I just got a haircut. As far as I can tell, it is a nice haircut. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the haircut itself. Still, it is a problem haircut.
I was working on dramaturgy stuff when I last had a trim. Being that about seven months has passed since that time, I was obviously overdue for a haircut. And my neglect showed. My hair was longer, scragglier, bushier and blonder than it had been in some time. It even looked crappy in the cure-all ponytail. I needed this haircut. I got a haircut. It is a nice haircut, but a problem haircut.
When I met my parents in Seattle for a weekend, one of the first things Mike said to me was, "You need a haircut."
"Yeah, I do." I said matter-of-factly, not wanting to stir up one of those push-me-pull-you charades the two of us are practically famous for. Mike said little more on the subject, (a rare occurrence) but I knew he had visions me of a closely cropped coif for the rest of the visit. When he asked if I'd lug the luggage down the the car so he could speak privately with Mama Crow, I knew their conversation would be about haircuts.
So, after we dropped Mike off at the airport, Mama Crow and I headed down to Portland. "Your father thinks you might feel a little better if you got your haircut, so we are willing to pay for you to get one." Sweet! I figure that I can walk in to Great Clips or the beauty school around the corner without an appointment, and save them a bunch of money. But somehow they are feeling generous, and they want me to get my hair cut at the place I would normally go. Uh oh. I try not to let my anxious "but I just decided that I was too broke to ever get my haircut there ever again" stare show. I find the salon's number on a business card in my wallet and I make an appointment for today.
Before Mama Crow heads back home, she gives me a check to cover the haircut and a small tip. I thank her and I put her on a plane home to California. I look at the perfect penmanship on the check and I sigh. I know that this will be a problem haircut.
I'm not sure when the haircut crossed the line from generous gift to real problem, but I have a feeling that the merger occurred early on. A laundry list of problems seemed headed my way, all because of a single haircut.
Problem one: Maybe a haircut will make me feel better. It won't. This notion is only slightly less ridiculous than my friend's suggestion that I should hire a prostitute because I would feel better if I got laid.
Problem two: I would rather use the money for something else. Like my electric bill. Or my electric bill and a cheaper haircut. Or my electric bill, a cheaper haircut, a refill of my brain candy prescription, a new alarm clock and an extra $5 for getting a taco or seeing a second-run movie with my friends.
Problem three: I am worried that my stylist has raised her rates. Two things happen when you do not get your haircut for over six months. Your stylist gives you a lecture and your stylist raises her rates without telling you. Notice how I said before that I was given money for a haircut and a small tip. Let's call it a very small tip, and let's jump to a few conclusions based on the fact that problem two suggests that I am fretting over a $15 electric bill. Obviously, my down-to-the-dime monthly budget does not allow for any sort of leeway.
Problem four: I am dreading the appointment. This is because problems 1-3 have left me feeling guilty and anxious. Plus, I need a new alarm clock and I'm dubious of any outings which require me to be at a certain place at a certain time.
So, obviously I made it to the appointment. And, after chatting with my stylist about how much we'd like to see Gary Oldman and Daniel Day Lewis in a film together, I ended up with a much improved hair do. See?
(Please ignore my pissed off expression. I will not cut you.)
But the haircut is in fact problematic, because as I went to the reception area to pay, I realized that problem three was not assuaged. She had indeed raised her rates, which made me feel worse than when I went in there. It made me regret not canceling the appointment in order to quell problem two, which I would have done had it not been for that nagging and oppressive compulsion to please my parents.
Anyway. Fuck this guilt. Who wants to buy me a taco?