I’m certainly not the first to point out that many aspects of a marriage require trust. First and foremost, the decision to marry requires that huge level of confidence that you will spend your life with this person. The decision to have children requires enormous trust, devotion and perhaps that third margarita. But of all the moments in my marriage where trust has been absolutely crucial, I am convinced that none has required a greater leap of faith than asking my husband to cut my hair.
It’s messy but it’s free.
Now I am not talking a simple straight across trim of the bangs or a quick clip to even up the split ends of shoulder length hair. My hair is short and I like it that way, mainly because I am exceedingly lazy about certain personal grooming rituals. Cutting my hair requires the artful use of scissors to create layers and texture. It also requires the use of barber shop style hair clippers with the number three attachment to buzz the back and sides.
When we first got married and were leaving for Peace Corps, I feared I’d look like Troglodyte woman. Not knowing whether our remote island community of Western Samoa would even have hair styling facilities, or sharp scissors for that matter, I began to panic. I’ve tried to grow long hair and it is not a pretty sight. My patience ends when my hair barely creeps over my ears and I immediately run screaming to have it chopped off. So knowing my husband was a tad bit on the anal retentive side, I thought he’d be the perfect candidate to learn the application of scissors to my head.
My stylist, who had cut my hair for years, offered to teach him the tricks of short hair styling. I was impressed when he brought a notepad, asked questions and drew sketches during his lesson. Just to be safe I had my hair cut two days before leaving the country.
Fearing that he might have to cut my hair with a machete, I purchased the As Seen on TV home haircutting kit. I figured it the cuts were too horrible for human viewing, I’d wear a baseball cap for two years. So dreading the day, and once again contemplating growing out my hair, my hair as grew fast and unruly as the banana trees in our backyard in the tropical heat. Humidity, while exceedingly kind to my skin, was not kind to my hair. And I’m happy to report during that time period, I only had one bad ‘do that we dubbed the Stare Cut.
Upon our return home, I thought about visiting the salon. But truth be told, I kind of liked having on demand, in-house hair care. The other truth was, I was saving lots of money this way. Short hair is high maintenance. And I am cheap.
Maybe he can duct tape all my chins up when he’s finished.
Twenty-one years later, he’s still cutting it although it’s a much less hair raising experience. Now if I could just get him to do my quite neceassary monthly application of 5G Medium Golden Brown, I probably wouldn’t spend one week a month looking like Gorbachev.