Today’s post comes from a blogger who is honest about his daily struggles, who is committed to his faith and well…..you think I put myself out there he exposes himself like no other. His blog is a full admission of his day to day inner battles……..Topaz I admire your honesty. I am happy to share the lighter side of your life as seen in this post.
I hope you all enjoy!!
I went to a newly-opened branch of a haircut franchise recently. It’s a place that I never intended to set foot inside: Knockouts. It didn’t necessarily have to do with my faith; I just didn’t want to go. Maybe I felt I was too old, like being caught leafing through an issue of Maxim at the grocery store, or maybe because I was an awkward teenager who was intimidated by beautiful cheerleader-types.
To be honest, my wife, Ayako, is the one that made me go to Knockouts. Seriously. She is a major coupon-clipper (nothing wrong with that since we survive on a teacher’s salary), and I’m not allowed to get my hair cut unless my wife has a coupon, which means I end up going to podunk mom-and-pop barbers in our small Texas town. I guess it’s because they’re the ones who need business the most and put out coupons with the best deals.
Barber shops are not good for people like me who dislike chit-chat. It’s not uncommon for me to spend an hour in the chair; not because I have a lot of hair, but because the homely, bubble gum-chewing stylist starts complaining to the others about how the neighbor’s dog keeps pooping on her daisies. Before I know it, all the other stylists are chiming in with their own problems which almost always include men.
That’s why I was so surprised when my wife handed me a FREE coupon (first-time customers only) for Knockouts. I thought it was a trap: As soon as I grabbed the coupon, air-raid sirens would go off, signaling the beginning of Ayako’s three-day silent treatment.
“Isn’t this the Hooters-style haircut place?” I said with just the right amount of naiveté.
“Yep. Full of hot women.”
There was no sarcastic tone in Ayako’s voice. She’s from Japan, a nation which features the annual Festival of the Steel Phallus, so I wasn’t necessarily blindsided by her statement.
“Um, don’t you have any other coupons?” I was getting anxious by then. I hated small talk, especially when life-sized Barbies and macho, drooling frat boys were involved. Flashbacks from high school filled my panic-stricken mind.
“No. None that are 100% off like this. “
That’s my wife. She’d rather send me to be pampered for free by a harem of sorority girls than have me pay a whopping $9.99 at Texas Star Barber Shop down on Main Street.
So I nervously made my way to Knockouts. Never having been to Hooters due to my shy, reserved nature, I was afraid that my motor skills would break down and reduce me to a babbling idiot; or worse, I would accidentally glance at the wrong part of the stylist’s anatomy and get my ear gouged as payback.
There wasn’t much to worry about, though.
I don’t know if it was false advertising or just that the company had a hard time recruiting beauty queens in such a small town, but when I entered, it was completely silent and devoid of people. Not even a sports game was playing on one of the big TVs.
A short, skinny girl who looked like she was skipping a day of junior high school greeted me. She was wearing a t-shirt that was hanging on her like a camping tent. Her black shorts were indeed short, but, compared with the girls that cruise the mall on weekends, the stylist’s shorts resembled my dearly-departed grandma’s britches.
The girl gave me an awkward, curt smile that clearly said, I know I look ridiculous, and you know I look ridiculous, so let’s just do this and be done with it, ‘k?
“Hi. My name is Opal, and I’ll be your stylist for today,” she said with the enthusiasm of a Walmart customer service employee.
Opal?! You gotta be kiddin’ me. No one has named their daughter Opal since the 19th century. It sounds like a Amish stripper’s name.
“Mind if I turn this on?” she said, not giving me a chance to respond as she flipped on Country Music Television at maximum volume.
Oh yeah, the coupon that my wife gave me mentioned free beer and massage. There were no beverages in sight, however.
“Uh, the ad mentioned free beer,” I said like a dork.
“Yeah, the coupon.”
Oh, great. Why did I have to say that? Now she’s going to do a crappy job since she knows I’m not paying full-price.
“No, sorry. We don’t have any beer.”
Okaaay. I wasn’t about to mention the massage.
Opal proceeded to lecture me on the history of our small Texas town since her family has been in the area for generations. I learned about the year that Safeway first came to town and also how Opal’s grandmother was a star basketball player in high school, but, since I hate chit-chat, I just let her go on and on; I almost pretended to fall asleep.
As Opal was finishing up, I heard the front door open. Wonder what kind of perv just came in?
As I walked to the register to pay, I saw who it was: a plain-looking housewife and her kid. So much for stereotypes.
A month later, another Knockouts coupon was waiting for me on the kitchen counter. This one was for returning clients.
I sighed. Maybe they would have that free beer next time.