We went out looking extra lousy today. For us, looking presentable is 30% wearing the right outfit and 70% doing our hair right. Generally, men can do away with any hair styling by getting a buzz cut.

We so want to.

But since the shape of our head is not something we can consider visually pleasant, we need to keep our hair long and spare a good amount of time every single working day to keep it tidy. But this morning we just put on a clean pair of shorts and a shirt and went out. Why? It’s haircut day! On days like this, we normally look lousy. We get our haircut in a low end mall. As long as you don’t look scandalous, you’ll be just fine. Styling our hair is quite stupid of course ’cause it’s going to be washed, cut, and whatnot in the salon.

And so we entered the salon flashing a smile a little too forced it probably made us look stupid. The receptionist told us that our hairstylist is on leave. Perfect! We spent a long time convincing ourself to get a haircut only to find out it’s not going to happen. She said that we could try waiting though. Our stylist said she might turn up later in the afternoon. We hoped for it. We decided to walk around to pass the time.

For us, going to a mall with nothing to do is trouble. We are compelled to splurge. We gave in and entered the department store. We were surprised.

Just like probably 95% of the people entering that mall’s department store, we are usually welcomed by salesclerks with greetings and unsolicited updates on what’s on sale. It has always been like that. You can wear headphones or a sign saying that strangers getting within 2-meter radius of you freaks you out but they will still do the same. Today, we didn’t get much of that. Diagnosis? We looked penniless.

And so we walked around enjoying the newly found freedom of checking out items without overly eager salesclerks approaching us. We noticed a lot of he’s-just-looking-around-he’s-not-going-to-buy-anything look but it was fun. They only came to me whenever I asked something and they simply faded in the background after that. We just had to avoid the area where the overly friendly saleslady stays though. She was there. She still noticed us. We feigned obliviousness.

We didn’t see a lot of stuff that we like but we saw a nice pair of shoes after several minutes of checking out styles on display. We ordered for a size 43 and waited for a while. That was when we got looks with hints of disdain from salesclerks. They probably thought I was up to something not good as I had been walking around not buying anything then I stood there like I was waiting for something to happen. They were signaling each other through glances. Some even approached us and asked what we were there for. One would say it’s normal but we knew it was not. We are extremely intuitive we can be a bit creepy. A minute change in tone or expression can give a person away; we even sense trouble in people’s words…

In writing.

Even when they put conscious effort to hide it.

We’ve never been wrong in it.

Yes. It’s crazy.

We got our shoes, tried it, and had it boxed. We smiled at everybody before we left the area. It was our way of saying “Relax, it’s quite expensive but we have enough cash.” It sure is baffling how people judge you by the way you look. But who are you to preach when you do it once in a while?

We went back to the salon. Unfortunately, our hairstylist didn’t show up. We called it a day and went home. -aB


Featured Image by: https://unsplash.com/

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