In September our family visited Disneyland. I spent a lot of time waiting in lines only to be shuffled away on some ride I knew nothing about. Half the time I didn’t know whether I was supposed to be frightened or amused. Someone else was in control and I was merely along for the ride.
I don’t know when I stopped having input in how my hair was cut, but it’s been a while. When I was a young boy, my dad would take me to the barber. I hated going to the barber because his goal was to make my head feel naked. He’d pull out the clippers and buzz around my head as if I were joining the Marines that day. During the winter it was cut short. During the summer it was cut shorter. All I wanted was for the back to grow out just enough that it would curl.
Then I’d be cool.
Like Andy Gibb.
The old metal clippers were loud and vibrated so violently that I felt I was seconds away from having my ears cut off. The only part I enjoyed was the end when he’d suck all the hair off my head with a powerful vacuum. Sometimes he’d stick the nozzle down my back to remove the hair that made its way down my shirt. It tickled like crazy!
But getting a bad haircut as a kid is a rite of passage.
One might assume that when I got to the age where I was paying for my own haircuts my influence would increase.
Take my haircut last week for example. I sat in a cushy black chair while the stylist placed a plastic tarmac over my head before she wrapped a layer of fine sandpaper around my neck. Then, as she grabbed the scissors from the beaker of lime Kool-Aid, she casually asked, “How would you like your hair cut?”
But she’s only half listening. In fact, she’s already started trimming a little off the top before I can say anything. “Maybe an inch off the top with a number 4 clipper around the sides and back”, I reply.
She nods. I act like she’s listening. But I know she’s taking my words about as seriously as when I’d ask my mom if I could take our Plymouth Duster out for a spin when I was 14 years old.
Maybe I’m not all that particular when it comes to getting my hair cut. I’m usually satisfied with how my hair looks, and I base my tip on how relaxed I feel during the shampoo. A few months ago the stylist shampooed my hair twice, worked in a conditioner that didn’t leave me smelling like I bought cologne at the 7-11 and gave me a scalp massage. She earned a nice tip for her efforts.
Next time I go in, I’m going to tell the stylist, “Just make me look handsome”.