How to Be Loyal

Comments 111
Like this. Only with boy thumbs.
Like this. Only with boy thumbs.

I cheated on her.

I did.

She’s engaged to be married to someone else. But still. We have a thing, she and I. It’s been going on for years.

And I cheated on her.

This is the third time.

I feel dirty. I do. Ugly on the inside.

Her name popped up on my phone this morning. A text message.

“Haven’t seen ya… hope all is well!” she wrote.


It just washed over me.

We had a quick back-and-forth. And agreed to meet up next Tuesday.

I’ll give her a sheepish grin. She’ll forgive me. She always does.

Then she’ll run her fingers through my hair and ask me about my life before we get down to business.

And afterward, I’ll pay her for her time.

Ugh. I’m a bad person.

Loyalty Matters

“This is a moral test of oneself. Whether or not one can maintain loyalty. Because being loyal is very important.” – Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction

Being loyal is important. Vincent was right.

We’re faced with these decisions, big and small. All the time.

We often order from the same pizza places. Or hit up the same restaurants for lunch or breakfast. Maybe we’re regulars at our favorite local pubs.

We often exhibit loyalty to other kinds of businesses. Doctors. Landscapers. Contractors.

And to the people in our lives.

We’re loyal to our families. To our friends. To our children. To our teammates. To our siblings. To our employers. To our romantic partners.

Responsibility Matters

Sometimes, we fail other people because of our own irresponsibility.

I do this all the time. All. The. Time.

For example, people I love sometimes don’t get birthday or Christmas presents from me. Because I waited too long to get them something, or because I completely forgot.

Maybe I told someone at work I’d get something over to them by the end of the day, and then don’t. And then I make their job harder. Because of simple irresponsibility.

Maybe my son had to eat a crappy lunch at school because I waited too long to update his lunch money account online.

Maybe my snowblower sat dormant the entire snowy-as-all-hell winter because I didn’t work hard enough to get it repaired.

But sometimes we display disloyalty of sorts for purely selfish reasons.

We don’t return someone’s phone call or email because we’re so self-absorbed.

We choose a new restaurant over the old one we’ve been supporting for years, even though the old one did nothing to warrant losing our business.

We switch brands in our various shopping adventures for any number of reasons.

I cheated on this girl because I’m irresponsible.

She didn’t deserve that.

The Last Time I Saw Her

“Do you want to schedule an appointment for next time?” she said.

She knows I can’t wait too long. I’m needy. I am.

“No, I’ll just fire you a text and see when you’re available in a few days,” I said before walking out.

But she gets busy. She’s in demand.

And yeah, she likes me, but I can never be No. 1 in her life. She has other clients, too.

She’s not going to bump well-paying clients just because I want to see her.

So I went to see someone else.

And yes. I feel bad about it. I mean, it was good. This new girl got the job done. But the experience ultimately left me dissatisfied.

It just wasn’t the same.

So Tuesday I’ll go back. Back to where I’m supposed to be.

And she’ll take care of me.

Those familiar hands.

And I’ll feel balanced again.

We’ll talk for a bit afterward.

I’ll pay her for her time. She’s thoughtful and attentive.

Only this time, I’ll schedule our next rendezvous before leaving.

To be loyal.

To be responsible.

Because she deserves it.

And, honestly?

My hair just looks shitty when I let other people cut it.

111 thoughts on “How to Be Loyal”

  1. HAHAHAHA!!! I figured it out early, because… well, you just aren’t like that, Matt. But that was hilarious!!!

    1. I’m highly unlikely to trick anyone.

      But I was struggling with a post topic today, so I decided to goof off a little. Thank you for not hating it.

      1. Just poking fun. I like reading your stuff, its light-hearted and up-lifting and fun spirited. I didn’t figure you were really talking about anything bad, you seem to have respect for yourself and those around you, the worst it could have been was going to a ball game instead of spending time with your niece or something. Which you would have fixed by the end of your story anyway 😉

          1. *in teacher voice*

            I’m sure you do, but you have too much respect for yourself and women to cheat.

            Besides, last I saw, there wasn’t a woman of any real significance in your life to have cheated on. Just sayin’ 😉 awe now I feel bad, didn’t mean to rub it in lol.

