There have been many interesting hair days in our family. I recall a few hairdos given sibling-to-sibling when mom was out of the room. One resulted in very tiny strands by one ear, balanced with long tresses on the other; another we dubbed “life’s a bleach and then you dye” after two brunettes emerged as blondes.
Once we get a bit older we find that sometimes there’s not much we can do to change what we’ve done to our body over the years, but for most folks, if we want change, there’s always our hair. In that regard, my maxim has been: when the mirror makes you cranky, forget therapy. It’s expensive. Get a haircut instead.
Years ago, my husband’s answer to a burgeoning budget was his brilliant money-saving device called the do-it-yourself barbershop. He purchased clippers at Costco for what he said was a true bargain, and proceeded to line up our lads.
First in line was Sam. Well, he wasn’t exactly first in line, but he was the easiest to catch. With a “trust me Sam you are just going to love this” the hubby-barber commenced work. As the buzzing began, Sam’s siblings sidled out of hiding to see what was in store for them.
Alas, the barber buzzed a little too close and Sam ended up with a bald spot right at the top of his head. “Oops” is not what one wants to hear from either a surgeon or a barber, nor is wild cackling, which is what Sam heard from his dad and brothers. Once he managed to calm himself down, Dad patted his son on the shoulder and said, “Don’t worry Sam. I’ll fix it”. Those words have always spelled danger.
The rest of the little noggin was then shaved to match the top patch. Gazing at his handiwork the family barber offered these soothing words, “Sam, the difference between a good haircut and a bad one is just a couple of weeks.” He paused and amended, “Or, uh, a month at most”.
I give Sam credit. He didn’t cry when the mirror appeared, he just stared in amazement at his new look. His older brother (before he ran and hid) offered these words of consolation, “Sam, if anyone bugs you about your hair, just come and tell me and I’ll beat them up for you.”
So much for the outcome of mom’s gentle nurturing. If a tad weak on the pacifist end, at least the kids had a strong sense of family loyalty. But no worry. Like The Godfather, we had The Barber (armed with clippers) to take care of things.