So, I took the girls to get their haircut the other day, and …
What? What’s so funny? Oh, that dad would be the one to take them? Psh. I’ve got this. I write of not being the “average” dad, and it’s true that sometimes I mean median income (I’m below) or median height (ditto).
I’m also 30 percent female, I’ve been told, and feel I do a good job as dad..
I make up for it, though, by letting my little kids use the restroom all the way in the back of Kohl’s, all alone, while I pour over the clearance racks in the men’s department in the front. But that’s another blog.
At best, I’m a slightly-better-than-average dad.
I’m the dad to drag the kids to SuperCuts. I’m the man who encouraged them to scour the hairstyle magazines mixed in with People and ESPN The Magazine in the waiting area. Introduced the wacky and wild, even.
The kids had their own ideas, thank God.
Elise – a trimming of split ends, a bit of maintenance for the harshness she inflicts on her hair with the hair-curling/straightening/ironing contraption she’s in love with. Most of the length left in place.
It appeared to me as if the woman squirted down Elise’s hair, ran a comb through it, dusted off her eyebrows and shoulders, and charged me a cool $14.95.
Grace went second. Her request: A cute bob. Even I know what that is. Grace popped into the chair and onto the booster seat, requesting with authority a bob cut to *here* (demonstrated with a snappy salute about jaw-high), and, oh, yes, side bangs.
I still don’t comprehend the concept of side bangs. I do know they seem unruly to control, annoying to tame with a clip, and unmistakably likely to drop down in a girl’s face and obstruct her vision on the soccer grounds just as she’s about to make a shot or a save.
That’s just my opinion, though.
Grace bound from the chair as quick as she got in it, testing the new cut’s aerodynamics by sprinting around the store. Two down, Marie to go. Now, Marie came with a game plan. And diagrams.
A girl with a plan
She printed out pictures of actress/singer Chelsea Kane‘s do, from every possible angle.
Front. Back. Side. Side. From a tree across the street. Ant’s view. It took forever. I know this. I ran all the way through an article about Rangers manager Ron Washington, looked at pictures of Elizabeth Banks (twice), and sneaked out to the car to eat a bear claw.
Or an apple. I can’t remember which.
And we were still waiting, behind women with their hair wrapped in little bits of tin foil that did nothing but make me want to eat a gyro at a Greek festival. With those seasoned fries, and maybe even some baklava.
Oh, the kid’s hair. Well, it wasn’t cut right. How was I to know? I was the responsible dad. I watched as the clips went into the hair, just as they did for Grace’s. I watched those healthy hands full of chocolate eclair-brown locks wafted gracefully to the floor.
I saw Marie’s lips purse and jut to the side, and it occurred to me what a huge step this was for her.
A swing, and a miss
Eleven years on Earth and this is the first short haircut she’s had.
She’d seen this girl’s hair, Chelsea Kane’s, and wanted to make it her own. And, although I was oblivious at the time, it was being cut shorter than she wanted, in nothing of the style she’d picked. And diagrammed. And explained.
And wished for.
Two happy faces, one sad.She was fine the rest of the day. But the tears came the next day. Don’t get me wrong. The girl was still ultra cute. That pretty face framed with that gorgeous hair.
She’ll be so ticked when she finds out I’ve written about it.
One of her best friends said that when it grows out, her stylist mom will fix it, just like Chelsea Kane’s. So, I’d better tell an embarrassing story about myself. This’ll be easy. See, Marie, when I was in sixth grade, I had a hairdo wish too.
I wanted hair like Daryl Hall’s. You know, from Hall and Oates.
My own hair horror story
Yeah. The Hispanic kid with the round face and dark hair wanted the doo-wop look of a skinny white man. Don’t ask me why. I even brought the picture to the SuperCuts. Yolanda, the stylist, just sucked her teeth.
“We can’t do this,” she said, then proceeded to try.
It just wasn’t right. You can’t make a sixth-grade Latino boy’s hair look like that. Without shaving in a receding hairline. Or … Curling it. I don’t blame my mom, really. I kind of insisted on it.
So on a Sunday night, my mom tried it. She took her curling iron to a 12-year-old boy’s hair to test it.
It curled. Looked nothing like my favorite blue-eyed soul singer’s, but no matter. So we did it again Monday morning. There’s that moment in time you think something is a really, really good idea.
You can see it.
Like, in William Hung’s face, before Simon Cowell opened his mouth. When that fawn is in the meadow nibbling grass, just before the coyote … never mind. Anyway, I didn’t even make it to home room.
Nothing to see here
“Dude, what happened to your hair?” One kid said.
Psh. Nothing. What do you mean? (Just wait until the girls see.) “Ah man! Did you curl your hair??” No way. I don’t even HAVE a curling iron! I just – “Dude!! Eli curled his hair!” That’s all it took.
I managed to have a girlfriend or two that year.
I Made a few friends. But it’s a good thing student council elections came before the Great Curl. I’ve have never gotten the vote for president had I been linked to this: It wasn’t until I set foot in a new school, two years later, that the curls finally died down.
“Hey, aren’t you the kid who used to curl his hair?” I’d get asked occasionally.
Psh. No way, I’d say. Who does that? A dude, with a curling iron? So you see, Marie, getting a bit more chopped than Chelsea Kane really isn’t that big a deal. And if you mention this to your sisters … I swear I’ll take you right back to that lady.
Love you honey. Mean it.