Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

The Haircut

I got my hair cut today.  Randy is my barber.  He is about my age.  We talk about sports and local news.  It is usually uneventful.

There was a young teenage boy in the next chair.  I learned, from eavesdropping, that he is in 8th grade.

Personally, I don’t recall ever crying in the barber chair, or at all as an 8th grader, so I had zero empathy when that 8th grader had a hissy fit.

Apparently, his haircut was not turning out as he wanted.  I could tell because he said that was not what he wanted, threw down the cloth thing they put around your shoulders to keep the hair clippings off your clothes, got up literally crying, and went outside, followed by his mother and the lady cutting his hair, who attempted to placate him, one of them bringing him water.

Randy and I shook our respective heads with shared disgust.

The placating was “successful” (although not something that would be my goal as his parent) so he returned to the chair.

The young lady to whose chair he returned asked if he was okay when he continued to pout.  She asked if he wanted to go wipe his teary eyes in the bathroom, an idea that he rejected.

Instead, the misunderstood teen shouted that she “did not understand” his feelings.

Neither do I.  Neither does Randy.  Join the club.

His mother understood that her son’s needs were not being adequately met.  She agreed that he could have his hair dyed.  That is a great idea, because a thirteen year old with an earring looks stupid without dyed hair.

So, after his unsatisfactory haircut, the stylist/colorist mixed up the old dye pot and brushed a potion on the top of the kid’s head.

I probably hurt the sensitive young man’s feelings when I joked with Randy that I wondered if I needed highlights in my naturally whitened hair.  Randy did not think I needed any highlights.  I take that to mean that my hair is such a beautiful color that is impossible to improve upon.

The crybaby’s mother brought to his chair a book for him to read while waiting for the dye to kick in.

I hope the hair dye cheered him up.  I got a feeling that he is going to have  much more to cry about when Mom isn’t around to respond to life’s disappointments.

I fear the kid has been spoiled.  That isn’t all his fault.

Somebody should have told him long before now that big boys don’t cry and that crying to get your way won’t work.  It is getting almost too late to teach him what most of us learned at age two.

But there is still hope.  Maybe he will join the Marine Corps someday.  They provide haircuts without a guy’s mother butting in.

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12 thoughts on “The Haircut

  1. One major benefit of the old-fashioned short haircut for men is that the difference between a bad haircut and a good one is about two weeks.
    I remember one haircut from when I was about twelve. We were in the big city and my Dad took me to a barbershop. Evidently I got the student barber, as he had a hard time getting my hair even on the sides. He trimmed my hair a little too high one one side. so tried to make the other side match. Then he had to go back to the other side and trim it a little more. By the time he was done I had very little hair on the sides of my head. After a week or so my friends at school stopped asking who had cut my hair.

  2. I hear you. One day a friend talked of a little foster boy that had, according to his social worker, “oppositional defiance disorder.” I think it looked somewhat like what you saw. (Dads used to have a “one application” cure for that but it bruised the ego quite much, so has been dropped.)

    But when this teen doesn’t have his mom nearby, he’ll likely have a girlfriend to placate him–for awhile. Then another…and another… And when he hits forty-something he’ll realize that he’s going to spend a lot of time alone if he continues to operate like this, so he’ll get some therapy to help him cope with his feelings.

    As for joining the Marines, I can see that working only if he volunteers and submits to the discipline. Otherwise it’ll be like:
    Sarge on first day: “Okay, guys. Five laps around the track.”
    Pouter, now twenty-ish, “Are you kidding? No way! I quit.”

  3. His mother created the little monster…hope she plans to indulge him the rest of his life. Next we will hear how the bully at school teased him about his haircut and it ruined his life. What ever happened to SUCK IT UP KID??? Life’s tough and if you are going to let a lousy haircut ruin it; you are in for big trouble later on.

    • I actually thought that about bullying. I don’t approve of bullying and I used to protect kids who were, but I also had the thought that if that kid went to my junior high, he would not be able to walk home alone. I also have no memory of anyone in junior high or high school crying at school, let alone the barber shop. There are some things you can’t do in public without losing your dignity.

  4. Good story… too bad for the kid, he’s in for a heap of hurt in this world. Mom isn’t doing him any favors.

  5. I think about Mr. Johnson, USMC, who volunteered for the Marine Corps in January 1942. I compare that then youngster Mr. Johnson to your 8th grader and worse yet, the likes of Justin Bieber.

    Oo-rah.

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