Call me a sexist, misogynist, or – hell – even an opponent of the #MeToo campaign, but getting a cranial trim from a female barber was, for me, a big deal.
Having been born and bred in a small town, where there was only one male, Italian barber – ([insert cliched name here], who leased a unit adorned with draughtboard-style flooring and in which pictures of nudey women on out-of-date calendars decorated the walls) – my brain is conditioned to men getting their hair cut by men (as sensual and non-masculine as that may be).
Since re-locating to Cardiff, I have unsuccessfully searched for a hair lopper to replace my Roman amigo. So, when I came across Sophia’s – aptly and razor precision-named – cutting shop, ‘The Barber Room‘, in Womanby Street’s The Castle Emporium, I thought to myself, “she might be the one” (in a strictly barbering sense, that is).
8 months (and several barbers) later, I finally plucked up the courage to plonk my diminutive gluetei maximi on Sophia’s leather chair; being the only customer in her singularly-seated premises meant that she could not be distracted in the way that [let’s call him Luigi for shits and giggles] was when his ex-wife poked her head into his barbershop to enquire about tardy maintenance payments.
Once seated, in response to my Hugh Grant-like mumbling, regarding xx-chromosomal barbering, Sophia uttered the words, “look, if you’re not going to enjoy this you can go somewhere else”
At that point I was sold: my previously tetchy, bonce-warming talons were assuaged by a sass comparable to Luigi’s former lover.
With regards to the barbering itself, there was very little drama (and significantly less ear snips when compared to the effect of Luigi’s hand twitches when reacting to the ever-increasing sums of money requested – down the earpiece of the shoulder and jaw-balanced telephone – by his previous spouse).
The result: a Peaky Blinders-style hair-do. Described by Mr. Green (I presume his last name is Green) of Tailor Green, Sophia’s neighbouring tenant in the Cardiff Emporium, as “much better” I took that as: you still look shit, but less shit. At least Sophia improved with what she had to work. Unfortunately, though, if you polish a turd too much it starts to look like a childs drawing).
As I made to leave, Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line struck up – on Sophia’s former bedroom radio – their most recent hit, and I thought to myself: female barbering; is it meant to be?
Well, Sophia, you now have the privilege , or pain in the perinium, of being my Luigi (if you so wish).