Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday haircut

It seems impossible to get a haircut in New Orleans on a Monday.  It's probably not impossible to find a barber open for business but, as a newcomer to this fair city of inscrutable ways, it is improbable.

I have a job interview tomorrow morning so I figured a touch up was advisable to show I'm as neat about my appearance as I am about my work.  I did find one shop that was open on Magazine Street.  I walked in and nodded to the chap who was in the chair.  The barber came from out back and asked if I had an appointment.  An appointment for a ten-minute haircut (ideally)?  I said No. "Can you come back at 2:00?"  I said No, could he tell me where there's a barber shop I could walk into?  "Not on a Monday."

He didn't lie.  I drove around town in search of a barber shop.  Every one I found was closed Sundays and Mondays.  I went home and trimmed over my ears.  It's a good thing I wear glasses.  That, and I'll wear an eye-catching tie and pocket square to distract from my shaggy coiffure.

You can find a bar in New Orleans any hour of any day to enjoy a smoke and a beer over a little conversation.  You'll be hard pressed to get a haircut on a Monday though.

To be fair, it took me a while to identify a network of acceptable barber shops in Boston that were open when I was ready for a trim and had minimal waits.  I don't like to linger in the barber shop.  I like to get the job done and get on with my day.  Small talk and old magazines don't add any luster to my haircut experience.

Old Italian gentlemen have always been my preference.  Nothing fancy, get out the clippers, flourish the scissors, finish up with a straight razor and I'll see you again in two or three weeks.  I haven't done my relevant research in the twelve days since I've arrived.  There's a lesson here, one of marginal importance but, in a pinch, a man needs a decent haircut when he needs it.

As has been the case since arrival in New Orleans, I need to temper my expectations.  I'm not in New England anymore.  In many ways, I'm glad of that.  The other night I watched some drunken couples dance and sing along to a jukebox playing the Rolling Stones.  I wasn't particularly interested at the time but I now realize they were mouthing something very profound.  You really don't always get what you want, but you do get what you need.  Looking in the mirror, I suppose I didn't really need a professional haircut after all.

Today's illustration is courtesy of Lint.

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