I usually have a seemingly good chemistry with Fridays. I tend to smile more and my skin glows perhaps due to looking forward to a well deserved weekend. It is also the day to dress down which works magic on my moods. Typically, after 5:30pm, I dash to my favourite barbershop for a haircut. Am not a hair guy or so it dawned on me in my late teen years. By this day I uncharacteristically don’t feel comfortable, not with my beards sprouting.
So I check to my barber, one we fondly refer as ‘Shemus’ amongst the three who by this hour are quite busy. Ordinarily, each one of them will have his clients lined up and waiting patiently to be attended on a first come first serve basis. The men at work skillfully do what they do best with zeal and precision, surprisingly not deterred by the bulging queue. In the background, cool rhumba music is playing from the stereo, sweeter to the ear than when I try it on my playlist. It is this time, that I get disturbed when ladies accompanying their boyfriends, husbands or ‘latest catch’, make way to the elusive space at the waiting couch. It is even more annoying, when they give you that guileless look, as they fidget with their galore accessories.
In our ‘gentleman syndrome’ , one is made to stand to impress the lady who doesn’t even care to appreciate. To many of them, it is an entitlement. Funny enough, conversations are interrupted or even distorted whenever men realize there is a lady who is obviously eavesdropping. Men subconsciously pull superficial decorum, and even tend to be careful with their choice of words. There is no more boring discourse than men pretending to be who they are not even close to being. On one hand their eyes will be darting all over and on the other wittingly stealing glances at the said lady to catch her attention.
A barbershop is a place where men pour their stress from that nagging wife, or office politics. Men don’t mince words in this arena, everything is black or white. They also gossip in a very subtle way, they camouflage in the name of comparing notes. All this is complimented by football talk and more football ‘in depth analysis’. My barber, Shemis is not only a Chelsea fanatic, but ‘understands football inside out.’ Once in a awhile he’ll make fun of Van Gaal losing his first game or why Chelsea are title favourites, never mind there are 41 games to go. But all these changes in a lady’s presence. The accountants in the house will make their careers known by occasionally throwing financial spanners in the discourse and so will be the I.T geeks. The bankers will adjust their ties as tourist chauffeurs flaunt of their last destination .
I once made a mistake of falling into a trap of a friend who convinced me to pick her in a salon as it was getting late in the night. I was supposed to wait her for, utmost 5 minutes but it prolonged to 45 minutes. The experience was harrowing. The gossip rich in fodder was from pregnant women, to the aged, engaged and seemingly single ladies in the room. The talked rolled from one’s spouse who does not pick up calls whenever in a ‘meeting’, to another ones sidekick who in this context was an Asian man. Ladies like exploring, quite literally, sorry not all, but majority. They didn’t even shy with my presence, even though I pretended to be busy on phone. All my friend would do is show some punctuated smiles. I have never felt so out of place.
Back to the barbershop, my simple research concluded, of the ladies who accompany their men to the barber, nine out of ten will be savouring new relationships and the sensation that comes along with it. Every Friday, I spot different ladies at the barber’s couch innocently trying to be romantic in words and deeds to their other halves. Romance my foot! With all respect, ladies stick to your lanes, find something more constructive to do in that one hour, hook up with your girls for coffee, or go do cooking or house chores. It will make your man more happy.