“OUR CHOICE BARBER SHOP”
By JimB (c) copyright October 2017
“I’ll see you around 3pm”, Jill told her husband, Jason, who was in their bathroom shaving his head. “Want any thing special for dinner”?
Jason stopped, turned to his wife looking in, the bathroom, “How about some pork chops and garlic potatoes”.
Jill waived to him, blowing him a kiss, as she went for the day.
After a few hours of paying utilities bills, a stop to make a deposit at the bank, she head to Midland Center to do a little window shopping. She wanted to pass by “Clothing Today” to see if the dress and blouse and skirt she had seen a few days ago, was still on sale and if they had them in her size.
After parking she walked to the North Side entrance and the food court. She stopped at “Pizza Italia” for a slice of her favorite, a veggie pizza, and a soft drink.
First stop, after eating her pizza, was “Clothing Today”.
She walked around looking for the dress section and saw that the dress was looking for was still on sale and they had her size.
Then, to the skirt section and her skirt was on sale and they had one in her size.
But, the blouse was not on sale but they did have one in her size.
What the hell she thought to herself. She purchased them and headed to do some window shopping.
As she approached the center of the Center she looked at the other walkways to decide where she wanted go window shopping.
“Hummmm”, she said to herself. “The South Side looked kind of busy so she headed down the West Side.
The West Side was shops for foot ware, sporting goods, music, and a small hardware store.
Just as she reached the middle she noticed a new shop was now located in the West Side.
She looked at it twice then blinked a few times. It was a barber shop.
It was not like the barber shops she had seen around. It was more like an old time barber shop.
The kind her dad and brothers went to when she was a child.
It had a large pitcher window, with a glass door.
There were two old time barber chairs, each had a female sitting in them, and a row of old time wire rim chair for customers to sit in, while waiting their turn for a hair cut.
There was an old fashion “candy strip” barber pole turning by the door.
She turned and continued walking to the end of the West Side and walked around to continue walking back to the center of the Center.
As she came close to the barber shop, she noticed the name on the window, “OUR CHOICE BARBER SHOP”.
Standing there she was wondering about the name. Her eyes caught site of the pricing sign and the notation, LADIES HAIR CUTS ONLY.
“Ladies Hair Cuts Only”, her mind said to her.
She remembered when she was a child some of the barber shops only cut men and boys hair, and made it clear women and girls were not welcomed, unless they were with their husband, son, boy friend.
But, never seen one, which catered to women only.
She took a small step to walk pass the barber shop, when she notice the two women, barberettes, were still sitting in their barber chairs. There were no customers, just the two female barbers.
Her steps were slow as she reached the door. She stopped and looked in the door, NO CUSTOMERS.
Again the name of the barber shop, OUR CHOICE BARBER SHOP, and the notation, LADIES HAIR CUTS ONLY, got her wondering. As, did the lack of customers.
Being a person who was curious about things, she opened the door and walked in to find out about them.
A little bell tingled and the two women, in the barber chair, looked towards the door.
“Hi”, the lady in the first chair said to her as she stepped from her barber chair.
Jill looked around, “O’ just wondering …..”
“Yes”, the lady barber replied. “Wondering about the name of our barber shop”!
“May I”, Jill asked as she pointed to one of the waiting chairs.
“Sure”, the lady barber said as she sat in the next chair.
“Well, yes I was wondering about the name”, Jill continued, “and as well as why ladies hair curs only”?
Both of the lady barbers started laughing a little, as the one who sat next her patted her knee.
“I remember when I was a child there were barber shops where women, and girls, could not go in, unless they were with their husband, son, or boyfriend.
“But, never one, which was for women and girls.
“You do cut girls hair”?
“My name is Constance”, the lady barber sitting next to her told her as she extended her right hand to Jill.
“My name is Doris”, the other lady barber told her.
“O’ sorry about that”, Jill told them. “My name is Jill”.
“Well, you see we both were in beauty school at the same time and became friends.
“Half way through the class we were told we had to learn how to give men, and boys, hair cuts.
“And, we found the short male hair cuts were ……
“Well, short and women were starting to look for shorter hair cuts. And, there were a number of women who came to the school for a hair cut, short hair cuts.
“Cuts like the Pixie but shorter and shingled up the back, and sometimes the sides. Almost like what was called a Business Man’s hair cut, also called a Little Boy’s hair cut.
