I love my hair dresser, Nicole.
I've only been to her twice; the first time was a year ago, the second time was today, and I put in a whole year of waiting for her; a year ago I had a single haircut from her that satisfied all my hair neuroticism, then she went away, had a baby, has just finished her maternity leave and is now back to work, and I was in there today, back in her care.
During the year she was away I got haircuts from other people, but none of them felt right, not the way my hair felt after that one time she cut it, a year ago; I knew I had found my one and only. I mean, anyone can cut off hair - not that big a deal. But it takes an artist to be able to feel through it and decide on the basis of how it feels, how to thin out the hair where it grows in too thick and feels too bulky, and where to leave it alone because it's the right thickness, and how to leave it thicker over flat spots on the skull (like where one was left lying too long as an infant) so the head looks symmetric and round even if it isn't, and so that when I run my own hands through my hair I'm not painfully aware of how my now aging hair is a lot thinner in some places and by comparison way too thick in others.
The difference between all the other hair dressers in town and Nicole is like the difference between some random kid practicing a cartwheel on the lawn, and someone from Cirque Du Solieil performing in LUZIA.
Nicole is definitely a keeper. She might have another baby some day and I'll have to make do with other hair cutters, but really, she is the only one I will ever feel bonded to.