Most of my day was pretty uneventful. There were really only two amusing or interesting things to mention.
The first was that I had forgotten about daylight savings time this weekend, so I got to bed an hour early than I needed to and I headed out for work an hour earlier than I needed to. This was actually a good thing, since I spent well over ½ hour looking for a place to park my Vélib bike. All of the stations around my place of work were full—all six of them. In the end, I dragged the bike down three flights of stairs to an underpass roadway called Chevaleret and parked at a Vélib station that is always free (because it’s on a street that is accessible by three flights of stairs).
Anyway, having gotten up an hour early meant that I actually got to work on time instead of nearly 1 hour late. Gah.
In the afternoon after work, I head over to a “coiffure masculine” (the French equivalent of a barber shop) near my place to get my hair cut. I ducked my head in, still drenched after biking home in the rain, and asked if the lone barber had an opening. He told me to sit down while he finished on the guy in the barber’s chair.
I was encouraged to see him work meticulously on the short-cropped hair of the guy before me. Although the guy was balding around the crown, the barber gave him a short and slightly shaped coif (pointed at the middle and the front) which didn’t try to cover the bald spot, but rather made it blend into the rest of the haircut. I don’t have a bald spot (thanks, parents!), but it was a good show of his skills.
Whenever I go to a new hairdresser—especially “masculine” ones—I’m always worried that I will get “Male Haircut #5” or some variation thereof. You know what I mean, the short-cropped, no-nonsense haircut that guys sport when they want to ensure that there is no chance that they are “gay” or a “sissy.” So when I finally sat in the chair and said, “I need this really, really short on the sides and back,” I was braced for disaster. As I always tell myself in these situations: I look pretty decent in a buzz cut.
Well, in the end, I got a jarhead cut. That is, the hairdresser gave me a military-style, somewhat rectangular haircut: buzzed to the quick on the back and sides, and just long enough on top to sit flat. To his credit, it wasn’t your basic jarhead cut, but rather the fine-tuned, shaped version of what a professional stylist would imagine a jarhead cut would look like. There were lots of fine touches, such as buzzing the areas above the temples a bit closer than the rest of the sides and back. I’m not sure if it’s exactly what I wanted, but it looks pretty good. It goes well with my “election beard.”
Oh right, my election beard. I should probably explain. I’ve never been a facial hair person; the last time I lived in Paris, I grudgingly conceded that a bit of scruff made my face a bit leaner. However, I had a moment of brilliance a week ago. During hockey playoff season in Canada, hockey team members as well as many of their fans let their beards grow for the entire time that their team is in the playoffs. When their team is eliminated from the playoffs or finally wins, the shaving of the “playoff beard” is something of a ritual. Anyway, it’s a superstition similar to wearing a team jersey while watching soccer or football.
So here’s my idea: I don’t have an “Obama” team jersey, but I can certainly grow a beard. As it turns out, I’m very good at growing a beard. Only one week after putting down the razor, I already have full coverage of my face. It’s rather itchy and kinda driving me crazy, but if there’s any possibility that it will edge an Obama presidency closer to reality, I’m all over it. I haven’t managed to take photos quite yet, but they are soon to come. I look like some sort of military “bear” type. I just need a few tattoos and a plaid shirt with the sleeves cut off.