Friday, August 22, 2014

Chez Moi

I cut Chris's hair.

It's really easy to cut (although I didn't think that when I first started doing it about six years ago, as I had no training whatsoever).  Since Chris is bald on top, all I have to do is use a No. 3 attachment on the clipper and shave his whole head the same length.  Then I square off the back, trim around the ears, reduce the sideburns and sides, clean up the neck, and scissor the odd long hair here and there on top that escapes the clippers.  And that's it.

Takes me about half an hour or so.  (I probably take a lot longer than an experienced stylist would, for the amount of hair involved, but this is my partner's hair I'm talking about, not some stranger's, and I want it to look nice–for him and for me.  A little extra time to do a good job doesn't hurt).

Oh, my "salon" has a name.  A long time ago, I branded it Chez Moi.  For those of you who don't speak French, that means My Place.

When it gets to the point Chris wants his hair cut, he'll ask me, "Can Chez Moi open this weekend?"

Now, you have to understand, Chez Moi is a French salon–with attitude.  So I'll answer, "Well, I don't know.  Chez Moi might be busy this weekend.  We'll see."  Then I'll pretend to slam a door.  I'll say to Chris, "Oh.  I'm sorry.  Did you hear that?  Chez Moi was just open, but now it's closed.  That's it for this weekend." 

Sometimes, Chris will laugh along with me and say, "Well, I guess I'll have to wait."  Other times, he'll have none of Chez Moi's attitude.  "Well, open it," he'll say.  "I need my hair cut."  Apparently, customers have attitudes too.

Other times, I'll answer Chris's question by saying, "Oh, I heard Chez Moi will be open on Saturday, from 3:23 am to 3:27 am.  If you make yourself available then, we might be able to fit you in."  Chris just gives me a look.       

(For the record, over time, Chez Moi has gotten involved in other businesses (I suppose being open for only four minutes in the middle of the night isn't so profitable).  Some of these other businesses coincidentally include just about everything else I do around the house to make our lives run smoothly–from making travel arrangements, to doing all our financial stuff every two weeks, to cooking our dinner meals, and so on.  Believe me, those businesses aren't exempt from that surly French attitude, either.)

I started–I mean, Chez Moi started–cutting Chris's hair to save money.  Why pay a hairstylist to trim his fringe every six weeks or so when I could do it for free?  So, after we finally figured out we needed to buy a professional-grade clipper to do a decent job (a $45 Wahl doesn't "cut it"), several cuts later, not only had we recovered our money but also we'd started saving it.  And, over six years, I've gotten good enough that I don't think my cuts look any different from what a pro would do.  (Although there was that time when I took a large notch out of the back–by mistake, of course.  But what Chris can't see won't hurt him.  Shhh!  Don't say anything.)

All kidding aside, cutting Chris's hair–a simple, innocuous task–has had benefits I could never have imagined.

First, it takes a degree of trust on his part to put his hair in my hands and expect I'll do a good job.  Of course, he trusts me with everything; why not his hair?  Fortunately, I don't think I've ever let him down (except for that notch).  If I can stand to look at him after I'm finished–and, believe me, I'm nothing if not fussy–then I must be doing something right.  So, the confirmation of the trust he has in me makes me feel good.

And, yes, cutting someone's hair, especially your partner's, has a sexual component too, because you're doing something very personal, even intimate.  (But a hair-cutting session's never gone there (hmm, that I can remember), because I'm too focused on what I'm doing, and it creates one hell of a mess all over his bathtub (and on him), where he sits naked, on a cold stool, patiently waiting for me to stop fussing around.  Oh, by the way, I recommend naked hair-cutting–something you could never get at a professional salon.)

But what I really love about cutting Chris's hair is how connected I feel to him.  I mean, I always feel connected to him.  He's my partner, after all, the love of my life, my soul mate.  But there's just something about touching his hair (what little there is of it now), playing with it, working with it, that connects me to him in ways nothing else does.  That reinforces for me how much he means to me, how much we mean to each other.

Who knew something as simple as cutting Chris's hair could end up being so much more?


Oh, Chez Moi also clips those nasty errant ear hairs and trims eyebrows (ain't being male and getting older a kick?).  If you can ever get the damn place to open at a convenient time, and for long enough to get the job done.

If you'd like to make an appointment to get your hair cut at Chez Moi–  Oh, did you hear that?  It was the door slamming again (I'm surprised it hasn't fallen off its hinges, it's been slammed shut so many times).  You didn't really want to go there anyway, did you?  That French attitude…  


  1. Great piece, Rick! It's playful and seems to capture that element of your relationship. That's a lot of trust Chris puts in your hands. And to think I blew $300 in a Beverly Hills salon last summer!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, RG. You know how, when you finish writing a post, you know you have something? Well, I knew that with this one. I started writing it in my head this morning, while I was still in bed at 6:15, and, before I knew it, I was up in front of my computer. Who could sleep any longer?

      I really wanted the playfulness between Chris and me to come out. I'm glad it did. Honestly, as I wrote this, I thought of you, and how much humor you inject into your writing. You might say I was inspired by you and your posts, that have given me more than a few laughs over the years.

      And about spending $300 in a BH salon? Dude, your hair is beautiful. You have a hell of a lot more of it to work with than Chris does. Besides, how many of us can say, whether it's overpriced or not, that we had the experience of going to a BH salon? It was a treat, something you wouldn't do all the time. But once in a while? Why not?

      By the way, you have no idea how much it means to me that you said this was a great piece. I admire your writing immensely, so I'm touched by your compliment. If I'm honest with myself, and you, I'd have to say I've been trying to impress you for a very long time. Looks like I might have finally done it.

      Thank you.

  2. It is such a thrill, writing something that feels above and beyond our normal writing. With my manuscripts, I know the first draft scenes that are strong and the ones will need a whack of revision. It's similar with the blog. Sometimes I post and I know the writing is flat; it's simply information sharing and a warm-up for or distraction from my regular writing. Other times, I'm smiling as I press the "Publish" button, looking forward to your comments and the few others that appear on the blog as well as the tweets that arise from it.

    I happen to like humor. I rely on it so much to cope with and amuse myself over life. I feel like I've lost much of the funny, but if I keep on writing, the hope is it will find its way back.

    You are a strong writer, Rick! It's clean, persuasive, often message-driven. This piece pops because of the playfulness. It reveals the kind of interplay that I long for. I am so glad you wrote it and so privileged to read it!

    1. What a wonderful comment, RG. I appreciate your kindness and encouraging words.

      THANK YOU!

  3. so happy to read it,even my english is not good enough to understand all your story.

    1. Wonderful to hear from you, Tung Le. And I'm glad my post brought you a little joy. That makes it worth writing.