Monday, March 15, 2010

Shaved Haircut, 2 Packs

Well, the title's a bit of a stretch, but being a girl, I didn't get a shave and a haircut, and instead of two bits, it was two packs of smokes.

By request, the story of my 2-pack haircut. Or what I remember of it, occasioned by the following comment at Ink's place: "Um. Wow. At least when I traded 2 packs of cigarettes for a haircut once from stranger on a trip, I knew it was most likely going to suck."

The details are fuzzy. Very fuzzy. Somehow, I've confused this event, which I'm reasonably certain took place in Montreal, with an entirely more wholesome trip to Ottawa sponsored by the nice Rotarian folks trying to make good citizens of a gaggle of high school students. For the record, there were no black market bad haircuts on the Rotarian trip to Ottawa. I do distinctly recall, however, explaining all the myriad applications and correct grammatical uses of the F-word to a woman from Quebec eager to improve her English. But I digress.

The 2-pack haircut could not have been while I was in high school, because I distinctly remember returning to work with said haircut, at a place where we were required to wear a polyester uniform; a place I only worked at during the last few years of my undergraduate degree. It must have been the early 1990s. I know it wasn't in my home city, and the bars in Montreal have a particular neon-ness about them. I have no good substance-induced reasons to not remember; I guess it was just generally an uneventful trip, except for the haircut.

Actually, now that I think on it, it must have been some sort of student conference. I was relatively active in university -- school radio, club newsletter, that sort of thing. Anyway, I got it in my head that I wanted a haircut, and that I wanted a really short haircut. In the process of coming out, I'd been terrified I'd become the stereotype. In Montreal, I decided the only way to deal with it was to go there, and in a fit of bravada, made a deal with a guy I'd only just met, as we hung out at his apartment. For two packs of smokes, he'd cut my hair good and short. He SWORE he'd done it a million times, and wouldn't leave me bald or scraggly. I bummed two packs of menthol smokes from my friends, he broke out the clippers, and we laid towels out on the kitchen floor.

Well, I did say I wanted it short. And he did promise not to leave me bald. But, it's a damn good thing hair grows back. Nothing was longer than a half inch, shorter on the sides. I remember being excited it was so short that night, and waking up in the morning having a holy sh!t moment. It was very, very short. I might as well have been bald. And no choice but to wear it until it grew in. Funny thing was, very few people said anything about it, though they did stare a bit. You do get what you pay for, I suppose!

Oddly enough, now that I look back, it can't have been all that traumatic... when I go to the barber to get my haircut now, it's not short enough unless he pulls out the clippers to trim up the edges. And yep, I go to a barber for my haircuts. He's good with short hair, costs less than a stylist, and has yet to try to fix me up with a pixie cut.

Oh... and I'm a fine, upstanding citizen too.

2 comments:

Ink said...

Ok, that is an awesome story. It sounds like something Jack Kerouac would have done (including teaching the F-word variations).

You rock, Diggs!

Ink said...

ps: CHEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!