LESS THAN SOME BUT MAYBE MORE THAN MANY, MY HAIR IS IMPORTANT TO ME.
I generally don't make much of a fuss about how I look.
I don't buy any of the latest fashions, I struggle to clip my nose hairs and ear hairs, I'm not picky about keeping my nails cut every week.
I'm a walking fashion disaster who wears jeans and a t-shirt almost every single day during the winter and shorts, sandals and a t-shirt every single day of the summer.
For those Nitpicky Nellies or Nigels among you, in the spring and fall I wear whatever I can get away with that's appropriate for the weather.
My thing is comfort, not culture. Fusion, not fashion.
But when it comes to my thinning hair, that's another thing entirely.
I wash it the same way and brush it the same way, every single day. And when it's not right -- or as right as I can make it at the best of times -- I freak.
I don't use any goop or any conditioners. It's naturally curvy or wavy or whatever, and long ago I found out what it naturally likes to do. And that's whatever it wants to.
So I went with the flow, so to speak, and found a style that I've lived with most of my life.
And when I go to get my hair cut, I tell them the same thing all the time and I want it cut the same way, all the time.
And I'm not a very organized person. I don't make haircut appointments every six or eight weeks in advance, because of my work schedule -- and just because I don't think ahead.
I think in the here and now. I'm impulsive.
On Wednesday, my hair was OK. On Thursday, it wasn't. So I needed to get it cut.
So imagine my horror when I tried to make an appointment on Thursday with Ashley, my "hair girl," for Friday or Saturday.
All booked up, she said (she's very cute and she can cut hair well...what can I say?)
I called my backup "hair girl," Barb, who charges a lot more but whose place offers massages while you're waiting and then hair massages before she cuts.
Every time I've gone there, she talks about her other business in construction (snore...)
All booked up, she said.
There's another few places I've been to around here in such dire circumstances, but at one, they barely speak English and at the other, they once cut my ear.
So I set out Saturday on a multi-faceted, high-risk mission:
Get my income tax done, mail some bills, pick up some new cutlery to replace the stuff my daughter takes to work and loses, hopefully get a new camera battery...
And, if possible, get my hair cut.
Almost certainly I forgot several things, but who's counting?
After finding out I'd be getting a lot less back from the government from my income tax file than I had hoped, I remembered a place two doors down in that strip mall. I went inside.
"Are you Dennis?", one of the stylists asked me.
"No, but you can call me Dennis if you want," I replied with a smile. "I'm Chris. I haven't made an appointment but I came in on the off-chance you could cut my hair."
"We're waiting for someone named Dennis to show up for his appointment," she said. "I'm Anne. We can take you in right away."
So Anne, who has a space between her two front teeth just like me, cut my hair.
And she did an OK job, because I hate getting my hair cut.
I always let it grow too long and I wait until the last second to get it cut again, only when it gets unbearable for me...kind of like pulling rotten teeth.
Anne was very pleasant. She's from Kazakhstan in what used to be Russia in what used to be the Soviet Union but she moved here when she was a child.
We talked about the stabbing at the supermarket down the street a couple of weeks ago, about my bald spots, about what I do for a living...
And about how some people are incredibly organized and how some people, like me, do everything at the last minute.
My hair is short again. I gave her a $2 tip. I'm happy, she's happy.
But I still don't have my camera battery, otherwise I would have probably attached before and after pictures. Instead, I've used these other pix from years gone by.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were within my grasp Friday night.
Actually, they were less than two hours away -- in Grand Forks, North Dakota, U.S. of A., both appearing at a Democratic Party something or other.
I had given some thought to actually going down there just to see them. But I had to work.
For my money, as I said months ago, Obama's the guy. I think he IS the saviour of the U.S. and the rest of the free world.
I thought for sure, initially, that Hillary would win. But I think she tried too much to be like a man, which clearly she is not.
Her popularity was at its highest when she was more vulnerable, open and sensitive like the woman she is.
My daughter finally got voicemail capability on her fancy-schmancy cellphone.
And right at the end of her new little recorded message to all who call her, she says, "and Dad, only leave a message if you really have to get a hold of me."
You see, I have a habit of calling her just to see how she's doing or what's new. And that is like slow, painful death to a teenager, coming from their father.
Sometimes, I actually pass on critical information that she absolutely MUST respond to, such as that I love her or I want to tell her a joke or something or to find out when she wants me to pick her up from work.
And all this time that she hasn't had voicemail, and I couldn't leave messages just to torture her or otherwise, she's had to phone me back just to find out why I called her in the first place.
So I called her Saturday, expecting to get her voicemail on a day she's usually working. Lo and behold, she answered.
Of course, I teased her about her voicemail message as she was trying to eat lunch with a girl she's going to Europe with for two months at the end of this month.
I bothered her for as long as I could before we said goodbye.
My son, who had been carrying on a long-distance phone/internet relationship with a girl who lives seven hours north of here, has abandoned that and now has a new girlfriend who actually attends his school.
I'm driving them, tonight, to a movie, and then picking them up.
There's hope for him yet.