I ducked out earlier today to get a haircut. Although I am much younger than most of you think, I am from the old school. I usually go to an old Italian barber who would just as easily tell you stories about a confrontation he had with “that rat bastid” Tony Bennett twenty years ago at Patsy’s in Manhattan, as he could stick a pair of scissors in your throat for disrespecting him. At any rate, he is currently on vacation in Sicily.
So, I rather hastily decided to go to a Supercuts for the first time in many, many years. As soon I walked in, I thought I was in some makeshift dance club in a tent outside the Super Bowl, with techno music blaring throughout the entire store. The place was crowded, so I walked up the to desk to put my name on the waiting list, only to be greeted with this:
“Are you here for a haircut?”
No…What the hell do you think I’m here for? The massage? The ice cream? The bookstore?
I say yes, and she tells me to have a seat, that the wait will only be ten minutes.
Thirty-five minutes later, I am checking and re-checking the 12631 chat room and my Twitter messages from my iPhone, with Lady Gaga hell-bent on completely destroying my sense of hearing over the strategically place loudspeakers right by my seat. The place is now bombarded with families, as most of the mothers literally stand over their sons while the hairdressers give them “Justin Biebers,” meaning whatever that pop-sensation/Floyd Mayweather entourage kid currently has going on with his hair, that’s what everyone else wants for their son.
I walk up to the desk to see how much longer my wait is, and I am told that I am next up after one of the young boys is done. Only this isn’t just a young Bieber getting a haircut. And it is not just his mother standing over him either. No, he is also surrounded by his two sisters and father who insisted on hovering over the hairdresser, too. I walk back to my seat and patiently wait for my turn, once again.
As soon as the hairdresser finishes up with the young boy, I am now on the edge of my seat in anticipation, nearly an hour after walking in the store, and am waiting to be called over for the haircut…until this happens:
The father sits down in the chair, and the hairdresser puts the black apron on him. Everyone sitting around me, also waiting in line, is aware of the situation and growing uncomfortable, but not for the reason you think. We all start looking at each other with puzzled expressions because the father is COMPLETELY BALD, with not one follicle of hair on his entire head. The hairdresser has a bemused look on her face, but she plays along. I can’t hear what they are saying, but there is some conversation, and the father stares at his reflection in the mirror for a few minutes before finally standing up and leaving. Despite knowing there was a line of people waiting for a haircut, the father wanted to sit in the seat to rekindle the old days when he had hair for old time’s sake. At least that’s what the hairdresser told me after the fact when I had my haircut.
While I waited for those few moments, as the bald father stared longingly into his own reflection in the barber’s chair with his black apron on, the group around me started to make wisecracks. At first, a nice-looking grandmother became irritated on my behalf, noting “that gentleman ought to not fool around when he knows you are waiting.” And then, of course, a guy started laughing his ass off, pulled out his smartphone and took a photo of the bald father, telling me that it was akin to trying to squeeze his hand now into his first little league baseball mitt, or better yet like having sex one more time to a girl you just broke up with.
And then it occurred to me what was happening: The bald father was stuck in his own head, literally and figuratively. He was living in the past, and even though he probably wasn’t trying to be a complete jerk and hold everyone up in the Supercuts, he was letting the past affect the present.
Once a trade is over, it’s gone. Once a market move happens, it’s over. Get out of your own head and move on to live in the present. Learn your lessons, learn from your mistakes, but move on. BE PRESENT. Don’t be the bald guy in the barber’s chair reliving the old days, all the while life is still happening around you.