The Unbearable Banishment: Frailty, thy name is Unbearable Banishment

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Frailty, thy name is Unbearable Banishment

You’d think that losing two jobs in the past 18 months would have provided a heaping helping of perspective, but you’d be wrong about that.

There was this guy, Steve, who use to cut my hair. Interesting cat. Worked on Wall Street, made a ton of money and then left to cut hair in a male-only salon. The male-only salon employs a gaggle of young, attractive girls, but I chose to forgo the flirting opportunity (a great sacrifice) and have Steve cut my hair because he is a virtuoso with a pair of scissors. A Grandmaster Artist with ninja skills (if ninjas cut hair). A perfectionist. Other stylists bow at his feet.

But he was a bit of an eccentric. The end results were amazing but the process was always an ordeal. For instance, he would ask me to describe, in minute detail, my worst heartbreak ever. He kept a spiral notebook on his station that was filled with song lyrics that were meaningful to him. Occasionally, he would stop in the middle of a haircut, open a page and ask me to read a set of lyrics, insisting that I read them out loud. He had written them down with a blunt pencil and his handwriting was barely legible so stumbling through was a long, uncomfortable process. And it was always that horrid lite rock that I despise. Air Supply. Dan Fogelberg. John Denver. Firefall. That music is an insult to musicians.

You are the woman that I've always dreamed of
I knew it from the start
I saw your face and that's the last I've seen of my heart

By the end of the haircut I wanted to fucking kill myself, but the results were astonishing. And I know what you’re thinking. No, he wasn’t gay. Living in New York City all those years gave me finely-honed gaydar and I would have know.

Steve was heavily into botox. His face was like a blown-up balloon. His cheeks looked like they’d explode if you touched them with a pin. He use to regale me with tales of his sexual conquests during his Wall Street years, referring to his penis as “Steve.”

Eventually, his eccentricities got him fired. Too many customers complained about his bedside manor and now he‘s gone.

One of salon hotties has been cutting my hair and it’s been a total a disaster. She’s terrible x100. A complete incompetent. The extent of her talent seems to be pushing her breasts into my shoulder. What am I going to do? Do you have any idea how long it takes to brainwash someone into rendering a proper haircut?


Blogger Barlinnie said...

I hear you my friend. Always listen intently and tip your barber well... A bad haircut can feel as though it really is the end of the world.

Now... about these breasts!

February 11, 2010 at 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

track steve down! don't give up so easily... if he's worth having, he's worth fighting for! i've chased my stylist and nail tech through a dozen salons over 15 years. not that the results are all that good? i just don't want to start the process over again...

February 11, 2010 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Pueblo girl said...

Perspective? Do I know this word? All life's tragedies loom large when they're yours.

February 11, 2010 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Poindexter said...

I'm with daisyfae - either find Steve again or make it a top priority to find another stylist. It can be done.

Air Supply???


February 11, 2010 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I followed a hairdresser around various salons in London for years to make sure that no one else could mess up my hair. Eventually she left the country. (whether it was me, or just the lure of living somewhere else, I'm never quite sure. I didn't follow her to South Africa though.)

Track him down. Resist the breasts.

February 11, 2010 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

OMG that's tragic. I know because I'm wedded to mine. She is an unsung genius. Hey, maybe you should check her out? She gives a guy friend of mine beautiful haircuts too...

although the others have a good idea about tracking him down.

And if not, seriously, I'll give you the number for mine. She's right off the Bowery in a tiny unpretentious salon.

February 11, 2010 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Jimmy: THAT'S how angry I am! I don't notice!

Daisy: You're not going to believe this but HE called ME! He wanted me to come to his house for haircuts and the only reason I'm not is because it's too far away. That and I'm afraid he might chloroform me.

PG: Actually, I think I NEED some perspective. It's only hair, for cryin' out loud.

Point: Well, I need to find another stylist [see response to Daisy]. Although the breasts are alluring.

Jo: Resisting is a hell of a lot easier said than done. I'm just a guy. That's all I am.

Leah: Right off the Bowery?! My old stomping grounds! *sniff* *sniff*

February 11, 2010 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Maybe Mrs. Wife wants to give it a try?

I hear both of you screaming NOOOO!

But who knows your head better than she? It's scissors and hair, how hard can it be? Think of the time you'll save chasing down an elusive stylist, and think of the whole new level of intimacy you'll find with Mrs. Wife.

