I can still hear the shout…”MAKE IT SHORT”…coming from the kitchen from my mother to the barber who was about to give me a haircut upstairs in my bedroom. I was 10 years old, home sick in bed, and I couldn’t go to the barbershop. But that didn’t stop my mother from arranging for the barber to come to the house. Afterall, my parents were having a dinner party that night, and in their opinion, I couldn’t be seen with a week-old haircut. Yes…my mother had me scheduled for weekly trips to the barbershop for a crew-cut…until I was about 11 years old, a painful ritual that clearly left its mark on me.
The barber took her command to heart, and proceeded to shave off practically all of my hair, leaving me near-bald. Needless to say, she screamed (from shock) when she came upstairs to see me, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked in the mirror.
Wearing a baseball cap was the only solution. So, I greeted the guests in my pajamas with my cap, and I went to school and wore my cap. I practically showered with that cap on. It took weeks to grow back, and a lifetime to try to forget the story…which I haven’t been able to shake.
The irony..now I like it “short, very short”. In fact, every Monday morning I shave my head with a professional barber’s razor. Maybe if Bruce Willis had been alive in the ’50’s and worn his hear the way he does, I might have liked that “cut”. It took 55 years to come around to seeing that maybe, just maybe, my mother was right, and stylish ahead of her time!