One thing I have going for me is a healthy head of hair. It's thinned a bit over the years, receded a few millimeters here and there but nonetheless my mane is full and, if you will, luxuriant.
In New York over the last few years there's been a proliferation of barbershops. The old ones all but disappeared in the 80s and 90s, the guys who would slather on Pinaud's "Lilac Vegetal" or "Clubman" after shaving your neck with a straight razor.
But since the breaking up of the Soviet Union, dozens of emigres, usually Jewish and from the old country have opened up small shops where you can get a decent cut for under $20. The give their shops names like "Jean Romano" or "Gents" but the Mezuzahs slanting on their door jambs give away their ethnicity.
I don't get my hair cut often, about four times a year, preferring a "hairstyle" for myself that is somewhere between Einstein's and Kramer's. Accordingly, I have never been able to have breezy conversations with barbers. I never know what to say, and frankly, those usual topics of barber-barbee conversation--sports and breasts--are not things I care to speak about. So, I make it a rule that I don't talk to barbers. I want to sit back, get trimmed and get out. To tell you the truth I don't even like when they hold a mirror behind me so I can see the back of my head. Again, I don't know what to say and, further, who the hell cares what the back of my head looks like.
Another rule I have is never to go to a barber more than three times. I figure if you see the same guy more often than that, you are in a bit of trouble. He's no longer "a barber." Now, he's "your barber."
He's your barber and now, you have a "relationship."
I don't want a relationship with my barber. I barely want a relationship with 96% of my friends, relatives and co-workers. I already, in fact, have too many relationships in my life.
The idea that I will have a relationship with a store or an airline or any other brand is absolutely ludicrous.
All I really want is to be left alone.