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Time will tell by P.J.
Time will tell
This is a follow on to "It happened that summer-"
The aftermath of the kitchen haircutting attempt by mom was a slow simmering rage on MOMs part. You never got the best of MOM without suffering for weeks to follow.
The day of class pics at school was uncomfortable to say the least. I'd made sure my hair was clean and neatly combed so no comments could be made. At least I'd look like I was from the same century this time , maybe not the current decade yet though. As I left the house I bade a cheery goodbye to a positively seething MOM. Oh well, she was just going to have to get over herself this time.
I was still getting the ever popular silent treatment for a couple of weeks. The only communication being what was absolutely necessary for life to continue. I'd suffered thru this before , nothing new here. Class pics finally came. The good part being that they distributed them at school so I got the first look. Not bad...not great either, but it was a starting point for the new me. In the pic I had bangs combed down for a change, and pushed slightly to the side, that were longer than 1/2" even. The top 1/2 of my ears were covered, finally! And you could just see the slightest tuft of hair behind and below my ears in the back. I had a long ways to go to get the same look that Ben across the street was sporting but it was a start.
MOM, of course was disgusted with the pics, good for her, maybe this time I'd at least be a bit more comfortable with the 8 x10 that was always prominently displayed on the living room mantle. It would look like a semi normal kid instead of a raging dork!
We soon reached an uneasy standoff where my hair was concerned. Dad had had several trips to the neighbor(who was a barber that had had his go at me a few times before the kitchen show) He quietly asked if I wanted to come along. He promised not to give Gene any instructions, I could get my hair cut any way I wanted. I politely declined of course. It wasn't long enough to need even a trim yet as far as I was concerned. No way was that butcher getting his scissors into my growing mane.
Time went on and my hair growth progressed nicely. Eventually even I acknowledged that it needed some attention . Hmmm, now I had a dilemma on my hands. No way was MOM getting near me, the only barbers I knew had only previously all but shaved me down each time I'd been to them so I couldn't go back to them. I knew exactly what needed to be trimmed and how I wanted it trimmed so...Why not try it myself? I knew where the dreaded hair cutting kit was kept in the downstairs linen closet. No way was I touching the clippers but the scissors and barber comb were there too.( I'd have loved to have the garbage truck run over the clippers but thought I better wait on that fantasy.)
One afternoon While I was home after school and MOM was shopping, I got the scissors and comb and went up to my bathroom. Leaning over the sink I could clearly see my bangs and the sides over my ears.
The sides were just slightly longer than my ear lobes,(finally) so trimming the fluffy ends of the last shearing off to thicken it up a bit would be easy. I just used my ear lobe as a guide, went slowly so I got it even looking and voila! Neatly trimmed, ears more firmly covered than ever before!
Now for the bangs, they were almost to my nose! Yay! but they too looked a little sparse on the ends from the last vicious thinning they'd suffered at the neighbors hands. No way was I taking them all the way back up to the eye brows, that was way too short. I also had to do something about evening them out, they still had the remnants of that stupid severe angle that the barbers always gave me when he chopped them off short so they'd lay right for the stupid little Pomp. God how I hated that Pomp. I settled for trimming at the bottom of my eyes. That would come close to evening them out finally, and take most of the wispiest parts off. They'd still be long enough to have to be pushed to the side like Bens too. This was a little harder to do since I had to look through them to trim them but where there's a will there's a way. This was soon accomplished too, to my satisfaction. Not bad If I say so myself. ( I think my self esteem went up 20 points that day, I finally looked like I belonged in the current decade!)No to mention that I was now my own barber!
I had one last part to contemplate...the back. I could let it go a little longer but it would soon need to be trimmed off too, to get rid of the grown out taper parts and thicken it up too. How was I going to accomplish this? For a brief moment I contemplated asking Bens Mom Jackie, but dismissed that idea. What if Jackie called MOM to ask permission to do it? Yikes!
I could ask my best bud Pete to trim it, he had a hot looking mop of auburn hair that I always admired. He'd noticed that mine was finally getting longer too and mentioned that it looked good. His oldest sister kept his trimmed to his specifications. I could ask her but that felt weird, and a bit risky too. I had to find a way to do this myself. I couldn't trust anyone else to do what I wanted and not f*** it up. How could I see the back of my head, and then how could I wield the comb and scissor to cut it straight? I'd give this a week or so percolate in my creative brain. Waiting to trim the back would also be less noticeable that I'd cut anything.
The acid test of my first self haircut was soon to come. I made myself scarce until dinner time. As we sat down at the table I got a sideways glance from MOM. I caught her raised eye brow out of the corner of my eye. I didn't dare make direct eye contact, yet. Dad looked at me from the other end of the table and didn't make any comment or overt acknowledgement that he noticed anything different about me. I sat quietly and ate my dinner while MOM and Dad conversed about their day. I kept catching MOM sneaking a look at me with a perplexed look on her face. Would she dare comment? Would I get dragged into a post dinner request for an explanation as to what had happened to my hair? I'd have to make up a story to cover for my self barbering if questioned. I'd have to work on that.
Necessity if the mother of invention they say. Hmmm. I had another opportunity on a shopping day for MOM a couple of weeks later. Let's have a go at the back this time. If I take the portable mirror from my dresser and open the linen closet across from my sink and set it on the shelf...could I adjust it to look into it, and see the back of my head reflected in the mirror over the sink? If this worked, could I see well enough to comb and cut the back? I had to give it a try. I decided that if I f***ed it up I'd have to fess up to Pete and see if he'd rescue me.
After a few minutes and a couple of adjustments I could see well enough but could I cut straight? I did a couple of practice movements without cutting anything. Everything was backwards from what I expected due to the double mirrors. I practiced moving back and forth across the back a few times to get the hang of the mirror effects. O.K., here goes...I take a couple of tentative snips , not removing too much, should I not get it straight. It would leave enough length for Pete to fix it and not look like a chop job...I hoped. The first snips looked good! Wow! This might work after all. I continued baby ships and got all the way from one side to the other, pretty straight, and a good bit longer than the hair covering my ears. It still looked a bit wispy due to the taper growing out yet but I could still see hair hanging down below them on the back of my head after I finished. Swell! I'd better stop here this time and quit while I was ahead. I could actually run my hands through my hair in the back, what a rush.
It would take 6 months or so for the shortest layers to get long enough so that it was all trimmed to one uniform length, below the collar in the back, and just below the ears on the sides. My hair was also different for Bens, mine was a little flatter and smooth, Ben's was somewhat poufy and thicker looking. Success at last, it was as long as Ben's, my bangs were even longer than his. I kept it this way for another whole year, by myself. Mom never suspected a thing nor did she ask who was cutting it.
The time came for my grandparents to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Wow what a milestone. Dad and his siblings were planning a big blow out party at the local party house to celebrate. Coincidently it was the party house that Ben's parents owned.
This would be my first formal party. I had to get a new suit and everything. I knew MOM was itching to say something about a haircut too but didn't dare. I got to thinking, maybe I could muster the courage to try one of the new unisex shops that had opened recently at a new mall within biking distance. Some of the guys at school had been there and they looked great. Long hair, feathered back, parted in the middle on a few of them. Hmmm. Would I? Could I? It felt like returning to the scene of the crime in some ways . On the other hand I could indulge my fantasies, go on a crowded day and maybe witness some great long cuts, possibly an innocent victim or two getting sheared like a sheep.
That's a story for another day.