  2. I figured it out at “guilt washing over me” I just LOVE wordplay and look for it everywhere. Also I had recently watched that Seinfeld episode. Like watching him and adore reading you. Plan on staying faithful to your blog no matter what. Even when WordPress tries to jealously intervene and remove you from my reader. 😉

    1. Thank you, Stephanie!

      If you decide to make any interesting life changes per our earlier conversation, I hope you’ll write about it and share with the rest of us. 🙂

  3. That was an awesome hook. I knew it was a hook but I didn’t fully get it until halfway through. Bravo. I don’t buy Mary Kay make-up because I’m too cheap but I can’t live without their eye make-up remover. There are two women at my church who sell it so I have to rotate between the two and even though I’m “fair” I always feel a little guilty . . . dumb

    1. Ha. That’s funny! But yes! That feeling right there. These little relationships we enter with people.

      They’re interesting. It’s incredible how motivated I can be to behave a certain way with someone I’m not really that close to.

  4. Great read! Figured out it was the hair cut because I always feel guilty if I take my sons somewhere else! I’ve been to the same hairdresser since I was 18 and only changed to her because I moved and couldn’t get to the old one anymore! My sister still travels an hour to go to the same hairdresser! 🙂

    1. Yeah. I refer to it as “hair-cheating.” And it makes me feel bad.

      All because I was too lazy and/or irresponsible to just schedule an appointment.

      An hour is super-loyal. I would probably have to shut that one down. But I am a guy, and sort of care less about these things.


      But still. I admire the loyalty on her part very much.

      1. Well, it helps that her mum, sister and nephews live where her hairdresser does so she just incorporates it all into a visit… she’s going to be moving three hours away at the end of summer so I guess she’ll have to seek out a new one then, though I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t!

        1. If you find out she’s still going to the same person from three hours away, you absolutely must get a hold of me and let me know. Pretty please.

          THAT would be fairly amazing.

  5. My hair has always been difficult to cut. Well, at least it has been hard to cut it so it looks good. When I find someone who can do a good job, going back is as much a necessity as it is an expression of loyalty. I have had probably four hair stylists going back to childhood who could really do a good cut for me. My current, Marion, I have been going to for about 10 years. We know each other’s spouses and life stories. We have been there for ups and downs. It is one of the longest relationships I’ve had outside my marriages. Marion and I were joking the other day, when I first started going to her my beard was dark brown and her hair was blond. They are both now decidedly gray.

  6. Hahahahahahhahhahaa nice one!!! This is brilliant…. I usually scheme through things (knowing that I will find out what it is in the end)… But I was patience with ur piece… Beautiful writing… Truly beautiful… You also have captured the relationship with a man has with their hairdresser… Looollll I’ve heard a lot of guys who would go on and on vocally the same way.

  7. Oh man, I feel you! I ALWAYS have my hair cut by Raquel, but last time I popped in she wasn’t there. Her sister Mimi, who owns the joint, offered to take care of me. Midway through my cut, guess who walks in from her lunch break? (I’ll give you 3 guesses, but you’ll only need 1…) I felt like such a shit. Profuse apologies will DEFINITELY be in order next time I schedule an appointment with Raquel!

  8. You had me going there for a moment Matt. Very nice read, very nice indeed. Perhaps I should ask who does it because I haven’t found one that I like going to here where I am.

  9. My niece is a beautician and every time I see her I can feel her eyes upon my head making sure I have not gone somewhere else. ONE time I dyed my own hair with a bottle from the store and I don’t think I will ever hear the end of it. I will NOT be making that mistake again. 😉

    1. That’s funny!

      Yes. That feeling. That feeling right there.

      Thank you for sharing and for getting it!

  10. Love this! I thought only women obsessed over their hair stylists in this way. Of course my perception is somewhat warped, because my ex wears his hair buzzed to the 1/8th inch mark with a $14.00 electric clipper from Walmart. He so totally didn’t get “hair” to the extent that my expenditures on hair care were actually a point of contention in the negotiation of our separation agreement, even though frankly I’m not all that extravagant. But when I get someone trainer up in what my temperamental hair requires, you bet I am going to stick with that person!

    1. C’mon now. I know I’m no lumberjack. But I am NOT obsessing over my hair stylist!

      But yes to the rest of that. She’s a fine human being and deserves my loyal patronage! 🙂

  11. I switched hair cutters a year ago and I felt the same disloyalty – he had cut my hair since 1997 – we’d been through the birth of my two kids, the death of his dad, the death of my dad and the untimely death of his oldest son, and so much more… I got it cut every four weeks on a Saturday morning at 6:30 – like clockwork – it was a good excuse to get up and get moving before the hectic life of a suburban family kicked into gear. Sometimes I’d buy him coffee on the way… But I skipped a cut and decided to grow it long and – I just didn’t feel like he could cut it – so I tried a new place, and another, and finally I landed in a place that can cut my hair… But I miss those stories and hearing about his Vegas trips and the feel of a real barber shop where men can gather and be men. So I completely understand – it hurts, but it hurts worse when your haircut ain’t right. Have a great day – good read.