“Then, there was the “Brush Cut”, which was just the feminine name for a Crew Cut.
“Plus we had to learn how to do facial shaves.
“So, when we graduated, Doris and I thought we would open a barber shop just for women, and little girls.
“And, we would only give short hair cuts”.
“That sounds right”, Jill commented. “But, the name ….. OUR CHOICE BARBER SHOP”.
“O’ that”, Constance said. “Well, we have you sit in one of our barber chairs and we talk with you.
“You know …..
“What are you looking for …..
“How short do you want to go …..
“Even, WHY you want to go short”.
“Then, we give you some ideas”, Doris said from her barber chair. “And, you, ……
“I mean the customers sits in the barber chair and we start cutting.
““wa’le” you walk out with the hair cut we, and you, have chosen”.
Jill looked around the barber shop.
She noticed the floor was black and white tile like in the barber shop her dad and brothers went to. The mirrors on the wall, behind the waiting chairs were like them, too.
The shelf, behind the barber chairs, had clippers hanging under each shelf, the glass case with hair brushes, combs, and scissors.
And, there were small white towels on the shelf, next to them was a silver dispenser, which her mind told her when she was young the barber would get a pile of white, white shaving lather to shave a little line alone the hair line of her dad’s hair cut or to shave his face.
“Look at the time”, Doris said, to Constance, as she got out her chair and grabbed a pouch from the shelf.
“Want any thing”?
“No”, Constance replied. “Just get me some deposit slips”.
“OK”, Doris replied and headed out the barber shop.
“Weekly deposits”, Constance told Jill as she stood up and pointed to her barber chair.
“O’ …..”, Jill replied as she saw Constance standing by her barber chair with barber cape in hand.
She sat looking at Constance, who was patting the right arm of the barber chair.
Her left hand, with finger opened, rose to her head and brushed through her hair.
“I ….. O’ well”, Jill said as she stood and walked to Constance’s barber chair and sat in it.
“I could do with a trim”, she told Constance as she crossed her legs.
“Sure”, Constance told her as she tossed the cape across Jill.
She turned to the shelf and pulled a tissue and wrapped it around Jill’s neck then pulled and clipped the cape around her neck.
She took a hair brush from the glass cabinet and began brushing Jill’s hair. Starting on the right side, around the back, to the left side.
“You know they say it will began warming up next week”, Constance told Jill as she slowly brushed her hair from a center part.
“Yes, I heard that”, Jill replied. “My husband had been telling me for week I should cut my hair short …..
“You know …..
“A little above the shoulders.
“When it gets too warm my hair began to stick to my neck and is a little sticky wet”.
Jill looked at her self in the mirrors behind the waiting chairs. She turned her head side to side then ran her fingers through her hair.
“Well, instead of a trim, why not trim it to a little above your shoulders”, she told Constance.
“And, we can go from there”.
“Yes, that would be what I would recommend”, Constance replied as she patted Jill on her right shoulder.
Constance grabbed the water bottle and began sparing Jill’s hair as she brushed it through it.
With Jill’s hair damp, Constance put the water bottle on the shelf and walked to the waiting chairs.
She picked up a magazine.
“While I trim your hair, to the shoulders”, she told Jill as she handed her the magazine, titled “SHORT HAIR CUTS”.
“Just thumb through it and when you find something that interest you …..
“Just tag it”.
Jill looked at her self in the mirror. She began make little expression with her lips, as if she was thinking.
All of a sudden her eyes caught site of four inches tumbling into her caped lap. Her eyes glanced back to the mirror as Constance was taking another snipping at her hair.
It to tumbled to her caped lap.
Stepping behind the barber chair Constance tilted Jill’s head a little and began snipping across the back of her head. Jill could not see the snipping’s of hair fall to the floor but felt the loose of the weigh.
She took a deep breath as her eyes caught site as Constance was starting to snip away from behind her head to the left side of her head.
With the last snipping Jill looked at her self in the mirrors and shook her head from side to side and up and down.
Then, she brought both hands from under the cape and began brushing her fingers through her shoulder length hair cut.
Constance stood there, on the left side of the barber chair, watching Jill as she brushed her hair back, upward, then. shaking her head side to side.
“Well, what do you think”, Constance asked Jill.
Jill stopped her finger brushing and put her hands back under the cape.
“I like it”, she told Constance as she turned her head side to side.
Constance began combing her hair from the center part.
