Mr. Cope's Cave: Haircut

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—Original Message—
From: B. Cope (bcope38@nosuchthing.moc)
Subject: earmuffs as indispensible fashion accessory
CC: everyone.

Just to notify: you won't be seeing much of me for a while. I will sneak out when the neighbors aren't watching to buy paper or whatever sundries I might require, but other than that, am staying home and pretending I'm not there when doorbell rings. Estimating it will take at least six weeks until I am again presentable.

Normally, am not a vain man. Nor, what you'd ever call a "looker." However, this new haircut has brought me to my knees. Can no longer brush my teeth or shave or squeeze blackheads using mirror; too upsetting. (Throw a towel over my head to avoid catching inadvertent glimpse of myself whenever I go to the bathroom.)

All started last week when I complained to her (wife) it was time for a trim. Had let it go too long, as basically, I hate haircuts, and it had grown wild and unruly. Not yet Einstein-unruly, but well on its way. Told her (wife) I looked like Daryl from Walking Dead and she said "No you don't." Immediatley recognized her argument as a ploy to get out of cutting my hair. She hates my haircuts, too, as she is the one who has to perform them. And at least I get to sit down.

She has been cutting my hair for over 40 years. She offered once when we were courting, and I never looked back. It's certainly not the only thing, but one of the things that attracted me to her in the first place, that she could cut hair. Has always perturbed me to no end that, once my hippy days were over, I was forced by society's conventions to pay a barber hard-earned currency not only to cut my hair, but to listen to his analysis of the Packers' (or the Cubs') chances as he did it. Then, had to do it all over again in two to eight weeks, depending on how committed to looking presentable I was at the time.

But into my life she (wife) comes. Appealing to behold, kind, generous, bright, happy, energetic, loving... and she could cut hair! She was never, what you would call, a "Barber to the Stars," but thankfully, 1) I am not a star; 2) her haircuts generally looked as good on me as any professional's work; 3) there was no sports banter, fishing stories or political observations to suffer through; and 4) she did it for free. I have seldom had reason to complain, and if I did, she has never had any reservations about telling me to "take it to Quicky Cuts next time if you don't like it."

This arrangement ended tragically last week, as she had come into ownership of a new electric hair clipper thingie, complete with several attachments for... actually, have no idea what the attachments are for, as have never cut hair myself, and never paid much attention to how it was done. Whatever the attachments are for doing, she did. Or, at least, tried to do. Could initially sense her excitement at having this new tonsorial toy to experiment with. But as the haircut wore on, she grew quiet and, if I am any judge of tension, tense. I said, "What's happening back there?" and she said, " I just need to even this up."

I'm not sure what she was trying to even up, but it took her many attempts to accomplish it. Back and forth with her new clipper thingie, side to side, over and over, until, in the end, there was very little left to get even. She confirmed what my sinking gut was already telling me when she said, "It'll grow back."

I suppose it will. It always has, and have no reason to believe it won't this time. However, at present, look like I just got out of prison. Or like I have been in a barbecuing accident. Or that I have ringworm. I can see more of my forehead than I've seen since high school, and don't like what I see. Even worse, I can see all of my ears. Have never liked the looks of ears. Even beautiful people have ugly ears, and I am not a beautiful people. If you ask me, ears should be in the same category as genitalia and toes—best thought of in the abstract rather than actually seen.

But unless there is a tipping point for hair, at which after being cut so short it gives up and dies, it will grow back. Until then, consider me out of town. On an extended vacation, perhaps, or dead. If you have anything to say to me, do not expect me to be there when you say it.

Oh, we must consider starting a campaign to promote ear muffs as an indispensible fashion accessory. Give it some thought.