Edit: Sorry this is really long.
There’s only one occasion that I can distinctly remember as a kid when I attempted an act that I am guessing most have at some point in their life. I didn’t see it as that much of a big deal, but I do remember that my mother and I weren’t exactly on the same page in our thinking. It wasn’t any sort of revolution or rebelling, probably just a short lapse in judgment or an attempt to bolster my do-it-yourself skills. The side-affects of the ill-advised attempt were irreversible, yet not permanent.
Since the memory is the first to go, I don’t recall all the details but I do remember it involving: scissors, a waterbed, an accomplice, and a few minutes apart from adult supervision. I was probably in the 4-5 age range and so you can see how some of the above go together like lamb and tuna fish. My mother would probably classify it as an idiot idea, but I would like to think I was more progressive in my thinking at the time thus things like ‘saving money,’ or ‘preparing for potential careers paths’ come to mind.
Either way you look at it, I took a risk and though I am sure I felt it turned out great; I left my mother with the need to explain for the next month or two why her young, strikingly handsome son was missing a triangle-shaped section of hair right in the middle of his forehead.
Flash forward a few years. Though my early attempts at cosmetology didn’t actually spur me in a career oriented in that field, I wouldn’t say my talents have left me completely. In high school, I was called upon more than once for my superb skills in ‘follicle science.’ Granted, most of them involved removal of hair with nothing more than sheep shears and the recipient wound up looking like the guy you will always cross to the other side of the street because of, but none the less I had a talent. Throw in a few of my specialty ‘bleach-filled-toilet swirlies*** for that summer sun look’ and I think you can all agree that when in hair doubt, call on c.
These days, my skills don’t get utilized as much. At 29, the buddies don’t call all that often for their hair needs. Upon my offering, I’ve heard the excuses: ‘no time,’ ‘wouldn’t want to burden you,’ ‘over my dead body,’ but what I think I’ve narrowed it down to mainly (and they wouldn’t admit it) is that at my age, we men have to take care of the little hair we have left. At 5 and 17, we had no doubt it would grow back. These days, I’m not so sure.
Come full circle, the only person that allows me to practice my craft anymore is well, me. Nothing major anymore, just a trim here and a snip there for those one’s that grow just a little faster on my temples and sideburns, or the one’s that come in a little lighter and more noticeable than the rest of my hair.
Edit: I couldn’t do it. I had a fantastic paragraph here but after 29 years, I am slowly learning that discretion is the better part of valor. I still have it but will probably store it for a while.
Yesterday, my wife was the recipient of a new ‘do.’ She struggles a lot when it’s haircut time deciding on the perfect style. We’ve done the magazine thing (did you know there’s multiple, multiple magazines related to hair styles?), the internet thing, and even the ‘hey her hair looks cute, get out your camera phone thing.’ Slowly we are working it down to a science. Yesterday, Shell station magazine.
After reading the magazine (more than thrice), deciding on the perfect cut, making the trip to the salon, and forgetting the magazine with the perfect cut, we were in business. The style decided upon by my wife was a contemporary style most likely recognizable as the current ‘Posh Spice’ trend, though maybe not quite as short in back. Her stylist referred to it as a wedge. After her time spent in the chair, and my time watching the Rangers load the bases with no outs and then walk/error in a 4-spot for the Oakland A’s in the 2nd, we were finished. Paid the $25 for each, melted to the car, came home dreading the last night of VBS.
About the time my car door closed, I knew she wasn’t fully satisfied. Her hair didn’t wedge as much as she had hoped. In my expert opinion, it bobbed more than it wedged. So, I did the best thing a husband can do, I offered solutions.
Solution #1: We can run back in a get her to shorten it up a little more in the back.
Solution #2: I can run you somewhere else, so as to not hurt said stylist feelings.
Solution #3: I’ll dust off the old snipping sheers when we get home and fix it right up.
The car ride didn’t prove successful in a decision but I didn’t let up. Upon arrival at home, I entered the shower to remove all those annoying little hairs that get down on your neck and spent a small amount of time cleaning up any missed spots on my own new cut.
And I offered my hair services again.
To my surprise (and dismay) my lovely wife recognized in me something that very few have recognized before. My hair shaping abilities.
So, with scissors in my right and a knock-off Goody comb in my left, I went to town. Somehow, someway, and for some reason unbeknownst reason my wife trusted me with a pair of scissors and her hair. I measured, I combed, I measured, I cut, I combed, I measured, I cut, I combed, I cut, I measured, I cut, I cut, I cut, I measured, I combed, I combed. I think you get the picture. First the right side, then the left. Then the right. Then back to the left for good measure. Then a break for her cause it got too hot in our guest bathroom/glorious Hollywood salon.
I brought the back up, I angled the sides, I trimmed the front. I worked magic. Not that I’ve ever seen the show, but those Queer Eye guys have nothing on me.
And then? Fini. It wasn’t perfect, one side is a tad bit shorter than then other but she mentioned that before my first snip. The back is a little higher but not too much. The sides angle a little more but not too much. For a home haircut from your husband, I think it turned out pretty decent. She even got a compliment on it at VBS.
It’s not perfect, and still not exactly what she wanted but somewhere in between. She says she’s good with it but I am going to try and talk her into going this afternoon after work to see if someone can help her get a little closer to what she wants. She says she’s not sure cause the front is as short as she wants it to go, but I think someone could work with it and make it the perfect cut. We’ll see.
Surely it wouldn’t be clich?© to say what we learn as children prepare us for the future, eh?! Of course it would be. But what a glorious day I remember on that waterbed watching as I carefully angled those scissors in the mirror. I like to think of it as the best self-inflicted home haircut ever. Hands down.
So, if you’ve got the time, I’ve got 25 years of cutting experience. And I’m open for business.
*** Swirlie: The act of holding the victim upside down with his or her head in the toilet bowl, and flushing. More commonly known as bogwashing in the U.K, or dunnyflushing in Australia. (from Wikipedia)