First, I was on Kings Highway and wanted to get a haircut. The last time I had my hair professionally cut was a few years ago, shortly before I got married. I figured it was time, especially given my hair had some excess weight that I'm not adept enough to trim on my own. So I had been planning to make my way down to Adam's, which I've heard from several people provides good haircuts for a reasonable price. But as I was walking down the street after dropping off my Change of Address form, I happened upon a place with a sign: Haircuts $10+.
I walked in and knew I was in Little Moscow right off the bat. Maybe it was the massive flat-panel tv that was front and centre blaring out some kitschy Russian fare. Or maybe it was the crazy short and dyed hairdos on all the women in the joint. Yet somehow I decided that I was ready for a sociological experiment, and proceeded to ask about a haircut. I was told to hang up my coat and then go to the shampoo section.
Of course, the coat rack was overflowing, and after choosing the spot that would least result in my jacket getting covered with hair clippings, went over to the "Shampoo Girl", who was easily over 50. Yet despite her age and lack of English, she was very pleasant and agile. So far so good. Then I was waved into the hairdresser's seat and the real fun began. The woman had zero customer service intentions, and spent most of my haircut attempting to get the other workers to change the channel on the tv (I seem to be picking up a bit of Russian since I moved to Flatbush!). About 80% of the remaining time she stopped to chat with her co-workers. Her only comment to me, in fact, was to ask who had been cutting my hair because it wasn't even. When she heard me confess that I had cut my hair, she was downright derisive. But I chalked it all up to part of the sociological experiment and she wound up doing a decent job. I even didn't mind in the end when, despite my indicating I didn't want a blow-dry, which turns my curls into an '80s throwback (helmet hair, anyone?), she blew it dry anyway. It was part of the "pampering myself" theme. Although I still have to wonder why, not matter how close together I put my fingers to indicate I want a minuscule trim, they always end up lopping off a few inches...
Anyway, upon going to the cashier to pay, I was surprised when she told me it was $18. I figured the haircut would be maybe $15, what with the length of my hair and curls. So I asked how much the haircut was, since I figured she had charged me extra for the blow-dry. She repeated $18. I mentioned the sign, and she informed me that was for men's haircuts. That's when I really understood Brooklyn shopping for the first time- insist on learning the price before you do anything, and if you don't like the price, tell them so. Not that $18 isn't still a cheap haircut, but you get my point.
Also on Lag B'Omer, when discussing about whether or not I'm moving with my landlord, he uttered a truly hysterical line. To his suggestion that I get a roommate instead of moving, I told him that I would make a lousy roommate, because I'm crying all the time. He responded by saying "Why cry? It doesn't help anything". So I told him that I guess I should be a guy, then I wouldn't cry. And that's when he said this gem:
"Oh, we men cry more than women. We just do it in the car, where no-one can see".
The man has more wisdom than he'll ever realize, it seems. :)