Things Are Getting Shaggy Around Here

Photo credit Jason Romage, Uncle Joe's Barbershop
Although I've lately taken to cringing when cashiers at the grocery store touch my stuff and think twice before punching in my bank card's PIN to pay for said stuff, I'm generally not the obsessive sort.

Really, I'm not.

If you don't believe me, take the word of an old friend. Years ago, she diagnosed me with "laid back" disorder.

I'm pretty sure that's not a real thing, but she was a pysch major at the time so who am I to argue. And in any case, being excessively mellow is better than being a narcissist. The gaslighting alone would exhaust me.

While I may have a reputation for not getting too worked up about much, my hair is a different matter. It's on a schedule, dammit. And the coronavirus pandemic has thrown off my longstanding routine.

I prefer to keep my hair extremely short. That way I don't have to bother with it. When I get up in the morning, it is what it is and that's that.

But in order to keep my hair so short that I can't do anything with it even if I wanted to, I have to get it cut A LOT - every two weeks, in fact.

Right now, though, about the only thing that's getting trimmed at my house is the grass - or rather, what passes for grass in my yard. I'm not really sure what's growing out there. It's a mixed bag, to my wife's eternal horror. But there's enough to worry about these days. At least the yard is green ... for the most part.

The point is, I mowed for the first time last week. And, I will likely mow again this week. I can't say the same for my head. My barber shop of choice, Uncle Joe's here in good old Martinsburg, West Virginia, is closed for the time being. It's among the countless small businesses forced to temporarily shut its doors as part of efforts to limit the spread of the virus.

I needed a picture to accompany this post, so I exchanged a couple messages with Uncle Joe's owner Jason Romage earlier this week. He sent along the pic of the barber chairs sitting empty and looking lonely in his shop. He also reminded me that he celebrated five years in downtown Martinsburg two days before he had to lock his doors.

Jason and I have become friends over the years. After all, I'm in and out of his shop enough. He is an optimist when it comes to his business and a believer in the future of Martinsburg's downtown.

But if his barbershop remains shuttered for much longer, I'm going to start resembling that kid in my high school year book - the one I've been trying to live down all these years. 

If you're a barber like my friend Jason, hang in there. The coronavirus pandemic is making for a shaggy spring.

I, for one, am going to be happy when you're finally able to cut hair again. 


  1. Awww, c'mon Giles. Get yourself a trendy little man bun.

    1. I would, but I'm afraid I was born too early to consider the man bun a serious solution. BTW - you're the only one who ever comments here. Thank you.


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