I got my haircut over the lunch hour today and it got me thinking. Just what is it about the salon that makes me open up as if I were sitting in a therapist office rather than on a vinyl adjustable seat facing a mirror? I swear to God, when under the artful hands of my "stylist" I start to spew. Why? The woman who cuts my hair is fine, but I have nothing in common with her. She is a young twenty something, with hair that changes color with the day of the week. She parties hard, lives the single life and is really not my type. And yet with her I talk. I tell her secrets that I would never share in this public space. She listens. She nods appropriately and asks questions. But I doubt she cares. In fact after I leave and she pockets the $15 tip I leave her, I bet she goes to the break room and has a good laugh. But what do I care?
It was worse in Denver. In Denver I went to a salon that would pour you a big ol' glass of wine. It was like being on a mini-vacation every time I got a haircut. With a glass of wine in me and a stylist who had cut my hair for years, I was pathetic. But at least she reciprocated with her own funny stories.
These days, I am thinking this is a sad result of the fact that I am short on girlfriends. It's true. When I first arrived in Berkeley I was motivated and gung-ho to make new friends. Every outing to the park was a mission for me. I was out to meet my new BFF. And for a while it worked, I formed playgroups and mingled with the mother's at Zack's preschool. But ever since I returned to the workforce last spring things have slowly fallen apart. I could no longer attend the playgroups, and the new friendships faded. It's nobodies fault. We are all short on time. And friendships, if nothing else need time to develop.
So now here I am. This side of lonely and sharing my secrets with the lady who cuts my hair.
Damn. At least she could have served up a little vino with my whine.