I got my hair cut last Sunday. I went to the place I always go to, and I gave the same instructions I always give, which is “cut my hair, but make it look nice. Scruffy, but intentionally so. Give it some shape. Thanks.” Then I did the thing where the hairdresser explains the different steps that he’s going to take, and asks me if I agree with each step. I pretend to listen while watching whatever is going on behind me in the mirror and swinging my legs under the seat (because my feet never reach the ground in the hairdressers) and agree to whatever he says. Then I tune out and think about dogs for the next half hour.
When I came out of my reverie, I discovered that the hairdresser had decided this time to give me the most painfully up to date and fashionable haircut possible. I’ve got straight lines all over, very short at the back, a step up at the sides towards the front and a very short, extreme, blunt fringe. I’m not sure if I like it or not, because whenever I see someone on the tube with this haircut the phrase “tries too hard” springs unbidden into my mind and I dismiss them as a victim of group thinking.
Now, I’m starting to think that anyone with as up-to-date a haircut as I have may well just be daydreamers too, who haven’t learned to concentrate hard enough in the hairdressers. It’s difficult enough, being forced to make small talk with someone you don’t know, as well as put up with the hideously enforced intimacy of having someone else wash your hair. Worse than that, my hairdressers have started to give head massages half way through the hair washing process, so that when they put the conditioner in they suddenly start this slow massage, which, the first time it happened, felt to me like the kind of BAD TOUCH! BAD TOUCH! American school children are taught to avoid. It’s like waking up out of a drunken stupor at a party and finding a stranger massaging your bare feet. Just wrong.
Anyway! So with all of that, I remembered all of the lovely German things I still have to tell you about. So hopefully in the next couple of days you’ll find them all spilling out below.