Every eight weeks, I see Hannah. When we hang out, we don't talk.
This might seem weird, but Hannah is my hairdresser. She's a petite blonde who wields her scissors deftly, snipping and shaping like a sculptor. She whisks the cape around my shoulders like a pro. She manipulates a hairdryer like a contortionist, holding the round brush just right. She even makes my bangs look a little less stupid.
And she rarely speaks to me. When she does, it's essential: "How many inches off? Is this how you part it?"
And I love her for it.
You see, I hate small talk. Despise it. So, as you can imagine, going to the hairdresser is not high on my list of preferred activities. In the past, this dreaded bi-monthly visit meant forced chatter and a feigned interest. I know that, in this world, there exists those special bonds between hairdresser and customer. The type where the lady who cuts your hair knows the middle name of your second son and the fact that your neighbor never puts the recycling out correctly. The type that you evoke in conversations as "my Scissor Sorceress" and "the only person I trust with my hair and my secrets."
I get it. But that's just not me. I prefer my haircuts silent, accompanied with only the whir of hairdryers and the awful pop compilation playing over the salon speakers.
And Hannah gets it. She's quiet, methodical, fast and understanding. We never had a conversation about our lack of conversation, but it worked out all the same. I get a trim, she gets a generous tip. It works.
They say a good hairdresser is worth her weight in gold. You know what else is golden? Silence. And Hannah is 24 carat quality...in both respects.