Stop holding grudges! That shit is killing you, in more ways than one. A’ight, so let me preface this story. Back in 2014, nine years ago, your boy was a little scrapped for cash. That year, I had six jobs in an eight-month timespan. I did construction, I worked in a warehouse that produced Styrofoam containers, I worked at another warehouse that built doors for walk-in freezers, I was an automotive service advisor, I did body work on fleet vehicles, and I worked with a small company that cleaned parking garages at hospitals. Only one of those jobs lasted longer than 2 months. I was fired from two of the jobs and I quit the other four. By the end of this eight-month time period, I was willing to take any job I could get. I was so desperate, a cool-ass motherfucker like me was necessitated to take an interview at Chuck E. Cheese. I know, embarrassing as fuck. Whole time, I was just attempting to circumvent turning to illicit activities just to make do. Before I attended the interview, I wanted to get a fresh haircut, but I didn’t have any expendable cash. In the process of contemplating my next move, I remembered when that dude in the movie Barbershop was burdened with the same dilemma. In the movie, the then-jobless barber patron hit his barber with quick fade and flash—which is a term I just invented that’s equivalent to the well-known phase, “dine and dash”. So, I decided to receive a haircut from my on and off, go-to barber—with no intentions to immediately pay him. This guy had been cutting my hair intermittently since I was in elementary school, and I was 27 at the time of the fade and flash. I went and got the haircut, a box fade, and to be honest, the cut was trash! This barber usually got me right, but he was a little off his game that day. The mediocre quality of the haircut definitely made it easier for me to tell my barber that I’d be back with the $20, knowing full well I didn’t have it. I ended up shaving my head bald after I completely botched the job interview due to a total lack of enthusiasm. Fast forward to two days ago, I looked in the mirror and realized I needed a cut, bad. But a bad haircut will wreck a man’s confidence more than scruffiness will, so I didn’t want to use an unknown barber. My favorite barber is my stepdad’s sister’s baby daddy, but he moved out-of-state last year. So, I had been rocking a baldy for months, up until I decided to start growing my hair back in March. That means, until two days ago, I hadn’t had a haircut since March. What did I decide to do? Go back to my old, faithful, childhood barber. Yep, I’m sure y’all see where this story is going. Y’all, I stepped into the barbershop, went to take a seat, and before I could even put my ass to the chair, all I heard was, “Yo, what’s up?! You owe me $20, let me get that from you!”. This nigga was fire hot! Remember, the fade and flash took place a whole nine years ago. Yes, my barber only charges me $20 for cuts. And yes, 2014 was my first time not paying him. Honestly, the way my barber approached me initially pissed me off, slightly. But as I looked up to make eye contact with my mom’s old fling, I saw that he was more hurt than angry. He followed with, “I knew your sister, I know your mom, I’ve known you since you were a little kid, and you didn’t have to do me like that!”. As I attempted to explain the situation, he said, “You didn’t even call me!”. We discoursed for a few more seconds, I gave him a $50 bill for the past and present haircuts, we slapped hands, and he forgave me. He had an appointment, so he optioned me with either waiting until he finished his appointment or receiving a cut from his colleague. I opted for getting the cut from the other barber, only to save time. Also, that motherfucker was still mildly upset, and I didn’t want another crappy haircut. I ended up getting a mid-fade, which just so happened to be “mid”.
