Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Last night I went for a haircut. This is actually an event with more fanfare and build-up than one might think. The haircut for me happens usually every six months, and in the past has been accompanied by tears that were not my own. The next day elicits gasps of shock from co-workers, all of whom proclaim with the keen eye of a sleuth detective, "You got your hair cut!" I always want to pull out that lame grade school joke and tell them that I simply got my ears lowered, but I can only imagine that it would warrant confused looks.

Let me tell you a little something about my hair. We don't have that good of a relationship. Not to say that we don't get along. But we just don't really talk. Of course I take care of it. I lather it in shampoo and run a brush through it every morning. But for the most part, I let it roam freely, sticking out whichever way it pleases. Unless I'm in a show, I don't make it conform to any sort of gel or spray, and those occasions when I do, it puts up a damn good fight before settling down. I imagine the relationship between my hair and I is not unlike that of Medusa and her snakes.

I allow this behavior under one condition: it cannot distract me from my everyday life. And yet, every four to six months, it breaches this part of our contract, and I punish it by cutting it down to a reasonable size. This usually involves me walking into Supercuts, giving the instructions "I want it much shorter, but still long enough that I can slick it back if I want to", and twenty minutes later having a haircut that is not great, but decent enough. Just how I like it. Then I retreat to the car to get a closer look and I see the hair equivalent of a hyperactive boy dressed up for church: behaving, but very obviously not wanting to.

Last night, however, was an experience that brought me and my hair a little closer (which is quite a feat considering we are connected at the scalp). I walked into Supercuts, and all I'll say is that I should have seen it coming. My usual instructions were met with a look of confusion from the woman cutting my hair. "So you want it short, but long?" "Well, shorter than this, I want it out of my face, but long enough that if I wanted to slick it back, it wouldn't try to spike up on me." "Um...okay. Do you want a shampoo?"

SIDE NOTE: When I was single, which was a very long time, I always enjoyed getting a shampoo at the hair salon. It was a chance for me to go to an unseen corner with a woman (who was usually at the very least somewhat cute) and share something that I felt was rather intimate. I am fully aware that this sounds pathetic (and regarding the fact that I'm paying her to do this takes it to levels that I frankly don't want to explore right now), and indeed it probably was. All I'll say is I'm glad that I now see it for exactly what it is. Anyway...

Another bad sign was when about halfway in, she exclaimed, "You have a LOT of hair!" This is usually what someone says when first meeting me (along with "Who let you in here?"). When someone who for the last ten minutes has been concentrating on nothing except my hair suddenly realizes, "Whoa, what a hippie", that's definitely not good.

And yet, there is nothing that I can do. My glasses are resting on the counter. I cannot see what she's doing. I can only feel where she is cutting and try to form a picture in my mind of what the shape of my silhouette is turning into. I surrender my trust to her. All I can do is look in the mirror at the word "SUPERCUTS" shouting from my chest. I realize that they print the word backwards on the apron/tarp/blanket that they wrap around you so that you can read it correctly in the mirror. I wonder if they did that because people were making the checks out to Stucrepus.

After the cut, I was in a hurry, so I left a 28% tip (my only other options were 6% or 111%), and retreated to the car. Everything was as it should be.

...or was it?

I sensed something wrong. My hair seemed to be wailing, crying, shouting at me. I looked at it in the mirror. Everything seemed fine from the front. "What's wrong?" I asked, "It looks fine." But still my hair wailed. I decided to feel around, and I saw the problem. While the front of my hair was definitely shorter and out of my face, the back of my hair still extended to the middle of the my neck. I had a mullet!

It seemed impossible. And yet there is was, my fingers gripping onto the extended length of mane that creeped down the back of my neck. What made this woman think that "shorter, but long enough to slick back" meant "business in the front, party in the back"? Why would she think that this slacker-looking kid dressed in jungle tones without an ounce of denim would be the type to proclaim that "the South will rise again"?

I promptly went to a rehearsal of "Rocky Horror Show" (opening Friday at the Maverick Theater in Fullerton. Shameless plug), and greeted every cast member that arrived with, "Hi, how's it going, I went to Supercuts and they gave me a mullet, do you know anything about cutting hair?" One of the two guys playing Riff Raff pulled out a pair of cruddy scissors that was one of the many contraptions on his knife, and proceeded to do a better job on my hair than the woman who trained at a school and had the competent equipment to work with. Now it resembles a brown furry helmet, but at least the mullet was eliminated, and both me and my hair are happier.

When telling one of my friends what happened, she replied, "Don't get your hair cut anywhere that has the word 'Super' or 'Fantastic' or 'Great' in it." I realized that she was right. It seems that it is common practice in the business world to say that you are what you are not. Supercuts is actually Effective-But-Occasionally-Giving-You-Mulletscuts. Restaurants that proclaim to have the World's Greatest Burgers (and there are many) usually cannot live up to the claim. It seems like only Super Mario is worthy of the title (name me any other plumber that can storm a castle and defeat a fire-breathing dragon).

In other news, Miranda July's wonderful film "Me and You and Everyone We Know" will be playing for one week only at the Nu Art Theater in Los Angeles starting tomorrow. I am not sure if it will go into wider release than this (I can only hope), so this might be your one chance to see it. And I'm telling you now, GO SEE IT! I've talked about it in a previous post, but I cannot stress how great this movie is.

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