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Stepmama's intervention !! by Snipped Sam
The arrival of my new stepmother had meant more than a few adjustments for me, and she had certainly started at she meant to go on with her new fourteen-year-old stepson. Earlier bed times were introduced and a more rigid system of supervised homework. Television programmes which I had previously enjoyed watching were deemed unsuitable for me by her. And so within two weeks of her arrival, a set of rules had been put in place for me.
It was one evening we were sitting in the living room when my father said to me that I was due for a haircut. I knew that haircut time was approaching so just said that I would get it taken care of. Then to my sheer horror he said it might be nice if my stepmother took me.
"But I usually go on my own dad."
"That’s because you prefer to go after school when I’m at work, it will be nice for you to do something together."
"I will meet you from school Peter."
"But I’m fourteen."
"That doesn’t matter Peter; I would like to take you and of course meet your barber."
My father was all in favour of the plan and I was told that she would be taking me the next day. At the end of the school day, when I came out of the gates, she was there to meet me. It was a ten-minute walk to Joe’s Gents Hairdressers. We arrived and Joe was sitting down reading the paper, he stood up, he was a chunky man in his early forties. I introduced them and Joe soon had me in the chair caped and ready.
"What’s it to be?"
"The usual tidy up please Joe."
"Are you usually this familiar with your barber Peter?"
"What do you mean?"
"Calling him Joe, surely it should be Mr… whatever his second name is."
"My name is Smith."
"Then I would like Peter to call you Mr Smith."
I was far from happy with her taking this stance, I had known Joe for years and we had always got on well. I really resented her intrusion but she had only just begun.
"And now master Peter, I don’t remember giving you the authority to say what gets done with your hair when I take you to the barbers."
"But JJ I mean Mr Smith asked me."
"I think his words were what’s it to be?"
"In that case, with me here, you will remain silent and I will talk to Mr Smith about what is to be done."
Joe was standing there already poised with his scissors and comb in his hand.
I replied glumly.
"Right Mr Smith, I want Peter’s hair to be cut short."
"If that’s what you want."
"It is, and if you don’t cut it short enough, I will take him somewhere else for his next haircut."
He started to cut my hair, and my thick blond hair began to rapidly fall from my head.My stepmother stood close by as he cut away.
"It’s no good looking all sorry for yourself Peter, it has to go."
"Why does it have to go? Dad was happy enough with how it was, as long as it was kept neat and tidy."
"Short hair is much better for a boy, these longer hairstyles which you boys like are not to my taste. That’s why you are having your hair cut short and I’m going to be keeping it short."
"It’s not fair."
"Nobody is interested in what you think Peter."
Soon the hair that had covered my ears had fallen onto the cape.
"Oh no." I exclaimed
"It’s alright Peter, your ears look fine."
"What’s the problem?"
"Peter has always been a bit self-conscious about his ears,"
I had always been concerned that my ears stuck out, which was why I was glad that I could grow my hair to cover them.
"We are not here to worry about his feelings, so please don’t pander to him."
She said dismissively and he just carried on, a few minutes later a man in his twenties came in, and Joe went over to the counter.
"I suggest you stop this sulky behaviour right away."
"I hate you."
"You may hate me but as you will discover I will have the last word. The honeymoon period is over Peter, and when I get you home you are going to be feeling my wooden spoon. Have you ever had the wooden spoon?"
"If your stepbrothers were here, they would warn you that I am extremely thorough with it."
How I wished my father had not married this woman, she was an old dragon.
"Dad won’t like that."
"I think you’ll find that your father has already given me the go ahead to discipline you as necessary, and that’s what I intend to do."
Joe was still busy at the counter as a second man had come in just as the first man left, I was used to Joe stopping my haircut to sell condoms to the men who came in to buy them. In the mirror I could see the men so I was always fascinated by who was buying them, it was only about a year ago my friend had pointed out to me what Joe was selling.
"Now where was I?"
He said as he returned to carry on with my haircut doing a bit more cutting, before setting to work with his thinning shears. My hair now sat very flat on my head, short and lifeless. Joe then took his clippers and tidied up around the back and sides.
"How is that for you Mam?"
"Well, it’s certainly an improvement."
She started to move my head around, inspecting it.
