 seconds had told me I look wonderful, but only one other man outside of the salon had said anything. Neither my father nor my grandfather had said one word about it in the multiple times they had seen me. Once, my grandfather did ask while we were Facetiming, “What’s wrong with your hair?”
“What do you mean?” I braced myself for something negative. “I just took a shower.”
“Oh, yeah, that’s it. It’s wet.”
One day not long after the cut, I decided to curl it. A co-worker commented, “Your hair looks better today.” She was trying to be kind, yet I could tell she hated it and wanted to be reassuring because she thought I also didn’t like it. More amused than stung, I said I loved my new hairdo while hoping she would take the hint that fawning compliments were welcome.
Anyway, Motorcycle Mike was saying, as he caught up with me on the sidewalk, “You know, people are always shocked to hear this, but I used to be a hairdresser.”
I was shocked to hear this. “Really?” Motorcycle Mike is big and burly. He’s in his 60s. He has a motorhead mustache. He rides a motorcycle.
“Oh yeah.” He listed several high-end salons in the area where he used to work, “years ago.”
As Mike talked about his hairdressing days, I added his praise to the running tally I’d been keeping in my head from the minute I walked out of the salon, and weighted it a little more since it was by an expert.
I’ve since more or less run out of people whom I see regularly who might remark on my hair. It’s always a little sad when that “You look so great!” period is over. I’m getting a trim again this week, but it won’t be the same. Who will even notice? I doubt even Motorcycle Mike can be counted on.