I hope I'm not alone in my anxiety over getting my haircut - whilst it remains an unarduous task, I can't cease my apprehension once the appointment has been made.
It's the forced conversation, the inability to move, fidget or escape eye-contact that brings the social skills crashing down.
Now I'd quite happily sit there in silence with my eyes shut, comfortable in the knowledge that I have little in common with a hairdresser and that an exchange of pleasantries was sufficient interaction. But hairdresser training school dictates they must put their clients at ease with some light banter and chit-chat.
As I wait, flicking through a well-thumbed copy of Mens Health
, I catch the guy looking at the appointment book for my name before he wanders past with a friendly "hiya Matt hows it going?" - all very friendly but having seen through his methodoligies I mentally refuse to view him with any higher regard in my "Hairdresser Mates" High Score Table.
I catch a vague whiff of vomit as I am ushered to the icy chair of death - my mind works overtime as I envisage all the employees suffering from chronic hangovers, all blowing chunks out the back due to excessive consumption of Barcardi Breezers last night in Ritzys.
It's possible non of them can actually see straight this morning, I could be the victim of an involuntary Van Gogh ear remodelling
if everything goes pear-shaped!
The initial question catches me slightly under prepared - "So have you got the day off work?", now its bad enough to sacrifice a perfectly good lunch hour for the ordeal, but does the clipper-wielding temptress seriously think I'd use a days holiday for my short-back and sides?
Right on cue, the second cliched question soon rears its ugly head - "You doing anything nice this weekend?" - my mind goes blank, mainly due to the shock of being asked such an absurdly typical hairdresser's question! My initial reaction is to laugh but I retain my composure and begin to think of evil retorts such as "No it's my mums funeral."
I resist the temptation to completely confuse her by preempting her third attempt for a cliche hattrick by asking her "Are you going on holiday this year?" - instead the phone rings and she is required to answer it, prolonging my suffering further.
Finally, the mirror gets flashed behind my head, I nod and fake delight. The financial penalty is paid and I run...
...and they say women have the worst "monthly" ordeal!