“But, …..”, Constance asked Jill.
“But, what”, Jill asked Constance.
“Well, I am looking at your eyes, your finger brushing”, Constance began saying.
“And, you are thinking”!
“O’ no”, Jill replied quickly as she looked at Constance then at her self in the mirror. “This is fine”.
“There you go again”, Constance told her, as Jill brought her hands from under the cape and began brushing her finger through her hair.
“Well, you’ve got me”, Jill said with a smile as she opened the magazine.
“I kind of noticed this cut”, she told Constance as she showed the photo.
“Hummmm”, Constance said as she looked at Jill and stepped in front of the chair, and her.
She looked at Jill.
She raised Jill’s face a little. She brushed her fingers through Jill’s hair. She brushed her hair back off her face.
She brushed her hair off and behind her ears.
“O’, I see you have multi pierced ears”, Constance said to Jill.
“Yes”, Jill replied with a smile. “Each piercing is for the four years Jason, my husband, and I have been married.
“If you look at one of them you will see a small inscription I had put on each one”.
“Well, why don’t we look at something which will show them off”, Constance commented to Jill.
“Do you, have a cut in mind”, Jill inquired.
“Well, I do …..”, Constance said with a smile, a snicker. “I have two shorter cuts in mind”.
“How much shorter”, Jill inquired with interest.
“Well, let’s do this”, Constance said. “Tell me a little about Jason.
“You know. What, is he like. What does he like about you.
“Something a little personal which would get his attention”!
“Hummmm …. Well, we met in high school”, she began.
“We both like sports, fishing, camping ….. You know we are more an outdoors couple.
“And, well ….. you know when we …… when I ….”.
“I get the idea”, Constance said to Jill. “Your hair gets in the way”.
“Yes”, Jill replied with her face turning a little red.
“How did you met Jason in high school”, Constance asked.
Jill began laughing and shaking her head with a smile.
“Well, I was a cheerleader”, she began, “and all the first year football players had to get their head shaved.
“And, the cheerleader had the honor of shaving them. I ended up with Jason.
“Her ask me out when I finished shaving his head.
“And, here we are.
“Married five years and we both have our own business”.
“You own your own business”, Constance asked with a wicked look on her face. “What kind of business do you own”?
“I do research. When someone is transferred to a new location, for his or her job.
“I get as much information and do the looking around”.
“And, Jason”, Constance inquired still with a wicked look on her face.
“He is in construction. Mostly new homes”, Jill replied.
“And, how does he cut his hair”, Constance asked with a big smile and hoping.
“Well, he still shaves his head”, Jill replied with a big smile.
“Interesting”, Constance replied. “How do you feel, about that?
“I mean you smiled. Does it mean something to you”.
“Yes, to the night we met and he asked me out”, Jill commented.
“In fact, I shave his head every now and then ,,,,,”.
“There you go again”, Constance told Jill. “You smiled when to told me that.
“How, does it affect you”?
“Well, some times it is foreplay”, Jill told Constance with a red face.
“Sometimes, I just want to and he lets me”.
“I see”, Constance said, as she began brushing Jill’s hair with her hair brush.
“I mean, how do you feel”?
“You mean …..”, Jill inquired softly.
“Yes ….. I mean” Constance replied patting Jill on both shoulder as she stood behind the barber chair and looking at Jill’s expression in the mirrors, behind the waiting chair.
“VERY much so”, Jill said with a bigger smile. “WHY …..
“Do you think Jason would like me with a little shorter hair cut”?
“I order your pizza for you”, Doris said as she entered the barber shop. “The bank is getting newer deposit slips.
“And, Betty will bring them tomorrow when she and her daughter come for their hair cut”.
“Tomorrow”, Constance replied. “Better check the book. Tomorrow is Friday and you know how it gets in the evening”.
“Got you” Doris said. “I’ll mark them in for three”.
“Is she was going to let Opal go shorter”, Constance inquired questing.
“That is what she said”, Doris answered as she reached for the ringing telephone.
“If she wants to, she will let her go for it”.
“You take appointments”, inquired Jill.
“No”, Constance said. “Some of the ladies, who work in the Center, get their hair cut here and we get an idea, from them, when they will be coming in and mark it in the book.
“Some times they come it on their lunch, or before going to work. Even after work.
“And, we work with them on the time”.
“That is a great business deal”, Jill commented.
