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Easter Passion by Deke Cutter
I was not looking forward to going home for Easter. I love my parents, but they could be difficult. They went to a very conservative church. The church had rules about everything, including how to dress and what acceptable haircuts were. I got my dark blue suit dry cleaned, bought a new white shirt, had a conservative tie, shined my shoes. I had been planning to get my hair trimmed back so that I could slick it down and maybe get away with it. I just ran out of time. I figured I would just tell my folks what had happened and beg off church on Easter Sunday so as not to break the church rules. My blonde hair covered my ears and touched my collar. It was thick and soft. It fell over my forehead and I could flick it away. Quite frankly, I hadn't wanted it cut.
I drove the two hours to my childhood home. Mom and dad were glad to see me, but I noticed them both eyeing my hair and silently communicating with each other with a glance. Dad had the same brush cut he had always worn. It looked freshly cut. I decided to take the bull by the horns and told them how I had not been able to get a haircut before I left and how I understood the problems it would cause if I went to church with them, so I would do the right thing and stay home on Sunday My mother was clearly upset, my dad just looked annoyed. Neither said much. It was Friday and I thought that this could be the start of a long, long weekend.
Saturday morning my dad called me downstairs. He told me mom was at the beauty parlor and smiled sinisterly. He went on to tell me that he hoped I was happy with myself because my mother cried herself to sleep last night, she was so disappointed that I was not going to go to church with them. Then he said, there is someone here in the kitchen I want you to meet. In the kitchen I saw a chair pulled away from the table with newspaper on the floor under it. Between the chair and the table stood a man I had never seen before. He was tall and obviously very fit. He had a very tight flat top haircut. I turned to my father and was about to speak when he told me in a very angry voice to get my butt into that chair. Then the man introduced himself as a new member of the church, a retired marine and the high school football coach. I tried to get up from the chair but he pushed me back down and said that he was here to help my dad fix the problem I had caused. He also said we could do it the easy way or the hard way.
I bucked the chair and tried to flee, the barber looked at my dad and said, OK George, looks like you were right. With that, my dad opened the broom closet and took out some clothesline and proceeded to tie me to the chair. I started to beg "dad, please, I am sorry, but this isn't right." He ignored me and told the barber to get on with it. The barber picked up his shears and comb, and started to cut away long chunks of my hair. Soon he had uncovered my ears and my collar, but had not touched the front which was hanging down over my eyes.
Next he put down the shears and picked up a big pair of clippers. "Please," I said, "I can't go to work with a buzz cut or a flat top like yours. My company doesn't allow that." The barber told me not to worry, and anyway it was a bit late to be worrying about appearance rules. Then he turned the clippers on and started pushing them high, up the back of my head. "I'm going to give you a nice tight taper," he said. I looked at my dad who smiled grimly. I could feel cool air blowing on my neck. He cleaned off the back of my head and proceeded to the right side. "You won't be needing those side burns," he said, and proceeded to run the clippers high up the side of my head. He ran a finger, barely an inch below my part to show me how high he had gone. He chuckled and said this was starting to look like a good regulation cut. I felt my eyes well up with tears of anger and embarrassment. I was glad my remaining long hair covered them up. Next he moved to the left and quickly buzzed it down too. I was relieved when the clippers were turned off and returned to the table.
The barber then turned his attention to the long hair on top. He started at the back and began lopping off several inches of hair. He continued to lift and cut, lift and cut, until he got near the front. Then he combed the bangs down and started to cut them off high above my eyebrows. I thought that this assault on my head must be over. I was wrong. He looked at my dad and said, "your son's hair is very thick, I'm going to thin it out so it will lay nice and flat. He proceeded to go across the top of my head with thinning shears, and I could not believe all the hair that tumbled down. Finally he took a razor and shaving cream and shaved an inch above each ear and high on my neck. He then took out a jar of smelly cream, rubbed it into my hair and gave me a side parted slicked down haircut. He held up a mirror. I looked ridiculous. My ears stuck out, my hair was so thinned out, I almost looked like I was going bald. I felt my neck and realized he had cut my hair above my natural hairline. As they untied my binds my dad profusely thanked him for "giving him his son back."
I went upstairs, took a shower to wash that crap out of my hair. Went to my room and packed my bag. My mother had come home, she looked at me and then at my father and said to him "what have you done?" Dad said he did what was needed to deal with her tears. Mom said that the reason she was crying was her realization that their church was not welcoming and that she had wasted so many years there. She saw my bag and asked me to stay, but I told her that I needed some time to get over my anger with dad and told her they would be welcome to visit me in the future when I looked more like myself again.
Luckily for me, my boss was very sympathetic and even said that he had gone through some hair wars with his dad. He actually suggested that I go and get a crew cut and just start all over again. "It will have to be better than that butchery you have now. Well, I did. It looked marginally better, but I began the long journey back to my old hairstyle. My father called and apologized. I told him that mom was welcome to visit now, but he had to wait for at least 6 months so he and I both had a chance to grow our hair out.