Chancelucky

Saturday, April 06, 2013

The Haircut Lady


 For the last eleven years, I've gotten my hair cut by the same woman. My wife, who's not Asian, was convinced that most people who work in those ten dollar haircut places have no idea how to cut Asian hair. My guess is that it might have more to do with their working in ten dollar haircut shops. We happened upon this one woman who happens to be a Cambodian immigrant and my wife decreed that I should always go to her to get my hair cut.

I've since followed her to three different salons. Somewhere around year eight after talking about Asian restaurants, vacations, learning that she never learned to swim because she almost drowned in the river as a child when her family was trying to leave Cambodia,her family's real estate misadventure (they bought 6 rental houses at exactly the wrong time, for about a year I kept wondering why a woman who owned 7 houses was cutting my hair). I eventually learned that she sings in Cambodian and performs for weddings, birthday parties, and other gatherings. Most recently someone she didn't really know asked her to sing at her daughter's sixteenth birthday party. 

First I was surprised thata sixteen year old living in Santa Clara county would want Cambodian singers at her birthday party. When I was that age, the last thing I wanted was any hints of being that different. Times change and people get smarter I think. I then asked the inevitable American question. "Are they paying you to sing?"  link to Khmer singer not my haircut lady

She looked at me, "No, I coldn't charge for singing. I do it because it's fun."

"I'm sure they'd be happy to pay a little bit." She was driving across a couple counties, spending hours at strangers' parties, etc. Surely these people were taking advantage of her.

"They probably would, but I couldn't do that."

But why? I thought. Obviously after going through 6 foreclusures, having to sell your hair salon, etc., she could clearly use a little extra cash. 

"I just couldn't charge people. It would change things."

Here I was getting my hair cut by a female-Cambodian vesion of Searchiing for Sugarman

Somewhere between the time she was aksing me for the 200th time if I wanted gel in my hair (yikes!) and my saying "No, not this time." It struck me that she's maybe saner about what she does than I am about what I do (the writing thing). 

She sings because she loves to sing. She only sings in Cambodian. She loves knowing that people appreciate her singing and ask her to share it. She simply doesn't want to equate it with money. I'ts not about that and it's not for that. It's sane, admirable, quite beautiful in a way that I can't quite grasp because I'm maybe too American except for my hair. 

I've asked her if she had a CD, Mp3, or something, but maybe it's almost better that I have no idea what her singing sounds like. 

1 Comments:

At 1/03/2015 05:26:00 PM, Blogger Dr. kold_kadavr_flatliner, MD, the sub/dude said...

Don’t wanna fit-in, not gonna fit-in, don’t care to fit-in, I just don't fit-in …I’d muuuch rather fit-in to Seventh-Heaven. Howzbout you? I personally wouldn't be tooo worried about what the whorizontal world thot about me, dear; I'd be much! more! concerned about what Jesus shall say at our General Judgment. You maaay not like me now, yet, I’m not out to please you. Lemme gonna wanna tella youse Who (grrr - New Joisey accent):

Not sure if we're on the same page if you saw what I saw. Greetings, earthling. Because I was an actual NDE on the outskirts of the Great Beyond at 15 yet wasn’t allowed in, lemme share with you what I actually know Seventh-Heaven’s Big-Bang’s gonna be like for us if ya believe: meet this ultra-bombastic, ex-mortal-Upstairs for the most extra-blatant, guhroovaliciousness (-Austin POW!ers), pleasure-beyond-measure, Ultra-Yummy, Reality-Firepower-Addiction in the Great Beyond for a BIG-ol, kick-ass, party-hardy, robust-N-risqué, eternal-real-McCoy-warp-drive you DO NOT wanna miss the sink-your-teeth-in-the-rrrock’nNsmmmokin’-hot-deal: PLEASE KEEP HANDS/FEET INSIDE THE WIDE UNTIL WE MADE A CIRCUMFERENCE OF NEVER-ENDING-POSSIBILITIES. Yes, we’ll have a high-flying, immense-impression to be an outstanding-red-marker! For God, anything and everything and more! is possible!! Puh-leeeze meet me Upstairs. Do that for us. Cya soon, girl…

 

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