Part of being in the midst of adaptations in COVID life is realizing that it may be a very long time before I get to go home to the United States. We have tickets for December but more and more I am coming to the realization that that may not get to happen. Or it may look completely different than I anticipated. There is so much up in the air and who knows what the world will look like in December. As I live into this realization there are things that I have always saved for my trips home that now I have to lean into doing here. On one hand, that is a hard transition and on the other it makes me more fully live in Berlin, to more fully integrate into life here. I have already lived here longer than I anticipated and may live here more than double the amount of time Ana and I had originally planned. Some of that just can’t be helped do to the world wide pandemic.
So far I had saved important things like doctor and dentist appointments and my hair appointments for when I return home. I have thick, wavy hair that can be a challenge to cut. I have had some really horrible cuts in my life if someone doesn’t have experience with such hair. Every single person who has cut my hair has commented on how much of it there is. Every. single. person. While I lived in Portland, I hired someone for one of my churches who also had training in hair and was a fantastic hair person. I trusted her with my hair on every level. We became good friends and my hair time when I came home was part of that catching up process. A couple of things happened that changed this besides even the pandemic. I first received some pics and a text that said that my friend and hair person had up and moved to California! California! While I am glad for her plan, I was instantly sad for me and my time with her.
At the same time a new place has opened in our neighborhood called La BarBer, a stated queer barber shop and bar run by queer barbers with a statement to welcome all people. All people no matter gender, hair type, preferences, etc.
So I took a deep breath and texted the owner about my thick wavy hair and if she was willing to take on the challenge. I had grown my hair for a little over a year. I had my appointment yesterday.
Even though this is a stated barber shop she told me to come on over. She was willing. Sara, a Spanish immigrant from the Malaga area, an ambitious new business owner and enthusiastic supporter of all people, exclaimed, “You have so much hair!!” I smiled. “Yeah, this is why I send you info before.” She exclaimed, “Ok! Let’s do it!” Near the end of the cut, we were all smiles and she asked, “How do you feel about getting your hair cut in a queer barber?” Ana had joined us and was watching on. She smiled too. I replied, “The queer part or the barber part? It is all fantastic! I have just been waiting for this place to be here!”
I have now had my hair cut in Berlin and it is a good cut and I really love the people and the place. Step by step to places I never thought I would go.