Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Friday, February 17, 2012

In Which Grooming Occurs


I got waxed, yo!

Earlier this week, the Tammy Duckworth for Congress campaign called me. I was asked to volunteer this Saturday. I accepted, and I'll be canvassing Streamwood, knocking on doors, and interacting with the public at large. Beware.

It was evident to me that such an activity would entail looking decent and presentable. My checklist for reaching this threshold was short: haircut, shave, new jacket. (the old one I found in the closet five years ago when I moved into the south side ballet studio is completely fucked out at this point)

After procuring a jacket, I went to the Hair Cuttery in Hoffman Estates. At first, everything went as expected, following the usual script:

"What would you like?"

"Shorter hair."

"Okay, have a seat. What do you have in mind?"

"I'll take the Rob Gronkowski special, please."


"Clippers with attachment number 2 for the sides, scissors on top, a bit longer than the sides. Vaporize the sideburns. Your preference on the neckline."

Nothing flashy or out of the ordinary. Near the end of the haircut, however, my trademark ignorance of all things grooming began to emerge.

"Would you like me to texture the top?"


"Trust me. It looks better."

"Do it to it."

After the requisite small talk, during which Ashley discovered that I dislike sushi, she offered me their current package special, which includes shampoo, conditioner, and a scalp massage. I accepted, and she worked some Tea Tree bullshit into my head. My scalp felt like it went on an Altoids binge. It was awesome.

That's when she surprised me.

"Would you like a wax?"

I had absolutely no idea how I felt about this question. Yes, I suffer from a unibrow that sports a widow's peak on my nose bridge. I've never done anything about it before. I wasn't even sure she was referring to that. Why not make her risk offending me?

"Um, do I need one? Where?"

"Er... ah... eyebrows?"

"Huh. Sure. I'll give this a go. One more thing to check off my bucket list, am I right?"

I sat back and closed my eyes, as instructed. Something hot and thick landed between my eyes. (Stop right there. Yes, I'm positive she's a female.) She applied something else. She ripped it off.

"So, do I get my metrosexual membership card when we're done?"

"Haha, no."


Plucking, flinching, more plucking.

"Open your eyes, and look in this mirror. What do you think?"

"Wow. It's fucking weird."

"You'll get used to it. Trust me, it's an improvement."

"Right on."

"You did good. I didn't have to hold your hand like most guys need."

"Thanks. Sorry about my perpetual state of bewilderment."

"You knew what you wanted with the haircut!"

"In general, I've been indecisive since I was 12. Every year on my birthday, I always wanted shrimp at Red Lobster, without fail. That year, it made me sick. I puked like a ratchet sprinkler full of jalapeno corn bread mix. Ever since then, I've questioned every decision I've made. My brain is always stammering. You should feel privileged to have witnessed my boldness and confidence earlier. That shit is about as frequent as an eclipse."

"So you think you'll do this again?"

"Hell yeah. I may even branch out and try a pedicure."

"You've never had one?"

"Nope. I've always imagined a pair of tiny women violently hacking at my heel callouses with giant machetes, screaming high pitched unintelligible Cambodian nonsense. At least, that's what I'm hoping."

"Close enough. You'll like it. Here's my card and my hours. Have a nice day."

"Guaranteed! Sayonara!"
4:56 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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