Monday, August 23, 2004

hair removal and the appeal of thai massage

Yesterday I discovered a nose hair. It's my first, and I've been struggling internally for the last 24 hours or so with the reality that it's not my last. For now, I'm choosing the delusion that it's wasn't really a nose hair, but merely an overanxious mustache hair that strayed from the herd. Just let me live there for awhile.

Today I got a haircut. Having moved from home 6 years ago exactly, it's been some time since I've had a regular hair removal specialist. Being a gambling man, I prefer the adrenaline rush that accompanies walking into a Great Clips and placing my follicular fate in the hands of a complete stranger whose particular lack of scissor artistry drops her price to $13 (or less, if I have a coupon). Occasionally I'll recognize someone who's cut my hair before, but more often than not, it's both of our first times working together.

There's something intimate about someone running their hands all over your head and ears that necessitates conversation. I hate small talk, which makes this entire process really unappealing and generally the end result is twelve to fourteen minutes of complete silence. As I was sitting in the chair today, counting the seconds until I could bolt out of there in a cloud of sideburn dust, I realized that there aren't that many industries in which the practitioner is required to put their hands all over the customers while simultaneously talking to them about their Labor Day plans. Most of them involve pretty advanced schooling. Doctors have to. Dentists do too (see Bill Cosby: Himself for the ultimate exploration of this ludicrousness). Chiropractors, physical therapists, palm readers, masseuses. And then I realized why I find Thai massages so attractive. It's not the prospect of the "happy ending," but rather the hour-long happy journey, in which neither party has the ability (and therefore the pressure) to communicate with the other. An hour in which I don't have to make small talk with a professional who is putting her hands all over my back is priceless. Regular macroeconomics do not apply here--this market will bear whatever it has to.

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