Thursday, February 11, 2016

Barbershop 4

My wife very often struggles with her hair, which means I sometimes struggle with it too. She likes to change her style up often, but a trip to the stylist, for her, is usually an all day affair, and usually costs about as much as our car payment. Even going natural is difficult for her, because while there are many beautiful natural styles out there, her hair seems to only want to do the low and tight. I've watched her put both product and effort into it on a Sunday morning for almost an hour, and by the time we eight out of the car at church, it's back in its favorite position. I can actually relate to her issues in a small way, being follicularly challenged myself. I know what it feels like to put in time and effort into making your hair look good, and being frustrated when it just doesn't. I decided a few years back that I was just done with the fight, and started shaving my head, but that's not necessarily an option for my wife.

Until now.

As it happened, it had been a particularly trying day for her, not only with work, but also with some of the home accounting we've been trying to revamp lately. Then she got the voicemail from her stylist saying that her appointment the next day was cancelled. So, the hair thing was just the icing on the cake, if you really hate cake and the icing tastes like garbage. When I asked her if there was anything I could do to make her feel better, she said, "You could take your clippers to my head and chop this mess off." I laughed sympathetically and rubbed her back. 

She looked at me with the most serious eyes.

Ten minutes later, we have one of the dining chairs in the bathroom, the clippers are buzzing, and my wife is looking at me in the mirror with absolute trust.

Now, I've cut hair before, only as an amateur. I cut my son's hair until he was about fifteen, and I've given a couple of my friends cuts back when we were sometimes too broke to even make it to the barber. I cut my own hair two or three times a week, but that doesn't really count, since it doesn't require a whole lot of art or skill. Cutting a woman's hair was an entirely different thing. If I messed up on any on the guys, the rule was, we can always just take it all the way down to one. In this case, while my wife and I have a lot in common, I feel that baldness shouldn't be one of those bonds.

Turns out there was a lot more hair than it seemed. I'm not a novice when it comes to her hair, but I never realized just how much of it she was packing in such a small space. At times, I felt as if I was pulling it out rather than clipping it, from the way that the comb-guard on the clippers was working so hard to get through. At first, I was nervous and awkward, certain I was going to have her going to work looking like Bobby Brown in the "Rock With You" video. In fact, I would have settled for Grace Jones' look back in the day, would have felt pretty proud of it, too. I told my wife that this was the strangest thing we have done together since helping her give birth.

However, once the bathroom floor was covered in kinky black hair, I started feeling more confident, cocky even. I didn't like how the first pass looked, so I decided to change out the number eight for a number six and try to give the sides a fade. The clippers were moving much more smoothly now, and I could actually see what I wanted. Within about ten more minutes, I had created what I thought was a style that she could at least wear to work without looking like her husband had cut her hair in the bathroom with his own clippers. 

Unfortunately, the next morning, when she woke up, her hair had done its magic trick again and recoiled into its safety zone again. Thank goodness, there was another voicemail from the stylist saying that the appointment was back on for that evening. When my wife arrived home, at about 9:30, almost six hours after leaving work, her hair was the shortest I've ever seen it, probably less than half the length I'd left it, very neatly faded, BLONDE, and sexy as heck. I truly think my wife was pleased with her hair for the first time in the last three years.

I told I was really impressed and that I loved it, but unfortunately, the Demolition Man joke was such low hanging fruit that I had to pluck it. Hopefully, I scored enough points with the clippers to still come out ahead.

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