I am Kevin’s hairdresser (or more like…..”lack-of-hair”-dresser). Cutting Kevin’s hair was not part of my marriage vows, but I have come about this job by default. I guess this is part of the “worse” aspect of “for better or for worse.”
I don’t have a fancy chair with a foot pump, a soft feather brush for gently sweeping away cut hair from the neck, or even a decent pair of scissors, but Kev keeps coming back to my “salon.” The convenience and cheap service is obviously the big draw (cuz it sure as hell isn’t for my spiffy styling techniques).
As I mentioned, I don’t have many barbering tools, but I do have a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner has become an essential barbering device in my parlor. This is a frequent scene in our house, and I swear…….this was never MY idea. I’m totally fine with ridding the floor and surrounding areas of excess hair, but vacuuming the head??? This is where I put my foot down to the “worse” part of the vows.
I’m glad that Kevin has faith in me to cut his cut when he knows that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. Fortunately, he is pretty laid back about what his hair looks like. He’s had a history of bad hair cuts and salon visits. When we lived in Mt Lebanon (1980-1997), Kevin always went to the Family Hair Center owned by the wonderful Frank Paonessa who was the main barber. Even before that, Kevin went to Frank starting when Kevin was 12 years old and Frank was cutting hair near where Kevin grew up in Pittsburgh. They have history!
Frank had a brother, Jimmy who also worked at the Family Hair Center. Frank and Jimmy were the typical Italian barbers that would’ve been stars of a reality TV show if that was in existence in the 1980’s…….”The Barbers of Pittsburgh”…..kinda a spinoff of the Barber of Seville which as it turns out has nothing to do with barbers, as far as I can tell. Maybe more like the Housewives of Jersey spinoff………Anyway – it was always fun to hear Frank and Kevin conversing about arrests, bad guys, good guys, etc. while Frank shaved Kevin’s head way too short. The lively conversation was wonderful …….the haircut……not so much.
After every haircut from Frank, I would strongly encourage Kevin to go elsewhere. But – the fact of the matter was …………Kevin and I both really liked Frank. Frank came to our wedding! Even though I didn’t like how Frank cut Kevin’s hair, Frank was a really cool guy . Both Frank and Jimmy became friends of ours (they were the closest we ever came to being “made” without killing someone!) .
Neither of us really wanted to sever the ties with Barber Frank despite the horrendous coif that Kevin ended up with every month. Relocation forced the issue of saying goodbye to Frank and the awful haircuts when we moved from Mt. Lebanon in 1997.
With our move, Kevin was forced to embark on the quest to replace Frank. After perusing a number of places, Kevin ended up at Scissorhand Station (we had a coupon for there from our “Welcome to Hummelstown” basket). Scissorhand Station……..cute name, huh? The business sat right next to the rail lines in Hummelstown and the Edward Scissorhands movie had just been released. It didn’t have the gangsta flair of the Paonessa brothers Family Hair Center, but it will go down in Stoehr family lore.
This is what happened – Kevin, sporting his FBI Academy shirt walked in to Scissorhand Station and asked if they took walk-ins (little did the stylist know Kev had a coupon burning a hole in his pocket). The stylist motioned him to her chair and then immediately proceeded to lock the door to the business. Seems that she might have had a law enforcement fetish. There was no one else in the salon…..just Kevin and Her……. Kevin immediately felt uncomfortable that it was just him and her very alone with the door now locked. The hairdresser then started making some flirty chit chat. Kevin began to stammer and sweat profusely. Was he going to be seduced or murdered? This was Fifty Shades of Grey in reverse and 30 years earlier. After a few more lines of suggestive questions, Kevin decided to bolt. He told the woman that he had changed his mind and didn’t want a haircut after all. Now – some men would’ve relished that moment and would have taken advantage, but Kevin just didn’t feel that things were copacetic there at the salon. Or maybe Kevin was just not used to the dominatrix type atmosphere. I’m pretty gentle and congenial when I cut hair.
So -ever since then, I have been cutting Kevin’s hair. I’m not domineering or in any way sexual in my hair cutting approach (and Kevin can vouch for that!). I do become a little bossy and then Kevin gets defensive……like when I accidentally snipped his ear with my (very dull) scissors and drew blood, Kevin threatened never to come back to my salon. Or – when I yelled at him to quit looking at the TV and lower his head so I could get the back of his neck, he said that I was the most overbearing stylist he had ever encountered. Kevin portends that mine is the worst salon he has ever been to. It’s all a bluff. Kevin’s frugal and he will suffer a really bad haircut by me because it is FREE! But – the haircut I give Kevin is still better than Frank’s!
The point of this post is the fact that Kevin vacuums his hair. Who does that? Have you ever been to a salon where the patron holds the vacuum cleaner hose and suctions every strand as it falls? Maybe that could be a new trend………a discounted hair cutting salon (“Suck it Up”) where the patron cleans up after himself for a reduced cost. I think I’m on to something. Call me – I’ll cut your hair if you vacuum your own head.