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Your Brother Wants It Short, Part 2 by Jonathan


It was the mid 1970's. I was 12 years old. My name is Jonathan. I was just finishing up the summer and ready to go in Pine Junior High. I had spent my three month summer at the beach, playing soccer, and at YMCA summer camp.

I had a nice tan and my light brown hair had just started to grow over my ears again. The hair was nearly to the point of needing to be cut again before school started. I was a little taller now and looking kind of cool.

Three months earlier at the start of the summer I had gotten my long hair shorn off. I had hated my big ears and didn't ever want my hair short. The barber convinced me to cut it clipper short. I did, but didn't realize it was going to turn out zero back and sides. I did it and faced the kids and their comments at the end of sixth grade. This was not easy in the 1970's when almost no one under 40 had their hair cut this short. My brother had cut his hair clipper short and I felt pressured to. I did it and survived alright. It was the shortest it had ever been.

After about a month it filled in like a nice short hair cut. After two months it was just getting over the very tips of the ears. Now it was over most of the ears, except the ear lobes showing. Not many people, if any said much about my fairly big ears. The reality was I got used to my ears fully exposed and didn't mind it.

I had to go to jr. high registration in one week. I was excited and nervous about starting jr. high. I was looking forward to having a locker, 7 classes and a little more freedom. I knew several kids from my soccer team that would be going to my new school. Also my same elementary school friends would be there too. Now though there were 5 other local elementary schools that would be feeding into this jr. high school as well. This would mean many new strange faces and people I didn't know.

At registration they take your picture, give you your schedule, and locker too. I would also be issued a student ID card. I had played a few soccer games at the Pine Jr. High's field. I was aware of the basic layout of the school, but it was still pretty foreign to me. A bigger kid's place.

I had one day they had me assigned to go register. It was assigned by the letter your last name started with. My last name started with N, so my day was Wednesday.

My brother Eric was two years younger and would still be in elementary school. This was now a change because we would no longer be going to the same school. We would have different schedules also.

That Tuesday my mom had mentioned going to get back to school haircuts later that afternoon at Ron's Barber Shop. My hair had basically just started to grow back to a nice 1970's over the ears and slightly wavy look. I honestly didn't think I needed a haircut. My stomach got that knotted feeling and I tried to think of a way out of the haircut.

"We always get back to school haircuts," my mom said.

"Oh mom, my hair isn't even that long," I pleaded.

"Let's just you and your brother go and get trims for your school picture," my mom said.

"Eric wants a haircut now and it's easier to take you both at the same time," she said.

"Well ok," I said.

That afternoon sometime around three o'clock we got into my mom's green 1969 Buick Riviera and headed to Ron's Barber Shop. It was a warm summer day.

We got there and about four other kids were finishing their haircuts or waiting for a haircut. Mostly they were just getting trims. I was nervous as always. I didn't see the barber there that had clipped me military short three months earlier.

I sat there with my brother reading a few magazines and waiting for the next empty barber's chairs. My mom had left to do a little shopping like she often did when we were getting haircuts. As I sat there I was thinking how should I cut my hair? What was I going to tell the barber? Should I say just a trim? Cut it short up over the ears?

"Who's next!" a barber yelled.

"You go next Jonatthan," my brother said.

"Ok," I said.

I put the magazine down and nervously got up and walked over to the chair. The barber flapped the cape and I hopped into the chair. He clipped the cape on and went to do something quick at the register. My heart was racing. What was I going to tell him? I realized it was a new school and I could show up with short hair and most of the other kids had never seen me. This way I would not need another haircut for awhile. That's it, tell him short! He suddenly wad back. He fiddle with some barber equipment behind me. When was he going to ask that big question? Suddenly it came.

"How do you want it?" the barber asked.

"Cut it short up over the ears," I said.

"You want it nice and clipper short?" he asked.

"Ok," I said.

Oh no, not again I thought! I had just asked for this clipper short haircut. Somehow I was ready for this, this time. The last clipper short back and sides was my first. Now I'd been used to the ears exposed and not really having much hair maintainance. The kids would see me for the first time and just think my hair was always this short.

Claaacck, those big clippers came on and headed my way. They went around the right ear first. The hair quickly erased the hair exposing that big right ear. Then came the left ear. For whatever reason the left ear stuck out a little less than the right ear.

"You're cutting your hair short again!" my brother Eric yelled.

"Yeah," I said.

"I'm going to do that too again," he said.

The barber buzzed and buzzed. This time it was nearly just as short as the haircut three months ago. My brother had just started to get his haircut in another chair now. Soon my mom came in. She was happy when we cut our hair short. Even though these haircuts weren't in style at all my dad liked it this way. He grew up in the 1950's. My mom had to battle with him to let us keep our hair long. Clipper short haircuts made him happy. She could relax a bit now when we came home looking like this.

I went to Pine Junior High's Registration that next day. I saw many kids and only a few said wow, your hair is short. I grew to like it short. Every month or two my brother and I would go to the barber and just say "clipper short up over the ears."

It felt strange to have it grow long now. It was like you didn't want to have all that hair again. The low maintaince, no sweaty mop on your head. The cool air on your scalp and ears. I was used to short hair now and didn't want to go back ever.



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