I rely on my bike or board for all means of transportation, which can be a just as much a blessing as an annoyance. There have been way too many weekends when I just wanted to get off campus and none of my friends or I could make it happen. Even the necessary items like toilet paper and animal crackers requires a little planning and a lot of peddling. At the same time, doing normally mundane tasks suddenly becomes a little more interesting.
I needed a haircut to look fresh for my RA interview this week, and it was an open Saturday afternoon. As much as I love my brother’s attempts to use a razor kit from Ross, this time around I actually cared about how my head would look afterwards. To my surprise, what was about to be a solo adventure down Magnolia Avenue became a party with my roommate Jon wanting a trim, too. We were both veterans behind the handlebars with many trips down to the mall and around during our freshman year. It’s definitely been a while since our last adventure. This would be a restart.
There was only one thing I look for in a barber shop: reasonably priced cuts. As long as my wallet feels safe and supplied, the shop could literally be a hole in the wall, and I’d be happy. I’m glad I set that standard, because that’s about what we settled on. I googled “barber shop” and found one just three miles up Magnolia Avenue. We biked through a surprisingly vicious wind and found the shop on the corner just before Central Avenue. To our surprise, there were actually three barber shops lined up one after the other, each one sharing a wall with other. We couldn’t decide on any one place, so I employed what I like to call Goldilocks logic. With three porridges to choose from, you just have to try each one.
The first shop had dirty windows and an unclear indication for the front door, which was eventually stumbled upon. The shop itself was tiny, just big enough for a few waiting chairs and the cutting station. There was a TV tuned to college basketball and a nice old man speaking quietly to a regular customer as he aggressively buzzed his head. I like having a little something on top after trims and the $15 starting price wasn’t hitting me right. That was a good start, but I faked a phone call, and we walked out before he could ask who was going first. The second shop was larger and packed to the brim. Even with three barbers at work, the line seemed endless and neither of us felt like waiting for a cut. We didn’t even try walking in. The last place on the corner combined the best of both shops. There were three young guys giving trims in a spacious room with a cop movie and pool table in the waiting area. This one seemed just right, and for $10 I had to say yes. Who knew a children’s story about a little girl who steals oatmeal from woodland creatures would actually help me later in life?
Conveniently, Dairy Queen was just down the street, and Oreo Blizzards were in order. The sun was out, my head felt free, and I was eating ice cream with my roommate. If I had a car, I would have gone by myself earlier in the week and would not be enjoying that moment. We rode back to campus feeling good, even though I still had to swing by CVS. I still had to awkwardly pedal with a large pack of toilet paper, but it was all good.