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Hold Still Or We're Starting All Over! by Jonathan
I can't quite pinpoint what age my haircut, fear, dread , fetish or whatever you want to call it started. It was likely around the age of 6 though. Here's just part of why I believe it all happened.
It was the 1970s. Most all young males grade school to college had hair over their ears. It didn't necessarily have to be long in the back, just covering a guys ears. The bangs (fringe) was expected to reach down to one's eyebrows. It was a trend that dominated male hair styles. So much so that even middle aged men wore their hair longer too. The older gentlemen mostly kept it short as in decades prior.
This whole trend got it's start with the British invasion of the mop topped Beatles around 1964. It is possible a small part of it was due to the Beatniks and Mods all around this time period. Their hair styles weren't necessarily long. They just aided the youth rebellion momentum. The Hippie movement of the late 1960s fueled the long hair craze. By the 1970s is was very rare to see many boys or men with a clipper short back and sides. It had become main stream to have long hair after this trend got rolling.This whole hair over the ears thing over the ears lasted roughly from 1965 to 1985. This was twenty years!
In about 1972 my mother started taking us to a barbershop called "The Barbershop." I was in about 1st grade and wanted to have my hair long over the ears. This was fine with my mom. It was just easier most of the time to take my younger brother Eric at the same time as me to get haircuts. Why or how I always wound up with Randy the barber I'll never know? For some reason my brother always got the other barber whose name I can't recall. No matter how busy or which barber was done first Randy never once cut my brother's hair. The other barber never cut my hair either.
My relationship with Randy my barber would continue until I was around 15 years old. This was basically from 1972 until 1982. In 1982 the shop finally closed and the old shopping center was leveled. My fate of Randy being somehow unofficially selected by himself as my barber would have a lasting impact on my haircut fear, dread, fetish or whatever you want to call it! It may have been my mom who selected which brother went with which barber early on. All I know is it wasn't me!
Basically I dreaded, feared and hated Randy! Haircut time was my worst nightmare. All this wouldn't have been so terrible if it hadn't happened right at the hight of the long hair craze in the 1970s. My young years from 6 to 15 made me crazy when it came to haircuts. These years only one person cut my hair, Randy! When my mom took me to "The Barbershop" it was like I never knew just how short it would wind up. Sometimes I'd walk out of there and my hair was over my ears still. Other times half the ear covered. Then sometimes clipper short ears completely exposed!
Randy was around thirty when he first became my barber. He was just slightly over weight and had a dark complection. His hair was black and longish over his ears. He had a nice looking face as I remember. He had a very dominant personality and could be a jerk. Very sarcastic and a bit cruel sometimes. He was usually fairly quiet, yet spoke to me some when I was in his barber chair. I sensed he knew I hated him and this made him torment me even more!
My earlier haircuts went something like this.
"Matthew wants his hair long over the ears Randy," my mom would tell him.
"Ok, Mrs. Olson, no problem," Randy would say.
I would sit there caped and trapped. I always knew there was a chance my hair could wind up clipper short even though my mom told Randy to leave it longer. He'd spray it all wet with that misting spray bottle. Then he'd comb it all down straight. He'd take the scissors and start snipping the bangs first. Then he'd start snipping off the hair around the ears. This is the part he'd love to torture me with!
"Hold still and don't move or we'll have to start all over Matthew !" Randy would say.
"I won't move," I'd say.
"If you move Matthew I'm going to have to start over on the sides and cut the hair shorter around your ears!" Randy would say.
I would stay as still as I could. Even though I'd not moved a muscle he'd say I had moved.
"Matthew you just moved!" Randy said.
"Now I'm going to have to even up the sides and half the ear will be showing!" Randy would continue.
Then sometimes he'd do it twice.
"Matthew you just moved again, I'm going to have to start over on the sides again!" Randy says.
"I'm going to have to snip a little more off your ears now. If you move again we'll have to get out the clippers. If that happens nor much will be left!" he'd say.
I'd sat still as a statue. Randy just loved to torment me about having to cut all the hair off around my ears. Usually they wound up getting about three quarters exposed.
To top it off not only did all kids want their ears covered at the time due to the strong trend towards that. I had another problem. I thought I had funny looking ears that stuck out! Maybe Randy knew this being my barber and touching and seeing my ears so close. I don't know if this was why he'd always do this or not? Maybe he did it to all the kids? Or he just hated me. I always wished I had my brother's barber. He seemed so nice! A really quiet older guy.
