Thursday, August 16, 2007

Shorn to be mild

That's right, Blogreader, a double pun, specially designed to induce a groan and a rolling of your eyes. Other possible responses include a sharp sigh, a frown, wondering why you bother to read this blog, or a narrowing of your freshly-rolled eyes. All of these are normal, and should resolve on their own.

I'll give you a moment to forgive my punnery before proceeding.


It does not take a genius intellect to deduce that getting a haircut from someone with whom you do not share a language can sometimes result in a vast discrepancy between the intended haircut and the one on your head as you exit the place, a little bit poorer financially, and with a bemused expression stapled on your face. Often, one will also have an urge to reach up and check the haircut for up to six hours after the event.

In spite of decent scores on several standardized tests, I have found myself in this exact situation on more than one occasion.

I have been contemplating a shearing since October or so, whenever it was that I began injecting "my hair is getting long" into conversations regardless of the topic currently under discussion.

Saturday, as I wandered stickily along Chicago Avenue looking for pictures to take, my hair kept obscuring the viewfinder of my camera, or sneaking into my mouth when a breeze picked up. I have accidentally lit it on fire on several occasions while putting flame to cigarette. I was also sweating heavily. I felt I had had enough when I chanced upon a hair salon which was open and bereft of customers as a result of a street fair which was not yet underway, but which had blocked off all traffic for several blocks to allow the vendors to set up.

I asked the woman nearest the front how much a cut would cost and, deciding it was a reasonable price, walked into the back to have my hair professionally washed. I assumed the first woman would be the one doing the actual cut, and she spoke English well enough, but it turned out that she was far too busy fussing with her own hair to do mine. Instead, the young woman who washed my hair was assigned to follow through to the end.

I was asked how I wanted it cut, and I answered. The woman from the front walked back and asked me again, translating my answer into Spanish for the benefit of my stylist, who nodded and began cutting.

Our path together was a jagged one. She started by cutting too little, and then cut too little again before I said the word "drastic" and she seemed to understand. With that one word, she removed more of less all of my hair as I stared morosely at myself in the mirror four feet away.

I had thought I might get something along the lines of late '65 Beatle, but ended up with Contemporary Bland. Still, I guess it'll be a while before I start moaning about needing a haircut again.

As a side note, my friend Ian called my longer hair, coupled with the blazers I started wearing a lot last fall, my "writer's costume."

So here it is: my freshly shorn locks, in a picture I call "Self-portrait at Bus Stop," taken an hour or so after the cut.

At the Puerto Rican market later that day, Junior's brother told me that every time he sees me I look more and more like "someone who fits in." He cited my formerly purple locks and the long hair I had had earlier in the day. I told him that my work with the CIA demands that I be somewhat flexible about my appearance. I added "and my morality..." under my breath, and his eyes widened and he clearly did not know whether or not I was joking. I enjoyed this. Then he told me I looked like I was putting on weight.

One final note: Blogger's Terms of Service require that all blogs publish at least one post about the blogger's hair, and one about the blogger's children and/or pets every six months. So I am only doing my duty by telling you about all this. I'll probably get the one about my cat out of the way tomorrow.


Meloney Lemon said...

The haircut looks fine - you can always be adventurous with gell....

I've posted about other peoples children - does that count?

The Moon Topples said...

Meloney: You'll have to check with Blogger® as to whether other people's children count. My guess is that it is fine provided you have no children or pets of your own.

Reading the Signs said...

There is something quite compelling about the pictures and words in the previous post, and there is something quite compelling about the look of you here. And how synchronicitous is this, Mr. Moon - I too have had a haircut, though mine now is probably as yours was before the cut and I do not hang out in bus shelters wearing dark glasses looking as though I had just stumbled onto the set of "Insomnia." I ought to, though. Cool.

Hoodie said...

Your post left me smiling and laughing with very few eye-rolls.

Come to think of it, I blogged my big hair-cut, kids have been covered and I feel very lucky to have no pets.

Hair grows.

Unknown said...

