This morning I went, for the first time ever, to the barber.
It's not that I've never cared about my hair, it's that I've cared about it so much that I had perfected over the years the art of cutting it myself or having a stylist do it for like 70$.
This morning I was walking outside, it was sunny, I was drinking my "fair trade" coffee and saw a barber shop. I told myself: "Why not? You need a haircut anyways..." I walked in and a surly old man that smelled like Aqua Velva and Cigarettes motioned me to one of the 8 empty chairs. I started telling him what I wanted, he nodded, looked at me and said "So medium, right son?" I told him I guessed that medium sounded about right but no to touch the top, I only wanted the sides cut.
The surly old barber takes out an ancient clipper and a comb and proceeds to "style" my hair cutting most of the sides off, then he takes out a straight razor and cuts the hair from around my ear and the back of neck. All this is done in silence. He then takes the clipper and the comb out and cuts the top.
He then quickly brushes the hair out of my face, tells me it's 15$ and that I look good now.
I turn and leave, a little mystified at the whole experience, but it somehow felt as though I'd gone through some age old coming of age ritual, one that includes having your wishes ignored by a surly and bitter person who, of course, knows better than you. I am now a part of that illustrious group where old men all have the same haircut and young men seeking a hairstyle come out of the barbershop looking like they've just joined the army.
Today I am finally a man...