“Now Jill, back to you”, Constance said as she stood behind the barber chair looking a Jill in the mirror.
“What I have in mind, which might interest you and Jason, is two short hair cuts.
“Both are shorter than your hair is now and one is shorter than the other”.
She let Jill sit there as she moved her hands from under the cape and began brushing her fingers through her hair, again.
Jill turned her head side to side. She brushed her hair back over her head, behind her ears.
Taking a deep breath, letting it out slowly.
She put her hands back under the cape.
“How much shorter”, Jill inquired. “How much is the shorter is shorter than the other”?
“I mean”, Jill began another inquiry. “I mean are you sure Jason will like it”!
“Well, the only way you will know if Jason will like it”, Constance replied as she stepped back from the chair and leaned against the shelf with her right hand behind her.
“Is if you are willing to go for it”.
Jill looked at her self in the mirror. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, again and again.
Taking another deep breath, letting it out fast.
“Don’t tell me how short it will be’, Jill told Constance as she uncrossed her fingers. “Let’s just go for it.
“What ever shorter is …..
“Then, I will see ……
“Well, I might go for the shorter one”.
Constance and Doris looked at each other with smiles. Doris motioned Constance to step closer.
“Keep the clippers clean”, Doris whispered to Constance. “You will be needing them working great when
Betty and Opal come in tomorrow for their hair cut”.
Constance reached into the glass cabinet and took hold of the half inch attachment. Slowly she put in on the clippers.
She looked in the mirror and saw Jill was still looking, staring, at her self in the mirror.
“Jill ….”, Constance asked. “Are you sure …..”?
“Yes”, Jill replied as Constance slowly turned around.
Standing behind the barber chair, Constance made eye contact with Jill in the mirror.
She stepped close to the back of the barber chair.
“CLICK” ….. filled the barber shop. Jill looked up at Constance in the mirror.
Constance slowly showed her the “singing” clippers, as she placed her left hand on the back of Jill’s head.
They looked at each other. Jill shook her head ‘yes”.
Constance pushed her head down.
Jill’s hair fell towards her face.
Constance placed the “singing” clippers a little below the hair line.
With one quick movement Constance pushed the clippers up the back of Jill’s head to the occipital leaving behind half an inch strip of Jill’s hair.
Feeling Jill’s head began to rise a little, Constance push back a little more and made another quick push with the clippers up the back of Jill’s head.
Three more quick movements upward with the clippers and the hair on the back of Jill’s head was half an inch.
Constance stepped to the right side of the barber chair and before Jill could look up she was pushing the clippers up in front of Jill’s right ear. Pushing hair two to four inches long which fell before Jill’s eyes.
Then, she placed the clippers at the hairline and pushed it back over Jill’s head leaving behind hair no more than half an inch long.
Constance brushed her left hand over Jill’s half inch cut and smiled as she walked around the back of the barber chair to the left side.
Slowly Constance pushed the clippers over Jill’s head to finish the half inch hair cut.
As Jill sat looking at her self in the mirror Constance hung the clippers under the shelf. Turning back to the barber chair she raised both hands to Jill’s head and brushed her hair cut.
“Well”, Constance asked Jill.
Jill looked at her self in the mirror. She pulled both hand from under the cape and brushed her “new” half inch hair cut.
Constance stepped to the right side of the barber chair. Jill turned her head to Constance.
“Well, you said it was going to be shorter than the trim you gave me”, Jill told Constance with a smile.
“But, I didn’t think it would be this short”.
“And, Jason”, Constance inquired.
“O ….. I am sure he will be surprised”, Jill told Constance.
Constance shook her head in agreement and stepped behind the barber chair.
She started to undo the cape …..
“The much shorter hair cut ……”, Jill surprisingly asked Constance.
Constance stopped and looked at Jill in the mirror. She had a big smile, one asking.
“I know”, Jill said to Constance. “The only way to find out is to ……
“I want to know …..
“I really want to know …..”!
“You really want to know …..”, Constance asked.
Jill turned her head to Constance.
“I really, really want to know”, she told Constance, again. “I want Jason to know, too”.
Jill tuned her head back to the mirror. Constance looked at Doris and they smiled.
As Constance walked to the shelf, Doris stepped next to her.
“Like I told you”, Doris whispered. “Betty and little Opal tomorrow”.
Constance took hold of the clippers, brushing the head off and putting a drop of oil on the head.
