Challenges Re: Haircuts

I've always had a difficult time explaining how I want my hair cut and with the haircut experience in general. Here are some of the things I struggle with.
  1. How short?
    Like, obviously I'm here to get it cut, but just how much is always so up in the air! I want my hair to be noticeably shorter but not outrageous? Or what if I DO want it to be outrageous?! Can I LIVE?
  2. The # blade
    Recently I've been going with a 2 on the sides. But what does that even mean? I know it has something to do with inches left? Or inches to cut off? Ugh.
  3. Talking
    Small talk is the WORST. At the end of a work day, the last thing I want to do is to tell a stranger about my life. Even if it's the same barber I've had many times, I still feel this way. Maybe it's just me.
  4. Tipping
    Am I always obligated to tip the same % no matter how excellent or shitty the cut is? I've been going to the same barber in NYC for over a year now so I don't want to burn any bridges here, but a good cut doesn't run cheap so I'm not gonna shell out extra billz if I don't have to!
  5. The only thing you can do to remedy a bad haircut is to cut it shorter.
    Unless I want to get extensions, or a wig, and I'm not about either of those at this time in my life.
  6. For guys especially, I feel like we all get the same haircut.
    Short on the sides, longer on top. Today's trend. Is there any other way to explain it? I'm definitely not a #trendsetter
  7. Positive: at least my mom doesn't cut my hair anymore
    Confession: she definitely did through college for me.