Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Adventures In Real Life -- Hairdressing

I share one big thing in common with former Beatle Ringo Starr, our mutual desire to be a ladies hairdresser. But, alas, I guess it isn't going to happen. For him, he had the curse of great fame and riches that lured him from his true destiny. For me, I had the curse of a lack of ambition, or if not that, then follow-through.

Why exactly Ringo wanted to be a ladies hairdresser, I can't remember. I just remember hearing about it in the '60s and thinking of all we had in common. I mostly wanted to be one for the flair of it, and the notoriety. Notoriety, because in my town at that time there was a semi-notorious ladies hairdresser called Mr. Felix, who everyone talked about. The ladies, because he was this flagrant character with some unusual flair. The men, probably because they thanked God they weren't him.

But I thought, that's cool ... Mr. Felix. What ever happened to him, I don't know. He probably got a big contract out of town doing hair for ladies who could afford to tip him generously. To keep him in purple shirts and boutonnieres. And doing things extravagantly. OK, I could've been Mr. Felix, Jr.! And perhaps the shame of my family, although who knows, I might've been in a different town and dropped the Jr. from my name.

This all came back to me today when I was at a local hair cutting and styling shop. But watching the ladies (and one man) cut and style hair, it looked pretty hard. And maybe there isn't that much glamor in it, except what a character like Mr. Felix might bring to it. The staff was treating it like any job, which would be to be expected.

Another thing I noticed was how much they have to talk to the customers. And how much hair they have to touch.

A few of the customers were old guys older than me. I figured they'd be at a legitimate barber shop, but something's happened with the barber shop demographic we had when I was a kid. Here they had young ladies and old men.

One of the hairdressers, a young lady, was stunningly beautiful. I was thinking, too bad I'm not an old rich guy like Tony Curtis (was), maybe she'd like to marry me. Then we could come back to the half acre and I'd get free haircuts for life. And she'd have my electric company for the next 10 years, which will be about the extent of my likely potency level before serious old age strikes.

I had a sudden ethical challenge. An old guy who got his hair cut had a bunch of hair on his back. I thought about calling his attention to it, which might make the hair cutter look bad. I thought about getting the hair cutter's attention, which might also have ramifications. My third option was to do nothing, which was what I chose. My rationale: The chances of me being here and seeing that weren't good. It would've happened whether I was here or not. It has negligible significance. It's not like it's a tarantula. So I didn't say anything. And guess what, it worked out, because when the guy turned to get his coat, the hair cutter noticed it and brushed it off for him.

My big dream of being the next Mr. Felix is one of those dreams that will die someday. Already I know it's not going to happen. Just to go to school -- and to be the only old man in the class -- would be too much of a burden at this stage.

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