10am on the 11th of December, 2015... I will remember this day and time.
I had taken the day off, to run some errands, get several things done, and get my beard trimmed that I'd been growing since I visited Nathan Jr in Charleston, South Carolina back in mid September and realized I was (more than once during my visit there) the only adult male human without a beard in the room / in the building / in-sight. It had been more than 20 years since my last terrible attempt to grow a beard... one that came out with brown mutton chops, a reddish goatee, and a white blond mustache... none of the three connecting, and definitely not complimenting the pony tail that went down to between my shoulder blades. The 90s facial hair I tried to cultivate looked akin to US Civil War Major General Alphas Williams (link here) sort of... but without the length or fullness.
The new version in 2015, looks more like Ulysses S Grant's beard when he was elected. I'd been trying to coif it with the various trimmers I have, but all I succeeded in doing was to snag it, make it asymmetric, or or leave whiskers all over the tall sink and vanity in the bath room. Mirrored-hand-eye coordination, like Javier Bardem's character Anton Chigurh had in No Country For Old Men, when he removed the shot gun pellets and shrapnel from his leg and behind in Mexico, I Do Not have.
So after I picked up some things at the CVS and Sprouts in Carlsbad, I simply pressed my iPhone 5s, and said "Barber". Siri found 5 barbers within 5 miles of me. I went to the one that was not SuperCuts, driving 3 miles down to Encinitas. It was a barber shop, with 3 seats where customers could have their hair cut. No non-sense, straight forward, barber shop. I walked in... there were two open chairs, one cut in-progress, and was offered the middle chair, which I accepted. Told the barber what I wanted... "shorter, but not buzz cut, leave some length on the top and front, remove all curls you find, and when the hair is done, ah... I see... you Do trim beards... good, I would like the side burns tapered to the beard, and then short and not bushy like it is right now." "Number 2 guard?" the barber asked me. "Sure, just make sure the sideburns and beard and mustache all 'connect', so not too short". "No problem".
The cut progressed nicely... nearly all completely-white hair fell down on the black draped cape covering me that the barber had fixed around my neck. Snipping, trimming, more careful snipping. 20 minute later, at 10am, I was done, and stood up to pay the nice barber. Then the question came that was so unexpected, that I asked the barber to repeat it. "Are you a senior? You want the senior discount?"
No, no thank you... I'm not a senior yet. Men's hair cuts were $16; beard trims $12 but only $6 with a hair cut. A "Senior hair cut" was $12. I looked around at the other two customers getting cut and the two men waiting to be cut... they were indeed, all eligible AARP members, or perhaps even all old enough to be getting medicare, 10 to 20 years older than I, at least. I gave the nice barber a Jackson and Hamilton, and wished the shop a Merry Christmas (they had a small Christmas tree in the corner, and were playing "The View" on an over-head television, that had some kind of Christmasy theme on the show that day. I paid little attention to it, as I did my best "Ben Carson" closing my eyes and taking a micro-nap which getting my hair cut and beard trimmed.
I don't know at what age most people are asked if they want a Senior Discount, but for me, I'm not yet 50 and it's already begun. Sigh. 10am on the 11th of December, 2015
1 year ago