Erin has cut my hair for the last six years. She does a great job. It's a nice ritual to sit in the middle of the kitchen while she slowly trims bits of me away. She likes to take her time and I like her touching my head.

The kids make it difficult. We try to do it (the hair cutting) while they're napping. Often, the noise of the trimmers wakes them up. Then Erin rushes through the rest or tries to finish with a kid at her ankles. It's not as fun as it used to be.

Erin's friend recently recommended a men's hair place for me. They also cut kids hair, so we figured Henry and I could make a date of it. The first time he would just come to watch how it all works.

Now, when I hear men's hair place, I think barbershop. We showed up on Saturday morning to find a men's spa. I'm not really a spa guy, I thought.

I was wrong.

We walk into this funky den of grey, silver and black. Two women are on duty; one escorts Henry to his own chair, turns on the cartoons and heads into the back room to get him a cup of hot chocolate. The other puts me in the chair beside him.

She starts off with the buzzers, trimming around the edges. She swings the chair around 180 degrees (almost violently), tilts 'er back and washes my hair with water hotter than I'd ever be brave enough to spray someone with. Rather than wash, she attacks.

Towel dry. Scalp burn. 180 degree spin again. Scissors. Quick, sure cuts. It's going so fast, I almost ask her to slow down. But the best is yet to come.

"Sandalwood, mint, or unscented?"

I have no idea what she's asking.

"Um.. unscented."

"Do you have sensitive skin?"



I wonder what her response would be if I had said 'yes.'

Steaming hot towel. The shaving begins. Warm lather on a brush (unscented, I get it). The only disapointment comes when she gets out a safety razor instead of straight (they're apparently illegal in salons in NS). Shavy shave. Another hot towel. She even cleans out my ears.

"How was that?"

"Excuse me?"

"Your hair? How is it?"

"Oh." I forget why I'm here. I put my glasses on. It looks great. "Great!"

I remember I didn't come alone.

"You ok over there, Cornbread?"

Henry, open mouth, glaring at TV. Occasionally sipping chocolate.


Cartoons and hot towels? I'm pre-booking for next month.

1 comment:

"The Book of Don" said...

Nice post. You are a gifted writer. Your love of family oooozes from the very few words you choose. You should write more.

...and your wife seems "hot" to me too :)

You remind me of Stuart McLean. He writes the same way. Full of humour and irony and kindness.

But - as you may know, I used to be a buddy of Stuart's...and I know the truth, he's a BMW-driving yuppie who lives in a million dollar house in Toronto.

Me ? I'd rather be growing tomatos and kids on Cape Breton - despite the snow.