Decisions about whether to get my hair cut usually involve the theater. Depending on the role I’m currently playing, I may need to keep my hair long, so I check to see when auditions are, or talk with my director. I don’t have that issue to consider currently–I’m flying below the radar of the world of Spanish theater; they don’t know to come knocking to request my presence at an audition. So the choice about whether to cut my hair most recently was driven entirely by the size of our shower stall. How shall we describe it? “Cramped” and “confined” would both work. Let’s be expansive (verbally–I certainly can’t be physically expansive while standing in the shower) and call it space-efficient.
The other thing we’ll have to call it is impossible-to-wash-long-hair-in. Picture me (from the shoulders up) trying to work shampoo into all of my hair while simultaneously keeping my elbows tucked in, mindful of the direction I’m facing so that an inadvertent shift of an inch or two doesn’t accidentally nudge the faucet control and turn the water cold, or off. The shower head is on a flexible hose, and fits into a bracket. When the shower head is mounted, the weight of it tends to pull the bracket down slowly, so that while at first the water rains down gently onto my head (pressure is another problem), after a minute or so the spray is directed back towards the wall of the shower. Unconsciously I try to move to stay in the stream of water, which brings me up against the faucet control, with results already described.
I think it only took a few showers like that before the prospect of a shorter haircut began to seem like the best course of action. I’m not a hair-salon kind of person (see the “about” link on the homepage for more on figuring out just what kind of person I might be). Over the years El Guapo has occasionally cut my hair, and my daughters have taken a turn from time to time. I brought my hair-cutting supplies with me (I do the haircuts for the rest of the family), so I had but to ask, and clip the cape around my neck.
El Guapo is good at very many things (it would wear me out trying to list all of the things I know about, and there are doubtless many I have yet to discover), but he lacks confidence as a hair stylist. His comment as he finished cutting my hair was, “the good news is that there are dozens of peluquerias within a scissors’ throw of here.” Since he’s not one who would throw scissors (one of the things he’s good at is knife sharpening, and anyone who sharpens blades tends not to be careless with them), we haven’t tested that assertion, but it is not much of an exaggeration. Consider all of the smartly dressed Valencians who must have a stylish haircut to match, and then add to that the prodigious number of falleras that require that elaborate traditional coiffure during Las Fallas, and you begin to see why there are more hair salons listed in the Valencian phone book than any other thing besides restaurants. (I’ve mostly given up reading the phone book for Spanish vocab, but this was sociological research.)
My haircut turned out fine, and I didn’t have to fling any scissors or hunt for a peluqueria to tidy it up. I admit that even my shorter hair is a handful in our current shower, but I’m managing. And there is this comfort: I know of people who watched Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho, and afterward felt quite paranoid. But I don’t have to fear that I will ever be murdered in this shower. There just simply would not be room.