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Beauticians more essential than government thinks

As I said last week, don’t panic, we’re all in this together.

I keep saying that to myself over and over. After Monday’s announcement that beauty salons had to close as of Wednesday evening, I started saying it some more. Don’t panic, we’re all in this together. Don’t panic, we’re all in this together. Don’t panic, we’re all in this together.

My wife is a beautician.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reasoning for the closings. You can’t get your hair cut without the hair cutter getting pretty darn close to you. Many of us may have come home with a nick every now and then. Now that’s close.

Our esteemed governor more or less ruled that beauty salons and barber shops are “non-essential” businesses.

I beg to differ.

Not only do you come out of the salon or barber shop with a clean look that makes you feel good about yourself, you come out with a bit of knowledge. Beauticians do much more than style hair. They’re psychiatrists or psychologists or whatever it is that make people feel better about themselves. Women tell their hairdresser things they tell no one else. Don’t ask me about any of that, my wife doesn’t cut and tell. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a barber shop, but friends tell me those places can be a hotbed for gossips.

I’ll hear a bit of juicy gossip a couple of weeks late and ask my wife why didn’t she tell me. I forgot, is usually her response. She doesn’t forget to tell me to pick my shoes up out of the middle of the floor. She doesn’t forget to ask me if anyone died she needs to know about. She doesn’t forget to tell me I put the toothpaste in the holder upside down (To my defense, she puts it in wrong.). So how is it that she “forgets” to tell me that one of our friends went on a weekend “fishing” trip with someone of the opposite sex?

I’ll never figure that one out.

Hair stylists non-essential? Wrong.

Watch the collective calmness of women across the state turn into more chaos than a herd of cats in a room full of Dobermans. Watch as their true hair color comes out, so do the demons. I feel sorry for the children of these women, for the partners of these women, for anyone who has to deal with these women.

The same goes for men. I’m actually kind of looking forward to this one. Imagine every man with hair like a rock and roll star. I’ll just assume that the governor’s declaration also includes shops on military bases. Rules for many jobs say men can’t have long hair.
Even the Mocksville Police Department has rules on personal appearance. Imagine being stopped by a male officer with hair down to his shoulders. You won’t know whether to say “yes sir” or ask for tickets to the next rock show. Or you are stopped by a female officer, who has shiny black hair, other than a few inches of gray “roots” creeping up from the scalp. It doesn’t matter if you say “yes sir” or “yes ma’am,” you’re going to jail.

Imagine a conservative, Christian, right wing, straight white American male who always has short hair going out in public looking like a hippie. Don’t smile or laugh at these people, it could be dangerous.

But back to my problem.

My wife is a people person. She needs people in her life. I don’t mind people, but I can do without them. Asking me to stay at home (As long as there are plenty of cold beverages and a yard and TV.) and I’m in hog heaven. My wife, on the other hand, goes stir crazy after about a day interacting with only me. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. Heck, sometimes I have trouble dealing with me. But the point is, she really needs people in her life, and people need her.

Yes, these are unprecedented times, and we will all have to adjust and make sacrifices.

So if you see a woman coming toward you with gray roots showing that her hairstylist normally covers, run. Run fast. Run very fast.

These are perilous times.

– Mike Barnhardt