I asked Mrs. Curmudgeon what she thought, and she thought I was way past due. She reminded me that she had told me I was way past due last Saturday, too.
So I got in the car and drove over the river to get my hair cut in a quaint little working class barbershop. No real man really wants to go to some chain for a haircut...you know where the guy cutting your hair is a little too...stylish...and a little too friendly. No man wants to schedule weeks ahead of time and pay $40 for a foo-foo haircut where the whole place is a little too...stylish...either.
So I went to an old fashioned barbershop. I'd been there a couple of years before, and I figured it would be easier to get in and out of there than it would be to drive over to Kansas, and I had another stop north of the river anyways.
But apparently, the old guy in the white smock from the Norman Rockwell painting had since sold out to a couple of women at that barber shop I chose.
Well...ok. The line didn't look too long. And at least the TV wasn't blaring, and there wasn't an issue of Penthouse under the TV (like I noticed on my last trip to the quaint downtown barbershop I frequented a few times, years ago). It's not quite the same, having one's hair cut by a woman who wasn't wearing a white smock and didn't step out of a Norman Rockwell painting, but we must have some commerce in the world as it is...maybe.
Unfortunately, though, I wished the TV had been blaring. The two barber women were talking about their planned Mediterranian cruise, which was a week away. I wondered how they afforded such a vacation, at 12 bucks a head, because I certainly couldn't afford it. But that was none of my business.
And then the topic turned to a particular nude beach on the French Riviera. Apparently, in a whole shop of working-class folks, everyone had heard of this beach but me, and the conversation got lively--not disgustingly prurient, but lively. I wondered if I should walk out, but it was my turn in the chair, and so I hopped up, thinking surely they'd stop.
But they didn't. And I heard the woman cutting my hair tell the other woman that she had told her 16 year old daughter to "get over it and quit being so modest."
Maybe a few years ago when I watched more television I wouldn't have been so surprised to hear such a thing come out of a mother's mouth. But believe me, I was surprised.
I did let her finish my head (where else on earth could I have gone to have it finished?) paid with a small, undeserved tip, and got the heck out of there without words, only a slight nod and an insincere smile. I probably should have said something, but I was at a loss. What does one say to such a mother?
I suppose an experience like this is good once in a while, particularly for the head of a family, so long as youngsters aren't in tow. Being in a group of people totally unlike you, socially and religiously, without the boundaries one has in a workplace (at least in my workplace) that keeps things from getting outright raunchy....being in a place like that serves as a bit of a reality check from time to time.
We forget, when we spend our social time with like-minded folks, and when our co-workers tend to practice at least a modicum of discretion, what inroads the Enemy has made, and why it's so important to protect our families from the world out there.
In the meantime, does anybody know of a Catholic barbershop around town?