24 January 2013

The Barber Shop

Cindi and I were talking this morning. I told her: "It's almost Friday and you know what that means?" She got that look. "Your haircut." "Yes!" said I "Isn't that exciting?" She laughed and confessed that she does not find getting or giving a haircut exciting. I told her the problem was that she didn't find joy in the crazy little things of life. We were both laughing, because she knows her totally oddball husband does.

But aside from the fact that I really do love it when my hair is newly cut, it brought back memories. Every other Saturday, daddy would load me in the car and we'd drive to Wheaton on Saturday morning and we'd head to Dabney's Barber Shop. It was on the corner of some cross street I no longer remember and Georgia Avenue.

How different barber shops were back then! They were clearly a "men's" joint. They smelled of tobacco and shaving lotion and grease for your hair. There were maybe eight barber chairs in that shop and they were all manned and folks were sitting in a long row waiting for their cut, reading newspapers and chatting. I have no idea what he meant by it, but my dad always said: "standard boy's cut." That's what I got (until I grew my hair long in the seventh grade - yeah, I'm that old). The totally random thing is that I think I pretty much wear my hair now exactly like I wore it back in those days. I'm back to the old standard boy's cut.

Some folks were being shaved, absolutely NO ONE was getting their hair washed (how weirdly female THAT would be), and the razor was always used on you to trim around the edges. When you finished up, if you were good and sat very still and held your head up (a challenge for a wiggle worm), you got a lollypop to take out of the store with you. Positive reinforcement.

That's the way it was. Now (and for many, many years), Cindi cuts my hair. I don't pay anyone (but nor did I get a free lollypop). I don't go and wait in line. No Saturday outing every other week, no sitting with the men as they smoked and talked and said words that I'd get in trouble for repeating at home. But I still look forward to the day when it comes every two weeks and Cindi continues to roll her eyes and no doubt wonder why on earth she ever married such a kook. But I look forward to it a great deal and treasure the memories and the smells and the time with my daddy.

1 comment:

Jerry Smith said...

I share the cherished feeling. I don't get my haircut often enough, but my wife doesn't cut my hair either. Nonetheless, I fell in love with the sounds of a razor when I was in the Marine Corps in the 80s. Getting a haircut every week or so became almost an escape. It certainly was relaxing. Enjoy!