you're new here aren't you?

I've mentioned haircut stuff before but my regular shearing session hit another first today: there was a new person doing the cutting! scary stuff eh? especially since he appeared to be pretty young and generally new to all this. Naturally scenes of an impending bad-hair week flooded through my mind, because, well, we've all seen the trainee-hairdresser* sketches haven't we?

Since this is the second time I've mentioned it on here I feel I should give some background detail about the hair cut place. as I've said I go there partly out of habit and partly because they all three do a really good job, and for as long as I've been going there there have been three hair-cutty people (they're not hairdressers because the place is too straight forward for that but they're not barbers either because - thanks to the childhood horror stories of my razor-comb wielding father - I'm pathologically terrified of barbers, and none of these people terrify me.) each of the three is very good at cutting my hair and each in very different ways:

first there's owner-bloke: owner-bloke appears to own the place and has the genuine relaxed air of a man who does what he loves for a living and lives pretty well from it, he has a very chilled out dog (who is sometimes there, but never cuts hair as far as I've seen) and the kind of hair which looks cool in a way that appears effortlessly messy but probably isn't.

secondly there's "are-you-keeping-your-sideburns?" lady who (as the name suggests) always without fail asks me if I want to keep my sideburns (in a way which conveys eloquently her opinion that I probably shouldn't.) I like her in spite of our ideological differences and she always does a great job of resisting her obvious temptation to slip with the clippers and shave the offending sideburns off

last but not least is I-used-to-fancy-him who for the first year I was going there never cut my hair once, and always seemed to be much sexier than he actually is. During all that time I thought I kind of fancied him, but it turns out I don't (and besides he's evidently straight) it also turns out that he's really quick cutting my hair: same great finish as the other two but in about two thirds the time.

So yesterday I went in and found I-used-to-fancy-him there stoically trimming away at someone's noggin while working at another chair was a new guy. Change (as I have mentioned) is unsettling to me when it comes to haircuts: this is why I used to make my Mum drive clear across town every couple of weeks as a teenager, and why I now walk half an hour across Edinburgh to go to this place (which is near where I used to live and was once on my walk home from work, but is now quite inexcusably out of my way)

new-guy finished first (of course) and proceeded to do a first rate job of cutting my hair (I don't know why this surprises me but it does: I think I expect anyone who's not done it before to wreck it)... it never ceases to amaze me that people can wave sharp objects deftly about my head in intricate patterns for protracted periods without stabbing me in the skull, and I'm even more amazed each time it happens how great I feel afterward (perhaps it's relief at not having been stabbed with scissors, but more likely it's a looking good - feeling good thing) Somehow though none of the above relaxes my conviction that I *need* to keep going back to the same place, in spite of being objective proof of the existence of other people who can sucessfully cut my hair. weird eh?

*"new-guy" is patently not a trainee, and what he lacked in customer relations finesse (by comparison with his ultra-chilled colleagues he seemed really quite awkward and uncomfortable) he more than made up for in talent: my hair looks the best it has in ages.


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