Not that I'm any kind of expert, but a visit to a hair salon must be something like a trip to a cathouse.
I'd noticed myself getting a tad shaggy these days, so I made an appointment for today at noon, a little place near work. The girl on the phone asked if I wanted to "see" anyone in particular, and as I hadn't patronized this place in a good long time, I said no.
I walked into the place and announced myself. Unisex hair places try very hard for that ultramodern feel, lots of brushed aluminum fixtures, photos of sexy models on the walls, glass and chrome furniture -- I'm sure it's the outcome of a lot of very careful psychological research. All the stylists in the place, nearly all of them quite attractive women, are dressed in black, black, black.
Again, the receptionist asked me that rather intensely uncomfortable question: Is there anyone in particular I'd like to "see"?
Now, for me, a haircut from a sexy babe in stylish black clothing is a rather, how do we say, erotic experience. It is, I'll admit here and now, the closest thing I get in my life to permission to perv out a little bit. From the shampoo, her fingers massaging my scalp with foofy shampoo, to the cut itself, as she leans in very close to get just the right angle and a pert breast brushes my back, her breath and perfume mingling with the fruity hair-care-product smell of the place, as, in the mirror, all the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo: The whole thing serves to put rather unwholesome thoughts into the Jingo cranium.
And I don't think I'm alone in this dirty little secret.
So asking me if there is anyone in particular I'd like to "see" is a big semantic matzoh-ball. The intention of the question and its interpretation are oceans apart. Most female customers will understand it -- correctly -- as a challenge to assess the competence of the stylist who gave her her last cut; got a good one, repeat. Bad one, move on. This male customer, who happens to like women very very much thanks for asking, thinks it's exactly the same question that they ask at the front desk of the Mustang Ranch. I do suppress the urge to look around the room until my eyes light on a cutie-pie who's just my type and point and say, "Well, that petite blonde in the ass-pants and sleeveless t-shirt, she looks like a goer!"
But just barely.
Instead, I shake my head, a little sadly. "No, I'm new here." Thinking, I'm at your mercy. Please pick me a nice one. Oh, and by the way, if you can read my mind, you'll be forgiven for declaring me a complete and utter pig and throwing me into the street.
I got the only dude in the place.
What's worse, he gave me a real nice haircut. I got his card.
I can't go back.