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A Big Change by Mike Horton

It was 1979 and I was spending the weekend with one of my friends from school. We were planning a night at Skateworld for Saturday night. We got up early that morning as my friend Tim's dad said he had to run errands in town and said we could come along. Once we got to town Tim's dad said they were stopping for him and Tim to get a haircut, I guess I had a worried look on my face because Tim and his dad had short tapered haircuts, neatly parted on the side. I on the other hand had collar length hair that coompletely covered my ears and was blow-dried, feathered and parted in the middle, anyhow Tim's dad looked at me in the mirror and said don't worry Mike, we know you like your girly cut and not to worry, just the men are getting cuts today. We walked into the barbershop, which had fish mounted on the walls and a haircut chart of really old school looking cuts from the 50's and 60's. There were 3 barber chairs, all 3 chairs were full when we walked in. The barber closest to the door, and next to the window was finishing a guy probably in his early 20's and giving him a really short taper with fully exposed ears, he had put down the clippers and was wetting the guys hair with a spray bottle, he looked up and said I will be right with you fellas, next he turned and squeezed out a dollup of some white looking cream and massaged it thorougly through the young mans hair and then expertly reparted it with mathematical precision. As he finished up and the guy had paid, the barber looked our way and said Hello to Tim and his dad Jim, and said I see ya brought your daughter today as well, does she need a haircut too? Jim laughed and said no that's Tim's friend little girly man, he only goes to salons and blow dries his hair. I was embarrassed as everyone in the shop laughed and looked at me, the barber replied, "so no cut for you today then girly man"?. I was angry so I stood up and said yes I do need a cut and to give me a regular. He looked at Jim, and Jim nodded go ahead he needs it and I'm pretty sure his dad will approve. I stepped into the chair with shaky feet and the barber saw the worried look on my face and said that a boy, were gonna make you look sharp son. The neck strap was placed on me tight, the chair was turned away from the mirror so that I faced everyone in the shop, although the wall behind the customers was mirrored as well so I could see what was going on. He lightly sprayed my hair and combed it all straight down into my eyes in front and then crafted a sharp left part, then out came the clippers and the back of my hair started flying, up , up, and up the clippers climbed steadily higher, next he tore into the sides up, up, and up and next thing I knew my ears were fully exposed. He then went to the top and starting at the new part clipping my hair in a graduated fashion so that most of the weight was graduated toward the now much longer part side, next he combed my bangs down, which were now sharply angled and snipped a bit more, then he got out what he called thinning shears and more hair started flying from the top of my head, which was really worrying me, he said don't worry son this will make your hair lay better. Next he applied warm shaving cream to my neck and around my ears and scraped a nice outline around my ears and at the now very short back. He wiped the shaving cream off and I thought ok, its finally over and I straighten up a bit preparing to step down, he said just let me finish you up, he turned and I watched him go for the hair dressing bottle, I replied no I don't really need that stuff, and the barber still squeezed out a dollup and looked at Tim's dad and said this will help train his hair for the new part, Tim's dad said I agree, make him look extra sharp, the barber said yes sir and added a bigger squeeze from the bottle labeled Wildroot as I could now see it, next he massaged the sticky white cream thorougly through every hair on my already damp head, which instantly darkened my reddish dark blonde hair into a very shiny darker brown. He reformed the part with mathmematical precision and combed the front of my hair back forming a wedge in the front that neatly folded back. When he took off the cape, now every hair on my head gleamed and there was a white line around my ears and my now fully exposed neck. Jim nodded with approval and said his dad will be very pleased, I was holding back tears as I stepped out of the chair thinking there is no way I can go to SkateWorld tonight or school Monday and show myself. After Jim and Tim got their cuts, we left there and went for lunch at a cafe 2 doors down, where my dad happened to be eating lunch with my uncle. They both turned around in amazement and my dad said Mike is that you? I was embarrassed and could not get any words out, Tim's dad said we gave him a hard time about his long hair and he told the barber to give him a cut. My dad said its about time, that he was tired of me looking like a hippy and the other guys in the restaurant said now your looking good boy, my dad thanked Jim and told me son your gonna keep that haircut, you look more like a man now and as long as you live in my house thats the rules, after lunch he walked over and thanked the barber and purchased a bottle of the Wildroot and told him I would be back every 2-3 weeks for the same cut. This went on for 2 years till i became a junior in high school.

True Story, the End....

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