Sunday I went to my usual haircut place to get a haircut. I think the guy who cut my hair may've been the same guy who, three months ago, was all excited about seeing The Island, and took 45 minutes to cut my hair, and thought my eyes were fake. But I could be wrong.
This time he started out by asking me if I wanted my hair tapered. I later learned that this is a standard haircut term, but I somehow hadn't encountered it before, and didn't know what it meant. He told me it meant cutting the hair longer at the top and shorter at the bottom, but I didn't know what the alternative to that might be. After a fair bit of arguing, and him showing me a picture, I finally agreed to tapering. There was a further disagreement over whether I wanted the entirety of my ears to show (based on last time, I gather that this is a fashion faux pas, but I prefer to get my hair cut a little too short, so it'll be a longer time before I need a haircut again), but eventually we settled everything, and I told him I was in a rush so I wouldn't have to sit through another 45-minute haircut.
So we got through most of it fine. But then at the end he brushed my front hair down over my forehead and asked me if it was the right length. And I said, "Maybe make it slightly shorter than that." And he said, "Well, okay, but I don't want to make it too short, because you've got a receding hairline."
And I thought, Hey! I don't have a receding hairline! My hair doesn't recede! I've got good hair! Peter had a full head of hair all his life! My hair isn't-- and I might have continued in that ridiculously pouty mode were it not for an intervention.
There was another customer, and apparently my haircut guy had cut her hair previously and she'd been off in the back getting it styled or something. And she came over to leave a tip for my haircut guy on his little shelf, and she paused just barely in my peripheral vision. I couldn't turn my head to look at her, 'cause haircut guy was doing something with scissors on my other side and I figured moving would be a bad idea.
And she said, enthusiastically: "Hey! You've got great hair!"
I didn't think she could possibly be talking to me, but she seemed to be standing there looking at me, and when I didn't say anything, she went on: "I know women who would kill for that hair!"
So I smiled and mumbled some kind of thank-you and got a little embarrassed, and haircut guy made a joke about how it wasn't the hair, it was the great haircut, and the other customer left.
But I was absurdly pleased for at least the next ten or fifteen minutes. Take that, haircut guy! It doesn't matter if my hairline is receding--I've got great hair! Some random stranger said so, so it must be true!
Mostly I'm amused to discover that this is something I'm vain about. I don't think I really knew that before.