Sally my hairdresser has a razor blade swiftly slicing hair from the top of my head. Our relationship has blossomed from congenial chit-chat to in-depth discussions about grandchildren, children, cooking eggplant and leaving countries in times of war.
We even time my haircuts for when either of us is away so that there are limits to other hair-cutting vandals. As much as she respects her peers, the look of disdain as she cloaks me on her return from holidays is priceless.
It’s early Monday morning and I am a little quiet from the rather large weekend just gone. There is frantic scissoring around my ear.
“You are always so happy, Johnny, and nice face, you must be so popular with the ladies at your work.” A brown-grey clump of hair falls past my eye. “Yes?”
I laugh and adjust awkwardly in my seat. How on earth did I get myself into the situation where I can’t come out to my hairdresser?
It troubles me that I can have a talk about boyfriends with a seven-year-old, but I can’t correct a grown woman.
“Dad, you don’t have girlfriends do ya.” It was a statement more than a question.
“I mean, you have friends that are girls, but not girlfriends,” Beau continued.
I was impressed with his insight. Chick was looking on.
“No sweetheart, I prefer boy friends, you remember, like Anthony.”
He smiled looking out the car window. It was a satisfied smile. But it wasn’t enough to leave it there.
“But you know Beau, some people aren’t OK with boys having boy friends, like I do, so it’s best not to talk about it too much with kids at school. You can with me though, OK, you too Chick.”
I told Dawn about it later and she smiled and agreed with me. It’s important to be honest, but also to be practical about bullying.
I like to think I live authentically and after reading Zachary Quinto’s blog comment reflecting the same sentiment I come to the thought that maybe that’s how I tell my hairdresser.
“Sal, see this guy here, great hair. Can you cut mine like his? We seem to have lots in common, for instance.”