For those of you faithful readers (thanks Mom), you know that one of my favorite blog topics is writing about my hair cutting experiences. While these monumental events have become precipitously less thrilling since leaving the copious salon schools of Provo, Utah with all their accouterments, I still try to get the most out of my haircuts here in the DC area. My previous DC barber has been blogged about, and presumably still does a good job, but I decided to branch out a little this time. I got a flier on my door awhile back advertising a new barbershop that just opened 0.7 miles from my house. I think my aunt put the flier on my door trying to send me a message, and it worked (3 months later). Eager for fresh material I trekked out to investigate. I was pleased with the facade and the interior, although a bit surprised by the barbers. There were two women barbers, each dressed up. The younger of the two was wearing a nice dress and pumps, as if about to go to a dinner in Georgetown. Most barbers I know wear a smock. (By the way, if you do a Google Images search for pumps, you get pages and pages of shoes, and nothing about water or electric pumps. I think we know who runs the internet...) Not only were these barbers dressed quite nicely, but they were Asian! My eyes I could not believe! I thought my original Asian barbershop was just an anomaly, but apparently they have a corner on the market here! All of this was bombinating through my head in the 10 minutes I had to wait for my new doo.
Then, out of the middle of nowhere (actually, she came in through the door), a third Asian woman entered the shop with a little dog on a leash. I wasn't sure is she was anticipating a haircut for her dog, for herself, or some other unheralded scenario waiting to unfold. It turns out she was an employee, and she brought her dog along. Just like my Rosslyn Barbers don't seem to care very much for cosmetology licenses, the TL Barbershop does not seem to care very much about cleanliness. This women was all over her dog, picking him up, petting him, putting him down, undoing his leash. Now I love dogs, I really do. At least I love most dogs. And I had nothing against this particular dog, I just wasn't sure I wanted its owner to be working through my hair immediately after working through the dog's hair. There was a women in front of me waiting, so I said one of those silent prayers that she would be the lucky patient of the newly-arrived-dog-petting-no-hand-washing employee. But she wasn't- I was. So into the chair I went, noticing that the blue jar of germ killing mouthwash you are supposed to leave your combs in, was empty as a coffee mug in Mitt Romney's house. And then the haircut began. Like the Rosslyn Barbershop, I was forbidden to look at myself in the mirror until it was finished. It makes me wonder if they do other things in this same fashion in parts of Asia. For example, when you go to buy a new house do they put a gigantic sheet over the abode until the papers are signed and then they yell "Congratulations!" as you peer at your house for the first time?
Meanwhile, my hair cutter's dog took the liberty to jump on the lap of another customer. I couldn't believe it. Who does that? But he didn't seem to mind, and no one else did, so I guess it was okay. It must have been one of those rare Barbershop/dog retreats.
Anyway, this lady did a fine job with my hair. It's quite short, which for now is what I wanted. I get a haircut about every 3 months, so it's usually a pretty drastic change. When I showed up for school I had students I don't even know coming up to me and saying "Wow Mr. Bennett! You got a haircut!" One of my classes asked me if I was Mr. Bennett's brother, so I said yes and went along with it. It turned into an extended joke for the entire period. My principal made comments, a counselor took an extremely obvious double take and almost fell down the stairs as a result, and another teacher told me I shouldn't plan anything productive for that day because the students wouldn't be paying attention to anything I was saying. But back to the TL Barbershop.
At the conclusion of the haircut I got a warm, straight edged shave of the back of my neck. They used sake infused shaving cream, and then threw in an extra little head massage to round out the experience. Definitely awesome. And finally, as if things couldn't be better, I had coupon for a $14 cut! When I presented it at the counter they were very impressed that I still had it- they told me they had given those fliers out months ago. I've never been more proud!