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.