I take daily interactions very seriously. I study Curb Your Enthusiasm assiduously, utilize Occam's Razor in the area of personal propriety, and demand of myself only the best in uprightness. May I never be described as "unseemly."
So, what am I to do with my barber? The last two times I've gone and gotten his services -- a haircut -- he's messed up one side of my head. He'd not done this previously, but I can't stand a mistake upside my 'ead. I'm considering dropping him, but I've got sentiment for the man. He's quiet, methodical, seems lonely. And few guys are there when I go there in the afternoons.
There's three barbers in the shop, and they each have a schedule. I've gotten haircuts from my other guy, who's from Iowa, a Democrat who likes to talk politics, but I can't remember the days that he works. Probably I should just call, because this chattering barber in the back always answers the phone. But I'm thinking about switching barbershops altogether. The one I've been going to is a half mile away from my house. There's another a mile away, near two coffeeshops and two bookstores. Maybe I'll go there.
But I'm torn (I remember another blogger using the same term when debating about which college guy to date). I'm willing to offend people, surprise a few -- as long as I'm in control of the situation. But the barber/barbee relationship is a special one, a holdover from a time when male friendship was more unselfconsciously intimate (see: Barbershop). I've never lost a barber and never lost a friend. This is no mere matter of economics.
One day I will write Ron Thraen's biography, my Harlan barber, the greatest barber of all time -- at once a fan of University of Iowa sports and of the Intimidator, Dale Earnhardt. (The young Kurt Cobain wrote a song called "Floyd the Barber," a vision of depravity of Andy Griffith's Mulberry.) I will remember his yarns of Canadian fishing trips and his health problems when I drive through Harlan in 2050.
I've really got to buy that Life of Johnson.