Jake, I’m sorry, but think our time together has come to an end. I’ve found someone else. Her name is Ericka.
Okay, it’s not what you think.
Up until a few days ago, Jake was my long-time barber. Every month for the last 15 years, like clockwork, I’d trudge into Jake’s old-school barbershop for my haircut. I’d get the same old trim, hear the same old jokes, endure the same well-intentioned ribbing and eventually look exactly like I did the last time I left his shop.
But then came the invitation from my daughter.
“Hey dad, I’m going to spoil you with a haircut at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. You need a trim.”
Hmmm. A haircut on someone else’s dime? And frankly, the last time I’d been spoiled was when the guy at the tire shop had free popcorn in the waiting room.
So on the arm of my daughter, who had scheduled a pedicure for herself, I walked into the Resort Spa to be spoiled. Holy mackerel! The place is classy! Unlike Jake’s shop, there wasn’t a single deer head on the wall, no piles of hair on the linoleum and no snarky old guys sitting around complaining about, well, everything.
This place had waterfalls, beautiful smells and polite, happy, angelic young people waiting to assist us.
“Is this heaven?” I asked the young woman at the counter. My daughter gave me an elbow to the ribs as she provided our names. As she was escorted away for her pedicure, I was informed that someone named “Ericka” would be right with me.
Suddenly, the idea of trusting my hair to a complete stranger after 15 years…to a woman that wasn’t named “Jake”, no less…made my stomach knot up. As weird as it sounds, it felt almost like I was “cheating” on Jake.
However, that feeling quickly evaporated as a tall, elegant, graceful young woman appeared from a hallway. Maybe it was my eyes playing tricks, but I could swear she was magically back-lit with beams of light and I think I heard angels singing as she walked toward me.
“Hello, I’m Ericka. Welcome to the Spa. Will you follow me, please?”
I followed her through the inner sanctum of this amazing Spa facility and into what can only be described as the most manly private room I’ve ever been in. Rich, dark exotic woods and black granite counters surrounded what looked more like a leather-bound throne than any barber chair I’d ever seen. And in a portion of the giant darkened mirror that lay before me, the Golf Channel was playing. The GOLF CHANNEL, FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD!
Ericka then informed me my daughter had purchased the “Ultimate Barber Experience” for me…a one-hour treatment that includes a shampoo and rinse, a haircut, a manicure, a beard trim and a complimentary beverage.
Sorry Jake, but from this moment on, you’re dead to me.
I was seated in the leather-bound throne, a manly cape was secured around me and I was asked if I wanted a drink…a craft beer or a scotch perhaps?
“Yes, Ericka, a scotch on the rocks would be nice,” I said, fully expecting her to tell me she was just kidding. However, within minutes of my extremely relaxing shampoo, a glass of scotch arrived. And it was “the good stuff”. The experience only got better from there.
The haircut was a virtuoso performance by a true master. It was followed by a warm water rinse and then a manicure from Ericka that has me seriously considering a career as a hand model. And while all these wonderful things were happening to me, the GOLF CHANNEL WAS ON, PEOPLE!!
Calling this a mere haircut would be unfair, like calling the Resort a “motel”. And calling Ericka a barber would be an insult. They just don’t do anything halfway here.
At this point, I’ve decided the daughter that scheduled the “Ultimate Barber Treatment” for me will receive the bulk of my estate when I pass on. It was that good. It was a one-hour $45 (plus tip) experience I want to repeat in a month. Yes, I understand I could get a ½ hour treatment from Ericka for $35 and miss out on the manicure, but after today I’m feeling like royalty. And royalty deserves the best.
Now I just have to break the news to Jake.