Monday, October 08, 2007
Beware: I'm 'edgy.'
Apparently I’m “edgy” now.
Of course, I’m only partially over the Mets collapse. It’s going to take a while.
One of the reasons I’m ticked at the team is that I’m a creature of a routine. And my routine from April through September was to listen to the Mets on WFAN through MLB.com and comment along with the guys in the Crane Pool Forum.
I was happy that routine was going to be extended through October. That is, until our boys disintegrated down the stretch, sending me into both a baseball funk and that disorientation that comes from losing the daily rituals.
Complicating matters was the loss of another routine.
You have to understand that I’ve had the same hairstyle for pretty much my entire life. Cut short, parted on the right side. Sure, in high school it was a little longer – but still short by 1970s standards.
And three years ago I tried something a little bold, cutting it really short and a little spiky in the front. This didn’t last too long because my wife said the barbers didn’t do it well and it looked like I had a big bald spot.
She wanted me to go to one of those fancy places to get it cut.
Not a chance.
As with everything, there are rules. I only get my hair cut in places with a barber pole in the front and three years worth of Field & Stream and Sports Illustrated in the waiting area. I found a place like that when we moved here in 1999 and I haven’t had my hair cut anywhere else.
I did stray slightly. The barbers there are old military guys and I soon learned they tend to struggle with anything that isn’t a flat top or trimming the horseshoe. But there are three women who also cut hair in that same place, and I’ve been letting them do the job.
Except for the last time, one of “the gals” – as the former military guys call them – had what we might call a bad day, and my wife decided once and for all that I was going to see Miss Michelle at the fancy salon, who takes care of my wife and kids.
So with great fear I made an appointment. Miss Michelle was not surprised to see me, having heard from my wife and kids of their efforts to get me there. I explained to her that this salon thing was far outside my comfort zone.
She took a look at my hair, moved it around a little bit and cringed. “Oh my. They gave you comb-over and you’re not even bald!”
Couldn’t argue with that. I had no choice but to submit.
“First thing we’re going to do is wash your hair.”
“Hold on there,” I said. “I just did that before I came here.”
“Well, we’re going to do it again. Twice, actually. Guys have no idea how to wash their hair. And I’ll massage your scalp, too.”
I have to say, I haven’t had somebody else wash my hair since I was small enough to sit in the sink, and I thought that was a skill I had mastered.
But, reluctantly, my chair was lowered back so my head was in the sink. It was pretty nice, though I think I could have done it myself.
Michelle explained that we were getting rid of the comb-over look – and the comb as well as a brush. “You’re going to be able to do everything with your fingers.”
At this point I was pretty much in shock. I’ve been using the same brush since college. I don’t mean the same style of brush. I mean the same brush. Routines were falling by the minute.
As she kept cutting, all kinds of strange things were going on around me. A woman walked past with strips of tin foil in her hair. I couldn’t imagine what that was about.
“Don’t worry, we’re not doing that to you,” Michelle said. “We do that to your wife, though.”
She then asked what kind of “product” I use in my hair. Aside from the store-brand shampoo and the 20-year-old brush she said I’m not allowed to use anymore, um, nothing. I was then introduced to “paste” and told how to work it into my hair, which we did after washing it for a second time, this time with a hot washcloth on my face.
Looking in the mirror when Michelle was done, I had to say it was a different look – and better.
Then I went to the register and the guy working handed me the bill. I had to laugh because I thought he said it cost $30, which is more than double what I usually pay at the barber shop. I stopped laughing when I realized I had heard him correctly.
This was all pretty tough to adjust to.
But my wife liked the new look, and co-workers agreed it was an improvement.
The only objection came from one of the people on the school board I cover.
“I don’t know,” she said. “It looks…edgy.”
I assure you, this is the first time in my entire life I have ever been called edgy.
I’m not even sure what it means. Is it edgy as in cutting edge? Or, bold and unpredictable. Maybe even a little dangerous.
Apparently not that dangerous. The day after Glavine’s meltdown ended our season, a co-worker placed a mock headstone on my desk with “2007 Mets” written on it.