  12. That’s what I call a win-win-win situation! – Good for you and your look, good for her and a special fun read for us!

    Have a great afternoon!
    Much love,

  13. I’m so disloyal I’ve seen at least three women in the same place. When I walk in I hope I don’t make eye contact with one of them because they will know I don’t have an appointment with them, I’m seeing someone else. Will they care and does it matter? It’s awkward and I feel bad about it but I’m just so damn adventurous. I like variety and am always looking for the right one. That one that does it just right and leaves me thinking, “oh God that was the best ever!”

  14. LMAO! I love this post. Good try on trying to fool us, but like someone else said “you’re just not like that” so I knew there had to be something else. Figured it out halfway thru your post. Loved it.

  15. everyone here figured it out halfway or earlier but i only realized right at the end because i was confused the whole way. i guess i’m muddled because i just woke up. (: you say something valuable even when you make a joke. it’s fantastic!

    1. Thank you for thinking that. 🙂

      I hope you have a beautiful day today. Thank you so much for taking time to read this stuff.

    1. I’m quite happy most people find it hard to believe I wouldn’t engage in such behavior. Thank you. 🙂

    1. I’m really surprised some people thought that was real. Now I’m just hoping no one got disgusted with me and quit halfway through. 🙂

      1. Lol, don’t worry about it. Some of us are just gullible. You’re gifted with words, Matt, do just take it all as a compliment! 🙂

  16. Love that! And I go through the same thing my gal…used a Groupon once to ‘save money’ and Will.Never.Do.That.Again. The saying – you get what you pay for? All true.

  17. A nice read. I have been following you for quite sometime and wasn’t able to get this in a wrong way. But, you have been so careful in your narration leaving very little clues. Was just wondering what you were exactly trying to say.

    I have never cut my hair in years, nor am I going to do again. When I was a little girl granny used to take me to an old man to do my hair. He is too old and was not in anyway with the trendy hairstyle or in anyway would make me look like a girl. I would always ended up looking weird. But, granny always wanted to be loyal and be of help to his falling business.

    His eyes will brighten when we are in the visible distance. I am of a good business to him as my hair will grow so fast and I always needed him. He always wished me good, not just for business. He liked me and I also liked him thought not the cut he would give me.

    Now it leaves a good feel, for what he did to my hair only knits me so close to people. Yes, people who teased me the most in childhood are the ones who stand by me like rocks when I need somebody to lean on.

    1. Thank you for sharing that story with us. I like that your grandmother wanted to support his business. I think most of us are that way. Wanting to conduct business with people we like and trust.

      I hope you have a wonderful day. Thank you for saying hello. 🙂

  18. Pingback: Going paperless, huh? | Brittany Lavigne

  19. 😀 Great! At first, I took a big gulp–but was really relieved at the end. Paying her for her time. That was good..and her hands 😀 .

  20. I am a hair cut slut. Loyal to no one expect my wallet. Meh. Guess that’s why I am never happy with my locks. Perhaps. Loyalty is order. Once I find someone worthy 😉

      1. I’ve been known – on occasion – to take matters into my own hands too. Desperate times 😉

  21. Made me laugh out loud inside my cubicle. Yes, I am a brand-loyal person too. Good to know that there are others who feel the same way I do. hahaha 🙂

    1. The hair person is a key figure in your life!

      I’m glad you laughed, sir. Appreciate you stopping in. Hope you have a great weekend!

  22. Pure genius. I was reading this and asking myself, ‘Do I really want to follow the blog of someone who hires prostitutes AND writes about it publicly’ and then I got to the last line and laughed really, really hard. Usually you see the punchline coming from a mile away. You had me hook, line, and sinker. Masterful!

    1. It’s funny. Because when I was writing it, it seemed like such an obvious joke.

      But it’s dawned on me that some people really thought I was doing that. *facepalm*

      And, as I’m often worried about what people think of me, that made me pretty nervous.

      Hopefully not very many people quit reading before the final line. 🙂

      Thank you for reading and the wonderful compliment.

      1. My pleasure. I look forward to reading more.

        Also, while I was engrossed reading this post my two youngest took the opportunity to take an entire bowl of blueberries and squish and smear them all over the couch. The couch I was sitting on . . . reading this post. Thank you.


        1. Blueberries squished and smeared all over the couch!?

          That should come right out!

          Good luck with that! I actually mean that.

          1. lol. No worries. Our couch already looks like a Jackson Pollock painting. You can’t even tell where it happened!


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Matt Fray

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