I have covered my bases by doing 'hairy kids' a while back but I am not sure that the cat would cope with celebrity status at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Maht, I don't believe you. I'm pretty sure that picture is not of you. It took me a while, but I finally remembered where I'd seen it before: "Die Hard with a Vengeance"

...the scene in the van where the FBI guys are showing McClane pictures of the probable suspects...

"Jarvis: First man there is Mantious Orgo, was Oregonian army, explosive expert. Now, we believe he's working for the Arian.

Walter: Working?

Jarvis: Free lance terrorism. By contract."

Nice try, Maht... I mean... MANTIOUS!

Anonymous said...

Six months, maybe I should move over to Blogger. Wordpress is so much more demanding. We also have to blog about our reasons for not having anything to blog about, not to mention monthly political statements.

I got a haircut a few weeks ago in California from a guy who was, I think, a Cambodian immigrant (judging from the name on his license) but did not speak recognizable Khmer or any other known language. He kept pointing to the wrong side of my head and saying "part." He had already parted my hair on the correct side, and he wouldn't take "no" for an answer, so I eventually agreed with him. Whatever. Close relations call it the best haircuts I have ever had, and it cost only $13 (not including the large tip I gave him).

I didn't see "Die Hard with a Vengeance," but I must say that that is the most dangerous I have seen you look, Maht.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

I've been in this situation many times. I believe I have a valid excuse, though, living in a foreign country and all. No matter though, as the trauma is the same.

Your hair looks great, but I have to admit I almost didn't notice you now that you're blending so well.

You might want to take up that gel recommendation then.

Can't wait for kitty post!

The Moon Topples said...

Signs: Enjoy my former hairstyle. I'm just glad it went to a friend. And thanks for making me laugh as well.

Hoodie: It grows, indeed. I am not worried. Glad you've met your quota, as well. They're very strict about this sort of thing.

Minx: Good for you, knocking them both out in a single post. And you are perhaps wise to shield your cat from the pressures of fame. Most cats become unbearable in such situations.

Dirk: I had wondered about the recent downtick in people stopping by to accuse me of being a freelance terrorist. But...the Oregonian army? That seems contrived.

Cavey: So nice to see you again. Perhaps the fellow merely wanted you to acknowledge that the other side of your head is also a part of the head? As for looking dangerous, I think it's just a result of squinting into the sun.

Sognatrice: Yes, I am blending so well, in fact, that my image is barely discernable amid the glass of the bus stop. Thank you for noticing how easy it is to not notice me.

Liz Dwyer said...

"I have accidentally lit it on fire on several occasions while putting flame to cigarette."

Hah! That is the funniest thing I've read all day. I guess when it gets to that point, it's time for a change!

And, I've got the children end of things all covered, so hopefully Blogger won't give me the boot.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Well with record heat everywhere perhaps your new do will make you cooler.

Or more cool.

I did roll my eyes and my smirk dissolved into giggles when I discovered I'd been caught rolling my eyes. Oops. It's that camera you have all over your page. I'm not coming back without my sunglasses. Incognito.

Does writing about Viaggiatore count? I don't have many options here.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Taffiny said...

What good is an After photo, without a Before one?
For all I know, you may have had hair this short all along, and just been drawing yourself with longer hair.

I have cut my hair myself for the past 10 years. I have found when going to a hair salon, that just because we all think we are speaking english, is no guarantee that we understand each other. I asked for a shoulder lenght bob one day (10 years ago), and came out, with a chin length, duck wedge thing, with heavy bangs, horrendous with my harsh features. Looked like a bad character actor, was playing the role of me in my life. I no longer tip for this sort of service.

Does that count as my blogging about my hair? Or do I have to go to my own blog, and write a post about the ever encroaching grey (premature grey!) within the next 6 months?

molly said...

Wandered curiously over from heartinsanfrancisco, and ended up howling. Everyone has had one horrible hair story. Many of us more than one. Three experimentally minded male offspring put me in a position of authority on the subject....
Also enjoyed your efforts to interest your cat in riddles.