February 11, 2010 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

I 'adore' my barber. Actually, I SAY adore, but I just about 'get on with him'. I Say 'get on with him' but what I really mean is the bastard is the only one who really knows how I like my head! Bollox!

Did I tell you, I cut my own hair?


February 11, 2010 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Lori: Plus, she can press her breasts against my shoulder.

Map: Not everyone can get away with that look. It works for musicians such as yourself. For pencil pushers like me? Not.

February 11, 2010 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger JZ said...

M and her Mom used to go to a guy who rose to the height of hair couture in NYC. He operated several salons up and down Manhattan. The guy was a wiz....and a tax evader. The IRS caught him and shut him down. By the time M and her Mom found him he was cutting hair in his semi-detached in Plainfield (illegally, since his house wasn't zoned for that). I went with M once....he was set up in his kitchen. All the legit equipment. Totally clean. But you sat in his kitchen chair and in 15 minutes, he had done what a regular hairdresser would take an hour to do. While we were there, his one-night-stand emerged from his second floor bedroom: a 20 something puerto rican boy in a mesh wife-beater tank top. Did I mention Rory (that was his name) was gay. SO gay. Flamboyantly, exhuberantly, love-everyfuckingone-in-the-world gay.

It was really impressive.

February 11, 2010 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger tattytiara said...

Yes I do. The woman who used to cut mine retired to become a cop ten years ago, and I'm still adrift. Nobody else understands my references, nobody else has figured out my hair type, and nobody else has enough sense to spike my coffee to keep me from squirming.

February 12, 2010 at 2:50 AM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

hey UB, I saw Polly Stenham's "That Face" at the Belvoir Theatre tonight. It was fabulous - has it been performed in NYC?

PS: I'm one of the lucky ones with a hairdresser in the family...

February 12, 2010 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

JZ: That's the other thing about Steve. He was so meticulous that it took him over AN HOUR to cut my hair. I love gay people who are so comfortable in their own skin that they're over the top.

TT: Welcome! Please, PLEASE don't tell me I'm going to spend the next 10 years looking for a decent haircut. Nice avatar, by the way.

Nurse: I believe That Face is due here in the spring. I'll keep my eye out. She's just a kid! I'm jealous.

February 12, 2010 at 7:35 AM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

Wasn't she just 19 when she wrote it? Amazing talent, though I have to say that Scene 1 is pretty weak. But the climax..... wow

February 12, 2010 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger Maureen@IslandRoar said...

You are having a tough year!
HATE finding new haircutters.

February 12, 2010 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Here In Franklin said...

When we decided to move from Arkansas, my first thought, OMG, new hair stylist. Second thought was OMG, new gynocologist. Priorities!

February 12, 2010 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Maureen: My dear, you don't know the HALF of it! I only put the amusing stuff in here. I leave out the dreary stuff for fear that it'll drive away the few regular readers I have.

HIF: OMG! OBGYN! At least I don't have that to contend with. Or shaving my legs.

February 12, 2010 at 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked Pueblo Girl's comment. Very true, for the most part.

I'm folically challenged, thanks to genes on both parents' side. (There was never a chance I'd enjoy long, thick locks past the age of twenty.) So, my haircuts all happen at home nowadays with a set of trusty (rusty?) electric clippers.

So, basically, I can't relate to your post at all.

BTW: the chloroform comment made me laugh out loud. Good one.

February 12, 2010 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger M L Jassy said...

I concur with Daisyfae and Poindexter. Find the easy listening barber. He's sure to turn up after a bit of detective work. My family (6 of us) have stayed with our hairdresser since 1975. She comes Sydney from the countryside every 6 weeks. And what music does the amazing K play while snipping? None other than the godawful Mix 106 FM, the depths of cheesy listening, and their so-called 'mix' is an insult to cheese. And yet. You don't give up K's kind of haircuts for the sake of ambience.

February 13, 2010 at 1:00 AM  
Blogger savannah said...

i know the feeling, sugar! my regular stylist is going through a mid-life crisis and taking it out on her regulars! so, i decided i'm just going to use this time to let my hair grow out. i figure she should be out of her funk in another 7"...xoxoxox

February 13, 2010 at 10:13 AM  

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