Cindy Chou wants an authentic American barbershop experience

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I made a friend from Hong Kong, we were pen pals and her name was Cindy Chou. She was your average Hong Kongian girl but she had quirks. Her room, when we met on a live chat site, was covered with flags from Europe to Africa on the walls. Cindy said she would like to travel to my neck of the woods and she was ecstatic when she told me her passport was finalized.

We made a date of when she planned on arriving in my state of Montana. I made her a custom Welcome Home sign which I held up to signal her when the plane touched down in Missoula. She smiled at me and chortled a bit when she saw the sign, she couldn’t stop laughing until I literally hid the sign behind my back. And then, she continued to giggle because I did look a bit foolish hiding the oversized board behind my back: my body didn’t completely cover it.

Cindy and I drove back to my place, a small house in Milton. It was a small town and Cindy loved the scenery of the nearby mountain range. She made me promise that we would go for a big hike up in those mountains someday: I never really liked hiking but for her, I’ll manage.

We went up to flathead lake and swam until it got dark, I took her to McGregor’s to eat that night. And as we hung out in my house, Cindy asked me,”You know, there’s something special I want to do before I leave America”

”Oh, yeah”,I smiled,”What’s that?”

”I would really like to get my hair cut in an American barbershop”,she beamed.

I didn’t know what to respond with so I told her we could go search for one tomorrow. She nodded and headed off for bed, I hit the hay and was out like a light.

Cindy woke me up the next morning, she made me breakfast. Her cooking was superb and she was delighted when I said I hadn’t tasted anything better. We both got ready for the day, Cindy was still adamant that we go look for a barbershop so she could get her hair cut. I started driving her around town to look for any shops and was genuinely surprised when Cindy spotted one almost instantly. It was an old place, I recognized it as the place my dad went to get his hair cut and beard trimmed.

I asked Cindy if she was certain that this was the place she wanted to go and she seemed offended that I even asked. She told me to park near the building and she started walking towards it without me. Quickly, I caught up with her and apologized if I hurt her feelings. Her lips formed a playful grin and she took my arm in hers and we went into the Cut & Comb.

It was a spacious place inside, although it only had one barber chair and one barber. Said barber was beefy and his brow furrowed as his eyes sized us both up. Then he smiled,”Welcome, my friend”,he beamed, only looking at me,”Here for a haircut to impress your lady friend, no?”

”I-I”,I began to stutter a little but Cindy saved me by replying with,”I’m sorry, but my man looks perfect with his sandy locks. It’s me that wants a nice, short haircut”

”Well, I never really had many women in here asking for a haircut”,the barber scratched the back of his head,”But I suppose I could use a lady in my chair. Hop on up, girly”

Cindy was giddy as a schoolgirl as she sat in the chair. The barber gathered up her silky, black hair and pinned it to the back of her head before he rounded her neck with some paper. Wrapping Cindy up in a striped cape, the barber pumped up the chair until he was satisfied that he could reach all parts of Cindy’s head.

”So what’ll it be, missy?”the barber scratched his nose as he asked,”Just a basic trim or are we going shorter?”

My friend’s dainty hand uncovered itself from the swaddling of the cape’s fabric and pointed at a list of haircuts on the left side of the wall.

”I guess I’ll take a number 3”,Cindy replied as the barber narrowed his eyes to see the board. And then, the barber’s and my eyes widened when we realized she had just pointed to a crew cut hairstyle.


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