I know that’s a long-ass paragraph, but I’m Beau Amoureux, so you know there’s a purposeful moral to this story. I was watching the Joe Budden Podcast, and one of the hosts of the show has been talking about how he’s turning 36 this month. That means I’m a few months older than this guy. As a person, I don’t dwell on shit, I seldom raise my voice, I drink plenty of water, I keep my life as drama-free as possible, and at 36 years old, I haven’t noticed but one grey hair on my entire body! And I’ve surveyed all my hair for about an hour, just to make sure. The 36-year-old JBP host, who is also an obnoxious, boisterous skit actor, has a beard moderately sprinkled with grey hairs. My barber, who must be in his early 50s, has both a head and beard almost completely covered by grey hairs. Both the JBP host and my barber are New Yorkers! What are the first three things that come to mind when you think of New York? For me, it’s hip hop, miserable-ass people, and aspiring models. According to the National Institutes of Health, researchers have confirmed that stress plays a major role in expediting a person’s aging process. Shit, but that’s something we all know from experience. Frequently angry and regularly stressed people almost always suffer from preventable health issues. Cortisol, the stress hormone, alone is known to cause extensive wear and tear on people’s bodies. I’m not saying any of this to slight the aforementioned gentlemen. But it should be noted that happy and unhappy people have distinctively disparate habits and tendencies. Admittedly, I was wrong for hitting my barber with the fade and flash, regardless of my financial situation. But he was wrong for confronting me as if I were a stranger, just to remind me how familiar he is with me. There are two things that I know my barber knows about me, without a doubt. One, I’m the coolest motherfucker most people know or know of. Two, I’m always carrying a pistol. For the record, I was virtually unbothered by my barber’s confrontation. But what if I was having a bad day? Did that ever even cross his mind? We’re talking about a nine-year-old $20 debt. This man knew that I’d never disrespect him, so what made him think challenging me in front of a barbershop full of old men and little boys was necessary? No, I wasn’t embarrassed. But if niggas with heads and faces full of grey hairs aren’t astute enough to discern how to avoid turning a conversation into a conflict, why the fuck should we expect young people to know how to avoid getting early grey hairs? Each one, teach one, right? Have you ever learned any negative or inimical behaviors from your elders? How often have you practiced those negative or inimical behaviors? Who taught my barber that “real men” argue about petty shit?! And at 50-sum years old, why does my barber still think “real men” argue about petty shit? Granted, we didn’t argue, and he never mentioned anything about being a real man, but I’m assuming that’s what encouraged his approach to the situation.
Niggas, stop playing yourselves! Either your fucked-up attitude is going to get you killed or it’s going to kill you early! Stress might as well be a bullet. And a bullet is a fucking bullet. A wise man once randomly told me, “Never back a man into a corner!”. He didn’t expound, and I didn’t think about that statement again until years later, when that Christopher Dorner stuff was happening. From my perspective, if you give someone a reason to want to kill you, they may do it. If you make someone feel like they must kill you, they’ll definitely do it! People talk about murder like it’s not “normal”, but the shit happens every day, multiple times a day. If you’re obtuse, you may be wondering, “Why is this nigga talking about murder if he claims he was unbothered by his barber confronting him?”. Because this isn’t about me, it’s about people. My personal story is meant to serve as an example of how plainly unnecessary people can be. And remember that this blog is in my namesake, I’m the only me, I’m writing and posting this shit at my own will, and I’m not running from ridicule. Continuing, I’m not a miserable or angry person. But we’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing!”, correct? If you’re smart or stupid enough, you can justify anything. You could say that I started the situation by not paying for the 2014 haircut, right? But I could say that if barbers don’t want to worry about not getting paid, they should collect their fee upfront. You could say that only a bum-ass nigga doesn’t have $20 for a haircut. Then, I could say that only a bitch-ass nigga watches other people’s pockets. You could say that my barber had the right to be mad about the $20 debt. Yet, I could say that only a broke-ass nigga harps over a $20 debt. You could say that I deserved to get my ass whooped in that barbershop over $20. And I could say that I would have killed everybody in that motherfucker had anybody even thought about putting hands on me. Do you see my point, now? Everything ain’t about just how the fuck you feel! Start taking the time to think about how people are going to feel about how you feel, and how you feel about that. Right or wrong, everybody has feelings. No, my feelings aren’t hurt. Again, this isn’t about me. It’s about you thinking you know how people feel! And if it’s confusing, so are you.