We all know I love Oprah.  It’s no secret.  I may mourn the end of her show more than I’ve mourned other things that are actually a part of my real life. Recently, she had an episode about military families, pointing out that if you don’t know someone in the military, it’s easy to forget we’re at war.

I do know someone in the military who happens to be one of my closest friends, but his experience has been a bit different than what I’d imagined.  He sent me this letter from his station in the Middle East and I think it’s not only surprising how cushy it is for him, but also funny:

So… I just had a hilarious encounter. I went to get my hair cut as I was beginning to look a little shabby. I took off this morning for the on-post barber shop thinking it would be like all military barber shops, careless and haphazard. Who would have guessed that there were so many degrees to being wrong?!  Anyway, I walk in the door, waking up all three barbers, if you can call them that.  My wonderful attendant, if you will, sits me down and does some showy throwing of the smock across my body.  He immediately begins on chopping away my long gray symbols of nobility.   No joke, thirty minutes later, he’s clipping those little scissors away, but in the air right above my hair, probing for any rebellious little strays that refused to succumb to his relentless sheering.   I tried small talk with him, but as he’s originally from Nepal and has been in here now for the past ten years, conversation was strained with our language barrier.  I believe he used three, yes three different combs in this process, and two brushes.  The best is yet to come. He then proceeds to clip away at my, apparently bushy, eyebrows! If I didn’t have a complex, I sure do now!   It took everything in me to keep from busting out in raucous laughter.   Just picture my eyes scanning the room to see if this was a joke. I was speechless with amusement. Immediately after my hair and tightly manicured eyebrows were up to his lofty standards, he began in on one of the most amazing massages I’ve ever had.  He’s rubbing my scalp, temples, forehead, jaw, and neck. Then he starts beating me on the head, at which I was really struggling to keep from losing it. During this random slapping of the head and forehead, I obviously closed my eyes for fear of losing my sight. Out of nowhere, I hear this popping sound as I feel another blow to my dome. Despite my concern for my vision, I decided to brave the risks to see what unnecessary pain my barber was putting himself through to give me such a finale. He had both hands clasped together, fingers separated with his pinkies interdigitated, and was clapping my head almost like a hick would a can of dip! It was marvelous. He then moved down my neck and proceeded with a full on back massage. For the record, I was still scanning the room to see if I was on candid camera. This shit was too good to be true! The best part of the whole story is when I finally reached the counter to pay. The price for this 45min-hour long spa package… $5.25, no tax. I felt as though I robbed the man.   He had taken such pride in his work, blow drying even my legs as I was getting out of the chair, that I felt terrible at this injustice.  Now I need to research his pay structure. There’s no way he’s paid per haircut. Don’t worry, of course I tipped him.