The Haircut

I have so many issues.

You already knew that.

Here are some more examples: I insist upon people living in my house having their nails neatly trimmed. I get that from my mother, who, every Saturday evening, clipped our fingernails and toenails. I guess that was so God would be more pleased with us on Sunday morning. Clipped nails, like love, cover a multitude of sins, I guess. Anywho, I don’t like the white. That’s not a racial slur, as I am white. I don’t like the white part on people’s fingernails and toenails.  My family knows this about me, and they love me anyway. They still have to cut their nails before I can come over, though.

Nowadays, ladies find great fashion in growing out their toenails and filing them to look like fingernails. On their toes. Uh, no. You need to cut those. Otherwise, they’re likely to put a run in your stockings.

Every Saturday night at our house, guess what happens?  Everybody gets their fingernails and toenails cut. Otherwise, on Sunday morning, they’ll look poorly bred.

Let’s not even discuss my issues related to chipping nail polish! I’m seeking help for these issues, but hold little hope for improvement.

Yet another of my myriad of issues involves men’s hair. It should be cut. Short. Regularly. And, by all means, for the love of all that’s holy, their necks should be clean-shaven.  One time, awhile back, we went to this church in Memphis. Like creatures of habit (and good Baptists), we sat in the same pew each week. A fellow who was also a creature of habit always sat in front of us. Guess what was on his neck?  Hair. Thick, brown hair. He looked like a chimp. To this day, I cannot tell you any sermon topic of that preacher because I spent my entire duration at that church wanting to bring a Bic and shave the fellow’s neck.

Neck hair stunts my spiritual development.

When we lived in San Diego and had a multitude of sailors at our house all the time (Big Daddy’s a chaplain), they knew not to come over to eat my cookin’ unless they’d had a haircut.  Ask Jeremiah.

When we lived in San Diego, Big Daddy got his hair cut once a week. The same amount of time he went to church. See the connection? The importance? The significance of it all? 

Now, because of his work hours, he’s challenged to get to the barbershop. Ever. Uh, no. That does not work for me.  Therefore, I decided I would buy clippers and learn how to cut his hair myself. We’d just add that to our Saturday ritual, you know?

I went down to the WalMart (duh!) and bought the necessary equipment. Then I contacted a friend, a former hair-doer, who sent me some YouTube how-to-cut-good-hair videos. “How hard could it be?” I asked myself.

Like a good researcher, I watched the videos a number of times, taking copious notes along the way. Last Saturday, feeling fully armed to do good hair, I sent Big Daddy out onto the deck, got him situated on a barstool, gathered up all my tools, and my notes and commenced to cuttin’.  I was the most methodical barber you’ve ever seen, and I was so proud of the way the cut turned out. I used the “big” clippers for the cut and the “little” clippers to edge around his neck and ears.

Like you’d edge your yard after you cut it. 

Big Daddy looked at it and said that he’d paid “professionals” money who haven’t done as good a job.

I beamed.

Big Daddy was proud of me.

Feeling cocky confident, I decided to go ahead and trim his, uh, other facial-area hair, using the various attachments to the “little” clippers. Big Daddy’s becoming a rather hairy beast, I’m afraid.  He has it coming out of his face since he’s decided to grow a beard (which I love!), but he also has it protruding from his nose and ears. What do men need that for? Warmth? Antennae? Anyway, it looks like poor breeding, and it had to go.

I began with the beard and mustache. No problem.

Ears? Check.

Nose? Check.

Then I narrowed my piercing gaze on those eyebrows.  Various lengths and directions? Uh, no.

Eyebrows are yet another of my issues. Women’s should be neatly plucked or waxed; men’s should be neatly trimmed. If a person who is speaking to me has unkempt eyebrows, the message is completely lost on me.

I say, “Your eyebrows need to be trimmed.”

He had to know it was coming.

Big Daddy takes the “little” clippers out of my hand, holds them with his right hand, and says, “You just go like this,” as he zips the clipper over his right eyebrow. It looks great. Like freshly mowed grass. All hairs are neatly trimmed to the same length, an appropriate eyebrow length, by my standards. And my standards are what matter, right?

I say, “Oh, that’s easy enough.” I think, Heck, I just cut every hair above your shoulders, how hard can this be?

I take the clippers from Big Daddy and zip over his left eyebrow, just the same as he did with the right one. I pull the clippers back and look to see how great a job I’ve done. I’m AinW, the Invincible Hair-Doer! Call me Truvy (movie, anyone?)!

I am horrified to see that I have (almost) shaved the eyebrow off. There’s a little hair there. But not much. It’s like a #1 buzz for the left eyebrow. You know how, when people shave their heads, there’s that white-scalp issue, where it doesn’t match the tanned, remaining skin? Big Daddy had that where his left eyebrow used to be.

I freeze.

Big Daddy looks at me anxiously.

He says optimistically, “How does it look?”

I say, “Um. Well. It’s shorter than the other one.”

He says, “How much shorter?” He’s still smiling at this point.

I say, “Very short.”

He reaches up and feels it. Then he looks at me. Not smiling. I repeat, we have no smiling.

I put my head in his lap and tell him to go ahead and yell at me. I deserve it.

Then, he does the funniest thing: he starts laughing. Loud, deep laughter erupts from him, and tears spill down his eyes.

I am so confused.  I think it’s all okay, so I offer to even the eyebrows out.

“Do you want me to shave the other one off?” I ask.

“NO!” Big Daddy says, as he takes the clippers away from me. I’m now grounded from the “little” clippers. For life.

“From now on,” he says, “you can cut my hair, my ear hair, my nose hair, my beard, and my mustache, but I’m in charge of my eyebrows.”

Then he goes into the bathroom and shaves off the other one.

Apparently, the level of pressure he used when initially shaving the right one is not as great as the level of pressure I used when shaving the left.

Big Daddy counts the days until the Clampetts come to visit and says they’ll be grown back out by then, so it’s okay.

I tell him to yell at me, insisting that it’ll make him (and me) feel better.

He can’t yell because he’s laughing too hard.

As it turns out, Big Daddy loves me as Christ loves the church and gave his eyebrows up for it.

Assuring you that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair,


4 thoughts on “The Haircut

  1. What a riot. I’ve been offering to do the same thing to Roger but he’s not as brave as your man.

    I love reading your blog. You should write a book. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to just sit down and talk with you at the Chrestman reunion – and that Lee didn’t get a chance to meet both of you in San Diego – tho that was short lived.

    Keep up the good work.


  2. hahah awww
    Your post has inspired me to take my appearance into my own hands (I’ve been going on strike since my hairdresser is gone).
    Off to the bathroom for a little home hair surgery.
    Wish me luck!


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