30 July 2013

21 Minutes

"Can I help you?" one of the two hair stylists asked as I walked up to the counter.

"I'd like to get a hair cut."

"OK, it'll be... I dunno, 15 to 20 minutes."

"OK," I said and went to sit down. Both of the stylists were cutting people's hair and there was an old man sitting on the long banquette. Her estimate seemed reasonable.

The salon was part of a strip mall, but I felt tired so I just sat down to wait.

I crossed my legs with my left ankle over my left knee and leaned forward a bit for a hip stretch. I glanced at my watch and decided I'd do 3 minutes on each side.

Before I finished the first leg, the stylist who spoke to me finished her cut and walked an old woman up to the counter.

I started to worry I wouldn't have enough time for the other leg. As she was checking her out, the other stylist finished. I also realized the old man wasn't waiting for a cut, he was waiting for the old woman. They may have been married because she made a joke about not wanting to be associated with him to explain why she was listed under a different last name.

The couple paid and walked out, the first stylist finished up and then said to me, "I'll be right back. I'm just going to run to the store."

Usually this seems to mean they disappear for half an hour, but I hadn't been there long so I said, "OK."

I was halfway through my stretch with my other leg.

The second stylist checked out her customer. The computer was slow so it took a couple of minutes and she also had to answer the phone. Just as she finished, the other stylist came bounding back in.

Wow, that was fast. She must've taken off in a sprint once she was outside. She didn't seem out of breath though.

She spoke with the other stylist for a minute and I finished my stretch.

The second stylist told me, "You can come on back."

Her hair was lighter but I recognized her. She'd cut my hair before months ago or maybe last year.

She was still conversing with the other stylist but paused to see how I'd like my hair cut.

"I'd like the back cut up to here," I said gesturing to the top of my jaw.

"And layers?" she said anticipating what I was going to say next.

"Yes." I grabbed a small section of hair from the front pulling it straight and gestured to the bottom of my nose, "And cut the front to here."

"That's the right length for where it'll bounce up then."

"Yes," I said with relief. She understood what I was asking for and knew what she was going to do. It was a far cry from my last hair cut and a very welcome one.

She spritzed my hair with water, combed it a bit and started to cut resuming her conversation with the other stylist. That suited me great. I don't like feeling subjected to the Spanish Inquisition when I get a hair cut.

By the time I was back in my car, 21 minutes had elapsed including the 6 minute wait, hair cut, and check out. That's the ticket!

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