Quiet Desperation

Get a haircut to get ahead

Column by Craig Marshall Smith
Posted

Would you rather be alone, or not be alone but with one condition: You have to spend your time in bad company?

Many of us would rather have companionship in a red-flag relationship, than have no relationship at all.

I am not one of them. I currently have a five-year lease with Jennifer, but I spend most of my time in splendid isolation.

(Jennifer lives somewhere else, with two of her three children, which is good for me. One of them needs to be driven to soccer, somewhere, on the hour. The other one would eat drywall if it had sauce on it. The kid will eat anything, and he is as skinny as a fishing rod.)

Newspapers, magazines and television programs are filled with advice about hooking up with someone. I don’t think any of it really works. It’s all luck.

Dating is as easy as pie. Anyone — anyone — can find someone to go out with once. The trick is to find someone you want to go out with twice, or who wants to go out with you twice.

My best advice is simple. Get a haircut. Just about everyone needs a haircut. For one thing, this isn’t the Summer of Love.

Please tell me what you think about this project of mine. There’s a very friendly woman who works in my grocery store. She stacks her hair like an undecided bird’s nest. The first time I saw her, I thought she had overslept, and just piled it up for the day. She piles it up every day.

She needs someone to hairnap her, put her in the back of a car and take her to the nearest barbershop. This is what I am asking: Should I keep my mouth shut, or say something?

If I were to say something, I would try my best not to say, “What is wrong with your hair? Did your cat get into it?”

I might say, “An attractive woman like you could use a more subtle hairstyle. Maybe one that didn’t look like you comb it with a blender.” No, that’s no good either. I’ll work on it.

I have made arrangements to pay someone to cut her hair. I wonder if Bird’s Nest would be offended, or if she would be pleased that someone noticed and cared.

Jennifer and I like to go to the airport and watch people, and keep track of haircuts - who needs one and who doesn’t. We have done this a number of times, and we have determined that 37 percent of the population at DIA needs a haircut.

We are not the Rightful Arbiters. No one appointed us. But if someone is constantly swiping their hair, to get it out of their eyes, it’s an easy call: Get a haircut.

If you still look like one of Dexys Midnight Runners, get a haircut.

When I met Jennifer, she needed a haircut. Every time I saw her after that I asked her, “Did you get a haircut?” I know it was annoying, but it worked. She no longer looks like one of the dancers on “Hullabaloo.”

Sometimes we get stuck in a year or a decade, and we can’t let go. If you are stuck in a decade, and you are lonely, maybe you will meet someone who is stuck in the same decade and is just as lonely. But if you get a contemporary haircut, you open yourself up to lots of other candidates.

Here’s an example. Have you seen Melanie Griffith in “Working Girl”?

After a haircut, she wound up with Harrison Ford. Harrison Ford is waiting for you, right around your next haircut.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net