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First-time Flattop - Part 7 by Tate


While my family was on vacation in Seattle, we were staying in a one room hotel--my brother and I in one bed and my parents in the other, sharing one bathroom.

This made it difficult for me to really "work" on my flattop. I figured out that if I showered last in the morning, the others would leave for breakfast, and I would be left alone to finish getting ready.

I inspected my flattop from every angle using the magnifying mirror and angling the closet door mirror so that I could see the tapered back in the mirror over the sink.

The fade was a thing of perfection. It felt so weird to run my hand over my ears and feel skin, and then soft sandpaper as I rubbed my hand up.

The landing strip on top was pronounced, but seemed like it matched the shortness of the sides. I noticed that I always tilted my head down when looking in the mirror to make sure it was still there.

One day when I got out of the shower, my dad was finishing getting ready. He had never had real short hair as long as I could remember, but he maintained a nice looking businessman's cut with a slight taper at the back and temple area. I knew from photos that he had a flattop in college.

Dad saw my round pocket comb and picked it up. He put his finger through the ring and told me that he used to have one just like it when he had a flattop.

I told him the barber sold it to me and along with this Krew Comb, which I pulled out of my dopp kit.

My dad held the jar of butch wax and looked at it nostalgically. "I had this, too," he said. "Want me to show you how to use it right?"

He showed me how to use it sparingly--a pea-sized amount--to heat it up by rubbing it between my hands. He then touched it carefully to the tips of my flattoped hair and brushed it in.

"I learned this from my barber when I got my first flattop," he explained. I was a little younger than you when my whole baseball team went to the barbershop to get flattened. We all wanted to look like Roger Maris. I left a lot of hair on the floor that day, though probably not as much as you! Our barber enjoyed it as much as we did, and he taught us all how to use butch wax."

"That must have been nice to have so many friends with flattops."

"Yes, it was more unusual to have a friend with long hair than with a flat or crew. And by long, I mean a short back and sides. Nothing as long as your brother has today!"

"Why did you grow it out, Dad?"

"Times and styles change. But I do miss it. I'm glad you like classic haircuts, even despite the style of today. I'm reliving my first flattop experience through you," he says as he rubs his hand up my nape. "It does feel good, doesn't it?"

"I love it, Dad!"






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