I have summitted mountains. I have explored depths of the vast and deadly ocean. I regularly ride around on a screaming two wheeled death trap at speeds that can best be described as laughably obscene. I need to say those things not because I think they're impressive but because my next statement is so unimpressive that it needs some shit heaped on the other end to balance it out: I am an anxious ball of stupid when it comes time to get a haircut.
I put it off as long as I possibly can. I'll get a very simple haircut, short but not too short because I need something to hide my forehead, which reaches almost to my asscrack. Then I let it go for a few months and start thinking about needing a haircut. Then I wait another month. Then my girlfriend, my boss, and my mom will all tell me I should probably get a haircut. Then I wait another month or two.
I'm not afraid of scissors or anything, and if I get a bad haircut whatever - it grows out and it's not like it's going to fuck up my quality of living. I've had bad haircuts before. It's just the whole being in that seat thing. I suck at it. If I ever need to be interrogated, don't send me into the room under a desk lamp with a couple cops - sit me in that stupid chair and watch me freeze in pure anxiety.
I've been going to the same place for years now, but I don't make appointments in case I decide that my pH balance isn't entirely up to snuff that day and I can put off the experience until, let's say, winter. It doesn't matter who I get because they're all, you know, professional hairstylists and can manage to not fuck up the simple shit.
I sat in the chair. "So what are you looking for today?"
"A, uh, a haircut," okay so I've already fucked up. Don't lose it, "just, uh, shorter than this one," okay I'm a moron and now this girl knows it. "I guess I just want it a bit neater, you know, I have some weddings to go to this month. Short but not too short," leave out the bit about the forehead and the asscrack.
"Do you like to leave it a bit longer on the sides?"
"Yes. I think so? Is that what this is right now that I have?"
"Alright, do you want it to come up over the ears?"
I don't know what that looks like. It's like that time I had long hair and I asked for a few inches off and ended up looking like Prince Valiant because I didn't know how long a few inches was in hair. "Yes?" Good job. You're a rockstar. Is this going to be one of those days where you just sit there and aren't sure what to stare at in the mirror or are you going to actually try to talk?
You're still staring. Okay it's one of those days. Sigh. No, don't do this. Don't do this to either of you. "So have you been watching the Olympics?"
"No, not really. They're so weird. I saw this one thing where they were trying to hit each other with sticks."
What. "Yeah there are some pretty obscure sports in there, like," don't say curling, it's summer, don't say curling, "shot...vaulting."
"Yeah I know! This was the one where they're wearing face masks and they try to hit each other and a bell goes off when they contact."
"I think so. That buzzer just kept going off every time they touched. BEEP. BEEP."
"That sounds annoying."
"BEEP. BEEP. BEEP."
"So have you been watching them?"
"A few. They're on while I'm at work. I dispatch so there's a TV up there. Water polo is on a lot for some reason."
"Dispatching, huh? Is that like with police and stuff? Because this system is so messed up, I'm sorry, I know you work for it but..."
"No, it's alright, I don't actually make any decisions."
"Because I hate how many murderers and rapists and stuff get off with like a year or get away with it when all kinds of drug dealers are in there for like ten years."
Abort. Abort. Change the subject, she's holding scissors over your head, just say something neutral. "Yeah that's terrible."
"I have this cousin who was a big drug dealer and he got four years for it and all kinds of rapists and murderers just get off all the time."
"Yeah." Aaand switch. "Hey, is this only your station? Do other stylists work here or...?"
"No this one is mine. It's awful because other girls will use it when I'm not here but this is my station. People will ask for appointments with me but they don't know me. And there's a different girl here with black hair like mine and glasses. But she's out on maternity, so I guess people can just ask for the pregnant girl now."
Wait if she's out then why would they ask for the pregnant girl? Is this girl pregnant? She could be. Don't ask if she's pregnant. "Are you pre-" DON'T ASK IF SHE'S PREGNANT. "tty sure they know your name? If you had some business cards they could ask for you by name." Good save. Go back to the not talking thing, it's almost done.
"Well, how's it look?"
I don't know it's in a big tuft and it's wet so when it dries it could be anywhere from suave to three stooges, "Looks good!" Awesome. Walk to the desk, say have a nice day, leave a big tip. Breathe again.
You said the last part out loud. "I said it feels good short. It's like I can breathe again."
I paid, I left a nice tip, I said have a nice day. I'll see the place again in fucking February. Good god I suck at getting haircuts.