Wiping it clean after a few second, she turned and step behind the barber chair.
Constance looked at Jill in the mirror. They smiled.
Constance started to place her left hand on the top of Jill’s head, to tilted it downward.
Instead she raised the “singing” clippers and placed it in the center of Jill’s forehead and slowly moved it back over Jill’s head,
Jill sat watching the clippers slow movement. She smiled.
As Constance moved the clipper off her head and stepped to the right side of the barber chair.
“The cutting head on these clippers is .00000”, she told Jill as she readied them to start on the right side of Jill’s head.
Jill turned her head and looked in Constance’s eyes and smiled. Still smiling Jill turned her head back to the mirror.
Constance began pushing the “singing” clippers over her head, front to back, up the side of her head.
As she walked behind the barber chair to the left side of the chair, she noticed Jill was still smiling.
When Jill caught Constance looking at her, in the mirror, she winked.
“I think Jason is going to like this hair cut more then the other one”, Jill commented to Constance.
When she finished the left side she turned the clippers off and hung them under the shelf.
“I think …… I know …..”, Constance said, “Jason will go wild tonight when he sees this hair cut”.
Jill took her hands from under the cape and brushed her head with her finger tips.
She took a deep breath ……
“WOW”, Jill let out. “That feels ….. feels …..”.
“Don’t worry”, Constance told her as she turned back to the barber chair and wrapped a warm towel around Jill’s head.
Jill’s eyes opened wide from the touch and looked questing at Constance.
“Your hair cut is not finished”, she told a surprised Jill.
Jill watched as Constance turned and stepped between the barber chairs.
She heard a winding sound as Constance stood with both hands so she could not see what was going on.
“NOW …..”, Constance told Jill. “To finish your hair cut”.
She began lathering Jill’s head with warm shaving lather. She stood spreading the warm lather over Jill’s head, expecting her to stop her.
But, Jill surprised her by just sitting there with a smile that got bigger, as she spread and rubbed the warm shaving lather over her buzzed head.
“I like shaving Jason’s head slowly”, Jill mentioned to Constance.
When she started stropping the straight razor, on the leather strap, Jill turned her head and winked at Constance.
“Slowly, it will be”, Constance told Jill.
Raising the straight razor to the center of Jill’s for head ……
“O’ MY GOD …..”, Jill raised up tossing the blanket off her self then ran to the dresser and stood looking at her self in the mirror.
“What’s the matter”, Jason said to her as he walked behind her.
“Nothing”, she told him.
“Nothing”, he said back to her. “You jump out of a deep sleep, run to the dresser, and now you are brushing your hair with your fingers.
“Like there was something wrong.
“So, what’s the nothing”!
She sat on the end of their bed and patted next to her self,
Jason took the hint and sat next to her.
“Well, for some strange reason I had this dream I went to the Center to do some window shopping.
“And, there was this barber shop in the West side and I ,,,,,,:.
“O’, you are talking about the “OUR CHOICE BARBER SHOP”, Jason surprisingly told her.
“YES”, she replied commanding. “How do you know about the “OUR CHOICE BARBER SHOP””?
“You remember three weeks ago, when you went to St. Paul for your client”, he started telling her.
“Yes”, she told him. “But, …..”!
“Well, you forgot to pick me up some razor blades”, he continued.
“I had to go to the drug store for them and it is in the West side of the Center.
“I had to walk passed it.
“So, on my way out I stopped in to see if one of the ladies could shave my head.
“And, I got …..”.
“LADIES HAIR CUTS ONLY”, Jill told him as she put her head on his right shoulder.
“Right and I took the hint”, he told her, “And, I thanked them and came home”.
“So, your dream …..”, he asked.
“I went in to asked about the name and the comments.
“And, Constance told me …..
“I woke just as she was going to ……”
“To …..”, Jason asked.
Looking at him with a “what if” look ……
“To shave my head”, she told him and began laughing.
“Can you believe that”, she asked him.
Jason stood up and walked to the door.
“Going to take a shower”, he told her. “Coffee ….. I am meeting Max at the Coffee Corner for nine”.
Jill sat there.
As she started to get up, Jason stuck his lathered head in the bedroom.
“You will never know”, he said to her, “unless you go to the “OUR CHOICE BARBER SHOP”.
“I was told Constance was great and slow with the straight razor”.
The END Maybe ……
By JimB (c) copyright October 2017