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Get Used To It by Raldo (recovered)

Get Used To It

By Raldo

Throughout my early teen years I was always getting hassle from my Dad because of my reluctance to get a haircut. Every month I’d be given money and sent off with instructions to get a haircut, I’d waste time and do anything to avoid going to the barbers. I’d return a couple of hours later with a barely visible trim and get endless grief and threats of a short haircut next time from my parents. I’d do everything in my power to avoid a visit to the barbers, not because I didn’t like getting a haircut but because I wanted to look trendier. It was the early seventies and everyone was growing their hair longer, no one had short hair and I wanted to look the same.

Around the time of my fifteenth birthday we were invited to a family wedding. I tried to get out of going to it just to avoid the obligatory haircut that was inflicted on me before any family party or social event – my Dad always insisted we had to look our best at any gathering and anything less than a fresh haircut was not good enough. I was told that my presence was expected and the relatives would be offended if I didn’t show up so there was no way I was getting out of going or out of a proper haircut since I didn’t get it cut short enough last time. The day before the wedding I was given money and sent off to the barbers to get a haircut, I was told to get it cut fairly short and neat. I’d never had a really short haircut; it had always been neatly tapered around the back and sides with the top parted and brushed back with Brylcreem. I went in as usual and gave my instructions to the barber - a trim that would make it look tidy and respectable that would be hardly noticeable. I got exactly the haircut I asked for; I paid the barber and left the shop with a smile on my face. I was expecting the usual reaction when I arrived home but just got a wall of silence for an hour and then I was told to get in the car by my Dad who was going to get his hair cut; full of apprehension I was promptly taken back for a proper haircut.

I never had a really short haircut and my Dad had always had a medium length business cut so I thought no matter what happened it wouldn’t be too extreme and would soon grow back. We entered the barbershop; Dad and the barber greeted each other. Dad looked at me and pointed to the chair and said you go first; I sheepishly made my way across and got in. The barber fastened the cape around my neck and combed through my hair and turned to my Dad and asked how short he wanted him to cut it, the instructions came back to take it off nice short so it would last for a while since he doesn’t like getting a haircut too often. I sat in shock as my hair was lifted with the comb and the clippers removed large chucks of hair. I looked in the mirror in the hope that my Dad would put the reins on this torture but his head was buried in the newspaper and he was oblivious to my suffering. Once the bulk of my hair had been removed the barber started again with guards on the clippers, the top was taken down to less than half an inch and the back and sides were stripped almost bare up to the crown. I sat there feeling light headed, naked and exposed to the breeze from the overhead fan as the barber shaved around my ears and neck. He brushed around my neck and over the top of my head before releasing the cape and showing me the damage to the back of my head, I exited the chair in shock. My Dad folded up the newspaper and looked up, I could see by the reaction on his face that I had been given a much shorter haircut than he’d expected but to my horror he began to smile and nod his head in an approving way as he inspected it.

I took a seat and waited and watched while Dad got his haircut. I was miles away sitting there feeling the minute bristles on the back of my head when the buzzing of the clippers attracted my attention. The barber was blocking my view of Dad but usually he only used the clippers on Dad when he was finishing off his haircut but he’d only just started. I watched intently and as the barber stepped aside what I saw took me by total surprise. Dad was getting his hair buzzed off as short as mine, initially I was happy that I wouldn’t be the only one with such a drastic haircut but there was a sudden realization that it was not good if he liked it. I watched intently as his haircut progressed and the clippers buzzed through his thick hair, he smiled the whole time. The floor around the chair had a carpet of thick dark hair; Dad had been relieved of twice as much as me. The barber finished off Dad’s haircut and removed the cape; he left the chair and went close to the mirror to inspect the result, he looked very fresh and cropped with his neck shaved clean revealing the white skin that had been hidden for years. I sat watching and wondering if my head looked as white and naked as his and hoping he’d hate it but he rubbed his hands all over his head then ran then ran them firmly from the bottom of his neck to the crown and turned to the barber smiled and said this is one great haircut and I should have had it cut like this years ago, it’s a total liberation – not the reaction I wanted to hear from him.

All the way home in the car Dad ran his fingers over his head, up and down the back and round his ears and every so often he reached over and gave my head a quick rub and grinned at me. He said thank you to me, I was puzzled but he explained that if I’d just gone and had a decent haircut then he would still have had his usual haircut but the barber had cut my hair far shorter than he’d intended him to and he’d always liked the idea of trying a shorter haircut and this seemed like as good a time as any. I had a feeling of momentary relief – I asked if this haircut was just a one off and we could now grow it back. Dad looked at me and smiled, he said that had been his initial idea but he liked the result so much that I’d better give in and get used to it because we were keeping it this way and we’d be going together for regular haircuts and to make me feel even worse he looked at himself in the mirror and said he thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go even shorter next time.

I could see why he was enjoying his new haircut so much; it was a very tactile experience. I usually avoided mirrors when I had a fresh haircut but for some reason this time I was spending a lot of time in front of them inspecting my new look and discovering that running my fingertips lightly up and down the back and sides of my head was a very sensual experience. I secretly liked the new look and I definitely liked the feel and the experience of the haircut but I didn’t want to stand out from the crowd and wasn’t too ready to let it be known that I liked it. The following day I changed my mind about not standing out from the crowd, I was in my bedroom looking at myself in the full-length mirror dressed in my best suit with my new crewcut bristling – it wasn’t me looking back at me but much to my surprise I liked what I saw more than what I was used to seeing, I’d always thought that getting a shorter haircut would make me look younger but this made me look older and more mature in a good way. My parents were ready and waiting for me when I went downstairs and the compliments were flying in all directions. To my surprise my new look didn’t get the negative reaction I’d expected at the wedding, everyone was very complimentary and treated me like an adult. My Dad’s brother was so impressed with our haircuts he said he was going to get his and my two cousins the same haircuts the next day – I couldn’t wait to see that since they were the only ones who had been negative about my haircut and both had much longer trendier hair than I’d had. My Dad got as much if not more attention than me, watching him across the room I couldn’t help thinking how good he looked compared to his old look – he really stood out from the crowd.

Two weeks passed very quickly and I couldn’t believe just how much my hair had grown, I couldn’t wait to get back in the barbers chair and feel short stubble on my head again. Dad was first in the chair this time and had the barber take his hair even shorter into a flattop and razor shave the back and sides, it looked outstanding and he really would stand out from the crowd now. I got in the chair and Dad said it was up to me what haircut and that he didn’t expect me to go as short as him. I decided to wait until the holidays and then try the shorter haircut. The new haircut looked really extreme on Dad but extreme in a good way. All the way home we went through the same ritual as last time with the fingers running up and down the back and sides of our heads, it felt even better now that I’d had it cut willingly.

Mum wasn’t too impressed when we got home, she thought Dad’s haircuts was too military and extreme and thought he should grow it back to the crewcut but Dad wasn’t moved by her request and said he intended keeping his hair cut this way every two weeks from now on so she had better get used to it. It turned out she did get to like it and there were no other negative reactions from anyone he knew or who mattered. A couple of weeks later school was out for the holidays and the first thing I did on the way home was call at the barbers and get the haircut I’d been waiting for. I couldn’t believe how good it felt, I loved it and since

The End

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