Small Humiliations: Part I / by Courtney Mehlhaff

In the interest of overcoming my apparent hibernatory tendencies this winter (I currently arrive home from work, curl up under my heated throw, sleep for a couple hours, rouse myself for some food and television, and then ... exhausted ... retire to bed), I'm starting a new series detailing some of my more embarrassing moments.

A couple years ago I went to get my hair cut at a discount chain, which shall remain nameless. I typically cheap out on haircuts, mainly because I keep mine very short and can't justify $40 a month in upkeep. The adventurous part of this strategy is that I might get a different stylist each time, which is also the downside in certain situations.

In this particular instance, it was not only a new stylist, but also a new establishment. The girl was quite young and eager to make a good impression. She washed my hair and then stood behind me asking me questions to get a feel for what I wanted.  In the course of the questioning, we had the following exchange:

STYLIST:  "Have you ever had your hair long?"

ME:  "Not since high school."

STYLIST:  "Do you ever think about growing it out again?"

ME:  "Well, sometimes I toy with the idea, but you know you have to go through that ugly stage."

STYLIST:  (very sympathetically, with her hand on my shoulder)  "Awwwww ......"


STYLIST:  "Oh!  You mean the hair!"

I haven't been back since.