Thursday, October 20, 2005

Not Just One, But All Of Them

I’m in desperate need for a haircut. That’s all there is to it.

I’m about two weeks overdue for that blissful Saturday morning ritual where I get up nice and early and head on down to see Russ at his shop on Mohawk Road. Even though he doesn’t officially open until 8 AM, if I show up at 7:15, I know he’ll be there, and perhaps I’ll even have to wait, because I’m not the only person who knows Russ gets there really early.

Perhaps it’s pathetic, but I feel better after a good haircut. And tomorrow evening I have a book signing at Chapters Festival Hall in Toronto and could really use the confidence that a good haircut provides.

When I was a young boy, I used to go to a barber, the same one my dad went to. Rene had a little shop in Levack. Good comic books, fun stories being told, and a haircut for a decent price. I fondly remember the time when I got big enough that I didn’t need to sit on that little board that was placed across the armrests, and also the first time that I went down to get my haircut on my own, without my mom or dad there with me.

Then, when I reached my teenaged years, I abandoned the barber shop for a hair stylist. Part of it was peer pressure, I remember, and a nice dose of vanity. But the idea of getting one’s hair cut at a barber’s was suddenly unthinkable. You see, apparently it’s important to spend more and get the exact same thing -- your hair shortened. Apparently it was also necessary to go to a hairstylist so that I could achieve the highly fashionable mullet which I sported from the late 80’s to the early 90’s. (I doubt that Rene would have let me walk out of his shop looking like that)

As I got older (and perhaps as I started losing my hair), I rediscovered the simple yet powerful pleasure of a barber shop. At Russ’s (the place where Francine’s father used to get his hair cut) I get a decent haircut for a great price, conversation about world events, recent sporting triumphs and loses, and of course, politics, good newspapers and magazines (and kept out of sight and reach of the young folks, there’s a selection of adult men’s magazines. Though I usually just stick to the Globe & Mail or MacLeans -- If I wanted one of the nudy magazines, I’m not quite sure the protocol. Do I just pipe up and say: “Hey Russ, slide me over a copy of “Bum Biter’s Monthly” would you?)

Alexander’s rate of hair growth is so slow that I doubt I’ll be taking him to see Russ for a while, but I certainly look forward to introducing my son to the experience of the barber shop. (Sure, when he’s a teen, he’ll likely escape to some other hair place that charges more, but I know he’ll come back home like I did, if not as a middle aged man, then for sure as a senior)

I’ve also recently looked around at the office, seen Zebing, Howard and Irwanto who all got haircuts recently (good wholesome haircuts like what I’m in desperate need for), and I think I’ve been having feelings of “haircut envy” - it isn’t pretty.


Kimberly said...

don't worry Mark...women get haircut envy too....

I've been going to the same stylist for about six years now. She owns her own shop on Locke St, so it's in walking distance from my place. Lori is awesome. Reasonable price and good cuts. She's always excited when I want to do something the time I walked in with hair past my shoulders and told her to cut it to my chin short...I think she just about had an o-...well let's just say she was awfully excited to do something different for one of her most boring customers (cause I'm usually a "clean up and trim" kind of girl)

There's nothing like a good cut to make you feel great about yourself.

have a good cut'll thank yourself for it!

Kim :)

Shoop said...

You know you're way overdue when you start coveting other people's haircuts.