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Friday, July 10, 2009  

Good Trims

M. Edium got his first haircut at 14 months of age, and I've lost track of how many he's had since. Maybe fifteen or so. But he's always had them at the same place, or at least different stores of the same chain. This particular chain has the most unimaginative name for a kids hair cutting place you can think of, but it's very imaginative in terms of separating parents from their money. There are bins of toys for sale, lots of tonsorial add-on options, and his haircuts cost fifty percent more than mine do. Which I guess makes sense; he has even more hair than I do, his head is almost as large as mine, and I have them use scissors on him rather than the clippers I have deployed on my scalp twice a year. But when you factor in the frequency of his haircuts, which is much higher than mine (which is in turn higher than Trash's), it starts to feel like an unnecessary expense.

There's an argument to be made that it's worth it with a toddler. After all, the kids hair place has two invaluable features. One is a small TV playing a children's video in front of every station. The other is a seatbelt on every barber's chair. And you know, there aren't all that many places you can bring a kid these days that are still equipped with restraints.

Still, after realizing that the cost of the movie to keep him entertained for a twenty-minute haircut was higher than what we'd pay to buy him an actual ticket to an entire movie in the theater, Trash and I decided he was old enough to sit still at a regular haircutting place. But we didn't do anything about it for weeks and weeks, while his head began increasingly to look like some kind of weeping mushroom.

Finally, with a long evening after an early dinner stretching out ahead of us, I decided on the spur of the moment to take him to the neighborhood haircutting place. This is the same place I avoided for years (seriously, I just went back there for the first time last Thanksgiving, two haircuts ago) because of my hair nemesis, Gary. Apparently he's long gone, so it's not really necessary for me to bundle M. Edium into the car and schlep him to the nearest-but-one chain salon that I went to for over a decade in my long Gary-avoiding period. I can bundle him into the car and schlep him to the nearest one.

They have new staff. The lady who cut M. Edium's hair called him "Mark." This is surprising for two reasons. The first is that his name is not Mark. I could cut her slack for not being able to read the writing of the person who checked him in, but that person was her. The second reason it was surprising is that she wasn't actually able to pronounce consonants. Aside from the wrong name I couldn't understand a word she said.

Fortunately M. Edium didn't have that problem. Maybe it's because he goes to school every day and listens to his Sri Lankan teacher talking. Or maybe it's because every child knows that when a grown-up offers him a "shagah," he should accept because there's always a chance she means "sucker." Which, admittedly, she did.

I have to admit, she gave him a pretty decent haircut. And it was kind of funny watching how he was so fascinated by the giant clumps of hair that kept thudding down onto his dropcloth. He'd reach down and pick one up to examine it, and then sprinkle it on the floor. And then after a while he simply became obsessed with keeping his dropcloth clean. Of course all the same kind of hair used to fall on him back when he went to the kids hair place; he just didn't notice because he was too riveted by the screen. Which is another thing; normally the stylist has to hurry to shape up the back of his neck, because he's so keen to lift his eyes up to the TV again, but this time she was able to take her time. Overall, I'd have to say it was a success.

Still, she weirded me out a little. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to start bringing him to the closest-but-one chain salon after all. I mean, obviously I know the way.

posted by M. Giant 10:19 PM 0 comments


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