Getting a haircut is the one situation where I am reliably indecisive. I know exactly what I want my hair to look like but for every question the stylist asks I’m not sure how to answer.
“Where do you part it?”
“Uh, on the side, either side really… or down the middle. I mean, most the time I put it up so I don’t really have a part at all.”
“And how much do you want to take off?”
“Just a trim.” Yes, I realize I gave her no actual unit of measure.
A few minutes later, over the sound of the blow dryer from the stylist in the station next to us, she asks me, “How do you like your bangs cut?”
“Not crooked.” I try to avoid the question.
“Well, yes, but at what length do you like them?”
“I mean, I don’t want to look like a first grader whose mom cuts her bangs too short so that she doesn’t need to go back two weeks later to get them trimmed, but I also hate having hair in my eyes, so you know, somewhere between those two lengths.”
Yes, I do realize the margin between these two lengths is a matter of millimeters.
She just looks at me like I probably have no idea what I want. This is why I have brought a picture — of Zooey Deschanel or Jennifer Aniston or Heidi Klum — someone whose makeup has been professionally done, who exercises for a living and who has paid $500 for her haircut and style. But I would like mine to look like that, minus the pixilation from my low-on-ink printer.
“See this?” I point at the photo. She pauses to take a look but I interrupt immediately. “Nevermind, ignore this.” I put the photo on the countertop upside-down “Use your judgment; just don’t cut off too much.” She smiles at the version of trust I’ve put inher hands. And for the millionth time that day I realize how grateful I am for people who are good at things I am not.