I Need A Haircut by A Recruit
For as long as I could remember, my mother had cut my hair. When I turned 13 she decided to let me grow it long. I think it was because I used to resist getting a haircut so much and all the other boys in school were wearing their hair long at the time. After all, it was the 1970s and everyone had long hair. "The longer the better" is what every one would say.
Three years I was 16, and my hair reached down past my shoulders. My mother would make comments like "Your hair is sure getting long," or "I think it's about time you do something with that long hair of yours."
I realized that had only grown it long because of the peer pressure. I had always wished I would be forced to get it cut short, or had the nerve to get it all cut off.
She would also say things like ‘I think you look better with short hair, one of these days I am going to sit you down and cut all that long mess off."
One day late spring I was home with nothing to do just setting on the sofa reading. When I heard my Father say, "Betty I want you to give me a haircut later. I’m going to take a nap, wake me up in a half hour."
My heart started pounding. I had half an hour to come up with a way to get my father to make me get a haircut with him. I had to make it appear as if it wasn't my idea. While eating lunch, my mother passed behind me. As she did, she lifted my hair up off my neck and ran her hand through it. I asked her what she was doing.
She said, "Just checking."
And went over to start washing the dishes. I thought to my self after she left, this might be the day. Or she was just testing me. I thought I could ask her to cut my hair knowing she would cut it short. No, that won’t work; I don’t have the nerve to do that. I could ask her to cut the split ends off and end up with a short haircut. No that won’t work either. What can I do, I have less than half an hour left to come up with a plan.
The time arrived. I could hear my father moving around in his room. My mother came out with the clippers. Pulled out a chair. Plugged the clippers in.
She glanced at me. "Do you need a haircut too?"
As she put some oil on the clipper blades. My heart begin to race, what do I say? All I could get out was, "I don’t think so. At least not today."
Why did I say that?! I had lost my one and only chance!
My father came out and sat down in the chair. My mother placed the sheet around his neck. As she did my father said to her, ‘Betty make sure you cut it very short."
Wow, this is going to be great, I thought as my mother placed the attachment on the clippers. She started at the side of his head and ran the clippers right up and off the side of his head. The hair slid down off his head and into his lap. I watched every pass of the clippers wishing it was me setting there getting that haircut. My mother would look at me from time to time and smile. I kept looking back at the book I had in my hand. Hoping she did not know I was watching. Yet hoping she had seen me looking.
My mother finished up the haircut by clipper shaving my father’s neck and around his ears. She brushed off the loose hairs from his head and said. That should hold you for a few weeks. My father stood up and put his tee shirt on and his shirt. Put on his tie and coat. And got his other things for work, told my mother thanks for the haircut. He went out the door and my mother followed to bid him good by for the night.
I noticed my mother had not put the clippers up or swept the floor while my father was getting ready to leave. I thought how strange that was. I sat there looking at the clippers and wondered what it would be like to be setting in that chair with the sheet around my neck. Getting a haircut also today. I got up and went to the window to see if my father had left yet and as to where my mother was. I could see they were still talking.
But it looked like he was about to leave. I turned and seen the clippers laying on the table. I picked them up; they were still warm from my father’s haircut. Hair was still on the blades and on the clippers. I looked on the floor; hair was all around the chair. There was even some on the sheet. I heard my mother coming up the steps. So I quickly went back to the sofa and sat down. My mother entered the house as I sat down. My heart felt as if it would come out of my chest it was beating so fast.
My mother walked around the table, picked up the sheet. I thought she was going to start cleaning up from my father’s haircut. She shook the sheet and said "NEXT!"
I just sat there. I didn't think she was really going to give me a haircut also. She shook the sheet again and said; "You need a haircut, now come on—get your shirt off and sit down in this chair. You're long overdue. You can tell your friends I made you do it."
Music to my ears! I did as I was told.
I sat down. How short was she going to cut my hair? Would she cut it an inch long? Would she cut it to just above my ears? Would she just trim the split ends off? All I could do was wait and see. I felt my mother’s hand on top of my head. She started combing my hair, as she did she muttered, "This hair has got to go, right now."
I looked over to see her put the comb down. Pick up her clippers and place an attachment on them. She placed her hand back on top of my head forcing it over to the side and said, "Let’s get this haircut over with." I heard the SNAP of the clippers coming to life. I felt the warm steel touch my cheek. I felt the clippers moving up the side of my head and into my hair in front of my left ear.
My mother pushed the clippers up and up through my hair and off the side of my head at the top. She flicked the hair off the clippers and into my lap. As she did she said, " There is no turning back now". Pass after pass up the side of my head. Hair falling into my lad with every pass of the clippers.
Up and over my ear, the left side of my head was being clippered down. I could feel the clippers getting hot as my head was forced down into my chest. With the words, "Keep your head down"! It appeared my mother was making sure every hair she cut off would land in my lap or on my shoulders as she cut it. The right side of my head received the same shearing. All that was left was the top. My mother picked the flat top comb back up. Placed it into the hair on top and ran the clippers over it from back to front.
The long hair that was once attached to my head. Was now falling down over my face. This continued until she felt she had removed all the hair from the top of my head. The clippers fell silent I thought is it over already? I was covered in hair that was once attached to my head. The white sheet was covered in my brown hair. The floor was covered with my brown hair.
The hair in my lap appeared to be close to an inch deep. Then my mother’s clippers came back to life, with a loud SNAP. I saw the clippers come around in front of my head. What no attachment? The clippers were buzzing, poised and ready to smooth, even and shape.
Mom finished the final trimming, then the clippers fell silent. The sheet was removed and I was dusted off. I looked in the mirror on the wall. My long hair was gone! I had a crewcut--and I loved it. I smiled secretly.
"The next time," Mom told me, "Just say 'I need a haircut!' "