I have briefly considered wearing my hair in a longer style recently. I think this is just a further manifestation of my desire to avoid being perceived as sporting anything that could be lumped into the notion of “the gay haircut”. To be sure, this has everything to do with my time in Seattle where every homo on The Hill seemed to have the same haircut…most, courtesy of Rudy’s Barbershop.
Don’t think there’s such a thing as a gay haircut?
Ugh. The Hard Part.
A good name for my autobiography in progress, shit name for a hairstyle.
Totally gay. Plus, it makes me respect gay guys a little less – yes, that is possible. I imagine someone walking in and saying, “This is the style I want” and whipping out this guy’s pic. Because, we should all take our style cues from the guy with facial tattoos…
I still won’t go to the Rudy’s in Portland, a) because Bishops is several bucks cheaper, but also b) because I usually get a more diverse choice of stylists there, making for a better experience for me.
Oh, and c) Bishops offers a beer while you wait, last I checked, Rudy’s didn’t. Sure, it’s bullshit hipster beer like PBR or Montucky – same beer, by the way, just different marketing. I kid you not.
I’ve gotten pretty good at timing my arrival at my local Bishop’s so that I’m the first one there. In and out in record time. The stylists are usually happy to see me, especially if it’s a slow starting day and there’s no line waiting to get in.
What can I say? I tip like my father.
However, on my last trip…well, it was a trip.
First in the door, and no line had formed behind me. I’m getting really good at not noticing that lines no longer form around me. In this case, I easily convinced myself it wasn’t because I’m too old to be waiting for anything cool enough to queue up for.
It was Thursday morning at 10:50.
Normies were working.
I love my atypical weekend.
One of the two worker-people unlocks the door – she’s kinda non-descript and I decide I instantly want her cutting my boring hair instead of the girl with fluorescent pink braids.
Of course, this being my life, I got Pinky.
No big deal. I can rally. It’s only 25 minutes of my life, which is cumulatively the same amount of time I’ll probably spend having sex with other people between now and the end of my life.
Oh! The end of my life in two or three decades! Sorry to alarm you, mom!
I actually found myself checking myself on my earlier choice of stylists. It doesn’t matter, really…I just think my dull head will bore someone as outwardly extravagant as Pinky. Simultaneously, I’m mentally scrolling through the covert reasons for her choices in self-expression. I am decidedly a tee shirt and jeans guy, but still, I appreciate the effort people put into their appearance.
Even if I question the underlying motivations.
Total sidebar, as I’m writing about Pinky, I’m debating whether one of my DBE partners thought – or reflexively assumes – my comments about his garb this morning were slightly racist.
And whether maybe they were. Or, at best were ignorant or insensitive.
I assure you that they were well intentioned, if not poorly informed.
His outfit for today’s meeting was an exercise in monochromatic brocade paired with pointy toed patent leather shoes with hobnails (for lack of the appropriate cobbler jargon) around the sole at the front and topped off with a metal point with a skull shaped into it.
Those were some fucking shoes.
As a white guy, I don’t think I stood any better chance of commenting on them and not sounding ignorant or racist than Harvey Weinstein does of complimenting an actress’ gown and not sounding predatory. So, fuck me.
So, Pinky starts in on the cut with some small talk about where I live and what I do.
Everything was fine until the second question, which was also about the same time I realized Pinky was trans…providing a shorthand answer to a few of my initial questions on why someone would have that hair color.
And dye their eyebrows to match, by the way.
Regardless, it really popped against an alabaster skin tone that would make Casper look tanned.
It wasn’t that I do HR for a group of news & gift shops at PDX that caused the conversation to slide sideways. It was the, “That sounds interesting” comment, rejoined with my, “Mostly, I just chase staffing issues all week” that committed our conversation to a slide that I didn’t even try to steer out of.
I have this longstanding rule about not pissing certain people off:
No need to risk a “sneezer”, right?
Barbers and stylists certainly qualify for this group of people not to piss off.
At this point, I start to realize I’m in a conversation that I’ll be lucky to escape from with just a pair of scissors stuck in my skull. At worst, I’ll also be buried with a bad haircut.
You see, when she asked why staffing was such a problem, I didn’t leave it at a simple, “Hiring at the airport is just challenging”.
I had to go on and talk about how it’s tough to have a group of long-term associates – read: older – in today’s hiring environment because many of my new hires are college students…or at least college aged.
See how that last part comes across as judgy?
But the reality is that the two demographics just. don’t. get. along.
So our conversation is now in a full-on slide and Pinky contributes that maybe it’s not that millennials – her word – weren’t so much flaky or lazy – also her words – as they were tired of being pawns in the big capitalism game that is America.
I totally allowed that point, agreeing with the current backlash of the younger generations toward the Boomer-favoring economy.
Maybe millennials are just tired of working to pad someone else’s balance sheet.
Once again…not taking advantage of a strategic opportunity to not re-engage, I posit that no one is required to actually participate in capitalism. She questions my sincerity by demanding an answer to how one will survive in today’s America without working for The Man.
You know, I say, I don’t know. Yours is about the fourth generation to struggle with that question and I really don’t know the answer. You’re in Oregon, where craft beer and weed are the past and current alt-industries. Look at all the craft brewers selling out to big beer in “distribution deals” and ask yourself if weed will follow a different path.
So, these alt-industries that basically have working class hero stamped in their DNA sell out. Here’s what we think is the answer to capitalism run amok, selling out and caving to said capitalism. The generations between you and I didn’t figure it out.
It’s up to your generation to do us one better.
– And this is fully where I should have muzzled my inner Julia Sugarbaker –
But until you do, you might try not biting the capitalist hand that’s feeding you, because that’s a little hypocritical, no?
Her mouth made the same perfect circle that both my eyes were making as she realized whatever she realized and I realized that I’d just broken one of my cardinal service people rules.
God help me.
Regardless of gender identification and politics, I’ve decided that I’ll probably go back to wearing my hair styled short again. I think it was my writing about Egypt and seeing pictures of younger me, but whatever the impetus, I recently found myself entertaining the thought, “Maybe I could be one of those old guys with the IDGAF long hair…”
As grumpy as I am, I suspect that scenario plays out with me taking clippers to my head in frustration one evening. Which, having likely worn out my welcome at Pinky’s Pelo Palace – er…Bishop’s – might be my follicular reality soon enough…