He only has the one chair. (OK…technically if you count the “waiting area” seats he has six)
He’s been cutting my hair for a couple of decades in a shop with a footprint no bigger than an RV.
He is my barber.
I have never been a “hair salon” guy. Not a big fan of having different people cut my hair each time out. I like consistency. I like predictability. Much like knowing when you go to McDonald’s that Big Mac will be the same whether you’re in California or Connecticut, I like to know each time my barber spins me around to face the moment…and mirror…of truth there will be no surprises. It. Is. Always. The. Same.
In a world where very little is in our control, this is comforting indeed. I admit a lot of men my age don’t come close to having this kind of concern because they don’t have a full head of hair. Even as I approach my mid-fifties, the speed at which my hair grows is equivalent to that of a Chia Pet in full bloom. We meet once a month as a result.
We chat about the weather. We report on our vacations. We comment on the local scene. Once I earn my way from the “waiting area” to the chair, the whole transaction takes all of fifteen minutes and I’m on my way.
It has been like this for twenty years now…my barber is reliable and dependable.
I only made one mistake with him in all this time…but it served as a valuable reminder if I wanted each haircut to have the same result I had a responsibility as well to make that possible.
One day early on in the relationship, I was in a bit of a hurry and asked my barber to skip his step of oiling up my hair for the final comb.
He looked at me like I was armed and about to rob him. And in a way, I was. He had his routine perfected, just like I always hoped for from my barber. That’s why each hair cut always came out the same…and successfully. I broke that routine that day.
And ya know…the hair cut that day was just a tad “off.”
I made it a point from that moment on to only talk about the weather, the vacations and the local scene…and never, ever say I was in a rush again.
You want perfection? You don’t rush it. It takes as long as it takes…at least when it comes to my barber.