For a person who likes to "go with the flow" on most things in life, I am extremely hesitant to change my dentist, accountant, and hairdresser. I have held on to my accountant ever since he filed my first tax return in life.
With the dentist, I did change one a few years ago. However, it was a forced change. The previous dentist packed up and moved to another town. However, the hair dresser has been there for almost a decade as well. I changed homes twice and it is now a 30 minute drive to my hairdresser. But its been worth the drive to hang on to her.
There is a simple reason I have for not changing these three people. Every time you visit them, they can just pick it up from where they left it last time. You do not have to go through the entire history, all over again.
Then on my last visit, my hairdresser told me that she was pregnant and will be away from work for more than a year (well, she did not need to tell me I guess, it was quite obvious). There was a lot of silence between the two of us during that haircut. Well, to be honest, I refused to talk. As she finished my haircut I congratulated her and wished her luck for the pregnancy. And then left the salon with a lingering search for someone new to cut my hair for at least a "full year".
I left my hair to grow a bit more than my usual 4 weeks this time to defer the impending change to a new hairdresser. Then one day, the moment finally caught up with me. My wife instructed me in no uncertain terms that I needed a haircut, pronto. She was courteous enough to even drive me up to the shopping centre.
As we walked past three different salons, I spent a good 5 minutes looking at them from the outside. They all looked snazzy but somehow I resisted going into any one of those. I was not ready to have the whole initial conversation about "How would you like the haircut today? What kind of clippers, what number? How short on the sides? How short at the back?". And then what if they still cut it "their way" and not the way I wanted them to.
After a few "passes" my wife sensed my hesitation and finally put on her "wife" hat and held my hand and led me into a salon. I protested. Even tried to run away. But then came that "look" from her. And the next thing, I was perched on the seat with that dreaded black gown around my neck.
Surprise Surprise - "How would you like it?", was the first query from my "random" new hairdresser. I so wished I could say "just the usual, please". With a heavy heart and a soft voice, I explained my desired cut. I felt a spray of water on my hair and then a gentle run of fingers through them. However, they did not feel the same. I looked at my wife from the corner of an eye. She was sitting merrily in the waiting area. Browsing through a gossip magazine, unaware of my trauma.
Then I heard a "snip", as I looked up in the mirror. She had clipped off the first strand. "Too late now buddy" I told myself and tried to settle into that chair a bit. To be fair to my new hair dresser, she exercised extreme caution in manoeuvring around my head. Asked me a number of times if I was happy with the progress she was making.
The hair cut lasted a good 15 minutes but it felt like an eternity. Every move her scissors made was met with this thought in my head - "she is going to stuff it up Sanam." I even had my fingers crossed underneath that silly black gown.
And then she dusted off the hair and set me free. My wife came running over to me. Looked at me in the mirror and smiled. "Looks nice eh?", she exclaimed. I just smiled back at her.
I was glad that nervous "first time" was over and hopefully the next time all I would have to say will be "Just the usual, please".