"But I want the back and sides of his head done a lot shorter."
"Are you saying what I think you are saying?"
"Do you have a problem with clipping the sides and back?"
"That would be very short Mam after all this is 1978."
"I know you’ve been his barber for a long time, but I can easily take Peter somewhere else and have him clipped."
Joe put his hand on the clippers to lift them up, hesitated then moved his hand away.
"No sorry, I can’t do it."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Yes, what you are asking me to do is too mean."
"That’s fine, take him off the chair."
Joe loosened the cape at the back and took it off and I stepped from the chair.
"Put your blazer on Peter and let’s get out of here."
I went to the clothes rack and got my blazer.
"How much do I owe you?"
"No payment is necessary."
"Very well, perhaps you could tell me where I can take Peter to get his haircut finished."
"You will find Albert’s down the road; he’ll take care of it."
Our departure from Joe’s was brisk and I doubted that I would be going back there anytime soon. I knew exactly where Albert’s Barbershop was and I dreaded going there. We walked down the road in silence, my stepmama was obviously furious, we soon arrived at the door to Albert’s Barbershop, she placed her hand on my shoulder and steered me in.
"Afternoon" he said in a friendly manner, as I noticed straight away that he was busy clipping the back of the head of a boy quite a bit younger than me.
We sat down to wait my turn.
"Looks like we have come to the right place Peter."
I just nodded, dreading what was about to happen, and I sat there feeling sick with dread, soon enough the boy stepped down from the tall chair he had been put in for his haircut.
"Now doesn’t that look smart Peter?"
"If you like that sort of haircut."
"I do Peter, and you too will learn to like it."
The boy paid his barber for his haircut, and Stepmama told me to take off my blazer and fold in neatly and leave it on the chair. As I was following her orders, the boy left and the barber moved a perching chair next to the main chair.
"Too tall for the boys chair and not quite tall enough for the men’s chair, so this is the chair for you."
"Looks just the job."
Stepmama replied gleefully, as he patted the seat for me to sit down. I sat down on the chair and he caped me.
"Looks like this hair has already been cut."
"Yes, it has, but nowhere near short enough, which is why I have brought him to you for a clipping."
"A lady who knows what she wants."
"I do and I want it done severely."
"Well, I am pleased to tell you that I have just the clippers for the job."
He unplugged the clippers which were already in the socket and replaced them with some different ones, these were larger and looked as if they were much older.
"Right my boy, time for you to have a good long look at my nice shiny floor."
He said before he bent my head right down and the clippers began buzzing, he pushed the clippers hard against the back of head, as he ran them up. The tears began to roll down my cheeks, as I was feeling very sorry for myself. But the clippers and the barber were unrelenting, I knew that I would have very little hair left when he had finished. They buzzed loudly as they feasted on my hair, I was certain that it wasn’t just my imagination that I could feel how bare my head now felt. He moved my head to the position he required it to be, so he could clip away. I remembered what he had said to my stepmother, in that she was a lady who knew what she wanted. She must have been thrilled at what was taking place. Finally, the clippers were returned to their station before he began to vigorously brush down my head.
"That’s much more like it."
"Thank you, madam, now just a few little touches with the razor."
"Please do whatever you consider is necessary."
He started to shave my neck with the cut throat razor and then trim just above my ears.
"Anything on his hair."
"What is on offer?"
"Spray, hair cream or perhaps a little hair oil."
"A little hair oil, I think."
I was horrified that he placed a few drops of oil on the top of my hair then rubbed it in, before combing what was left of my hair in place. He then invited Stepmama to take a closer look, she walked around me, before congratulating him on a first-class job.
"I am taking over the overseeing of Peter’s haircuts, so you will be seeing us regularly from now on."
The cape was removed and I was allowed to step off the chair, she paid him and we left. On our return home walking down the road we met Mrs Grainger, one of our neighbours.
"Oh Peter, you’ve had all your lovely hair cut off."
She exclaimed, but stepmama quickly told her that she preferred me to have a short haircut, and this was how my hair would be from now on. Once inside our house, she wasted no time in fetching her wooden spoon and setting to work with it on my backside. She had warned me that she was very thorough and indeed she was, ensuring that I never complained to her again about having my haircut.