I don’t like my hair.
I never have really. It’s a bit rubbish. The problem is, it’s never decided what it wants to be. It’s not curly and it’s not straight. For most of my life it’s tended to be a bit wavy at best or, at worst, it has looked like something that small children want to blow on to tell what o’clock it is. One <blow> Two <blow> Three <blow> ….
Some of my earliest memories involve going to John the barber. John was a middle aged chap who would plonk me atop one of those booster seats you only find in such establishments, quietly pop a polo mint into my mouth in a way which would get him put on a register nowadays, and proceed to snip away at what were then golden, angelic locks. He did his best but after a few minutes he would look at the Mater, shake his head and mumble about my “double-crown” or my “coo’s lick”.
Things only got worse as time went on. Living through the seventies was bad enough but my attempts at joining in by having long hair were ill-advised. Most of the time I looked like Crystal Tipps.
Eventually the eighties came along and everyone’s hair was a bit rubbish, or at least big, and so I reconciled myself to the fact that my locks were never going to be my crowning glory.
And that’s been OK. Coming to accept it means that I am not too bothered that things have got a bit more wispy in recent years. I’m not too worried about going grey round the edges, or a bit bald on top. That’s just nature and things haven’t gone too far yet.
Or so I thought.
This past weekend I took myself off to the local barber – stylists having been abandoned long since. I was feeling good and had timed things well, being shown straight to a chair where a cheery fellow, not unacquainted with the Bosphorus, did his best to tart up my unshapely head.
And he did well. I was quite pleased. Until we got to the cash desk. I reached into my pocket for money as he rang up the till. “That will be [x] pounds, please.” he said. “Unless…” and he looked at me meaningfully, “Unless …. you are a pensioner?”
I bloody well am not. Admittedly, I look increasingly like the Pater when I look in the mirror every morning. Admittedly, I made a sort of wheezy sound as I levered myself out of the barber’s chair. Admittedly, there are just 1099 days until I have served 40 years before the public service mast and can retire on the sort of old-fashioned final salary pension that most of you can only dream of.
But he didn’t mean retired. He meant a pensioner. A “super-adult”. A senior citizen.
I was so upset that I came straight home for a cup of tea, but then remembered that I don’t take fluids after four in the afternoon in case I’ll be up all night.
I hate my hair.