When our haircuts were done Randy would just basically lie and tell my mom I had moved too much during the haircut and that's why most of my ears were showing. My brother's barber on the other hand would pretty much leave the hair almost completely covering his ears. Often just his earlobes were showing. The hair covered just the tip or top 1/4 of my ears most of the time. When it was wet you could see my whole ear. Even when it dried the hair was so short you basically saw all the ear. Since my ears stuck out the little hair left didn't cover them much.
Haircut after haircut Randy would do this.Sometimes when I'd first get caped and sit in the barber chair Randy would try to talk me into cutting my hair clipper short.
"No way Randy, I don't want my ears showing," I'd say.
"Don't move or we're going to have to start all over Matthew!" Randy would say.
The one thing that helped me was my mother would take us to the barbers about every three or even four months. This allowed my hair to get to a nice long shaggy length over the ears. But that would make the dread of sitting in Randy's chair all the more painful. My mom would say we're getting haircuts and I'd panic. How short would Randy cut my hair this time? Looking back I don't know why I didn't ask to switch barbers. I guess I thought I had no choice.
One trip to Randy's I remember really getting clipper short was in seventh grade. This wasn't the worst, just the worst so far. It must have been in the late 70s.
"The boys both want their hair down over their ears," my mom told both barbers.
"Ok, but Matthew moves so much," Randy said.
"No mom, I hardly move at all," I say.
"Yes, he wiggles in the chair, that's why I have to cut it shorter," Randy said.
This may have angered Randy or something this time. He sprayed my hair wet, and combed it straight down like always. Snip, snip went a little off the front. Then came those dreaded sides. Snip, snip and then it came.
"Hold still or we're going to have to start all over!" Randy said.
"Oh, opps, you turned your head Matthew I can't even this up now. I'm going to have to clipper it around the ears with the clippers," Randy says.
"I held still Randy!" I said.
"Mrs. Olson, I'm going to have to cut Matthew's hair much shorter this time, he moved and it's going to have to be cut clipper short," Randy said.
"Well ok, his hair usually gets cut shorter than his brother's anyway," my mom says.
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, Matthew has to get his hair clipper short this time!" my brother said.
All the sudden on they came. The motor of those big clippers. It was a terrifying sound to to hear at 12 years old back then. I'd really get clipped good around the ears this time. I knew they'd wind up 100% exposed sticking out for everyone to see. The first cut came like a knife slicing the hair away from my right ear. At this moment I knew it was useless. Randy had won and he'd managed to find a way to cut me clipper short. The haircut was finished and I walked out of "The Barbershop" with one inch whitewalls around my ears. I hated it! My ears flying out like that. The hair still wet on my head combed down slick. My brother's haircut perfectly long still and over the ears. Looking just like all the other kids at school back then.
"Matthew , look at your haircut and those ears, ha, ha, ha!" my brother teased.
I was doomed at school tomorrow. This would take at least two months to grow back!
About four months later my mom says those dreaded words again.
"Boys we need to go get haircuts after school today," my mom says.
"Oh mom, can we wait until next week!" I beg.
"No, next week I'm really busy," she says.
"Mom, I don't want Randy to cut my hair that short again," I said.
"We'll see Matthew , it looked so good like that. If you want it longer you can have it that way. You always wiggle too much during your haircuts though," mom says.
Here we go again. This time I'm staying really still. There is no chance I'm getting all my hair clippered off an inch
above my ears. Randy was one step ahead of me though! I'm dreading this trip more than most because of what happened with those clippers last time. My brown hair has managed to grow nicely over my ears now again. I sit in Randy's big barber chair.
"Both boys want it longer over their ears," my mom says.
"Oh Mrs. Olson, I think for Matthew clipper short is much better. He doesn't have the kind of hair to have it long. Let's cut it like last time," Randy says.
What's he talking about? My hair is fine long. It's my ears sticking out that is why I shouldn't have short hair! This guy has tricked me. What can I do now?
"Oh, I guess that's fine, it did look so nice like that last time," my mom says.
"Oh mom, I want it longer!" I say.
"Matthew for your brother it's fine, but the clipper short haircut is much better for you," Randy says.
"Please cut it short again Randy. It was so easy to manage and looked cute," my mom says.
"Ok, clipper short it is again Matthew!" smiles Randy.
I sink in that chair and know it's no use. Over the last couple years it's been getting shorter and shorter. Randy got what he wanted. Now all the hair would always be clipper short off my ears. It's 7th grade now. This was the beginning of my hair never growing over my ears again. Randy would shave it so short up the back and sides it would not grow enough to cover my ears again in three months between the haircuts. I now hated Randy so much. Somehow though I just gave in and resigned myself to his clipper short haircuts. People had gotten used to it.