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Tangled Up in Tales of Teenage Hair
I need a haircut. Again.
This is ridiculous. I just got one, what, a month ago? And now I have to get another? Sheesh.
Maybe you can tell I don’t particularly enjoy haircuts.
As some of you know, I used to wear my hair long. Very long. Rock-and-roll long. Between-the-shoulder-blades long. Lost-on-a-desert-island long (although it was still shiny and manageable, with lots of bounce).
I used to gather it up and tie it back at work, which earned the enmity of a straight-haired female colleague, who sneeringly mocked my “perfect Debbie Reynolds ponytail.” Tsk, tsk. Jealousy is so unattractive.
Of course, this was back in the olden days. How olden? So olden that long hair was fashionable and I was involved in the music business as a critic and performer. Also, dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Oh, what a manly mane I cultivated. Unlike today, it actually had color in it, and a hairline that began quite a bit south of the present location. Men admired it. Women adored it. And barbers hated it, which was fine by me. I felt the same about them.
I take that back. I didn’t hate barbers. I just hated haircuts. This was my sole reason for wearing my hair long. I wasn’t making a fashion statement. I just didn’t want to get a haircut.
You see, I was traumatized in childhood (Bear with me. I’m a Baby Boomer. We ALL think we traumatized in childhood) by …
Also known as Lois, Peeler of Scalps.
Mom cut all the hair in our house, including the girls’ and Dad’s, but for some reason they got to have a little say in how their hair looked. My brother P.D. and I, on the hand, did not.
For years we wore the same haircut, a standard model in which the head was more or less shaved except for a little decorative sprig in the front. And it was administered with all Mom’s usual loving tenderness:
“Sit still! Stop wiggling! Keep your head down! I said down! If you lose an ear it won’t be my fault! Didn’t I tell you to sit still? Now look what you made me do!”
(That last remark was in keeping with the McKenzie Law of Parental Infallibility, which states that all mistakes committed by parents are caused by misbehaving children. This can apply to anything from crooked furrows to lopsided bangs to maritime disasters.)
Mom attacked our hair with the gusto of a sheep shearer on piece rate and never, ever did we have anything to say about it. So when I finally got to start calling my own shots, I started with the hair. I grew it long and kept it there, except for when I had to clean up to get a new job. Then I would visit a barber. A not-Mom barber.
So it went until a couple of years ago when I took a job that required my hair to be short. Since then, I have been a slave once again to the tyranny of the shears. Plus, guys my age with long hair look kind of pathetic to me these days. I think it’s a conspiracy.
And now, if you will excuse me, I am off to you-know-where, even though I hate it.
You see, I hate unemployment even more.
© 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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