Going for the chop
My teenage son had a haircut this week. It might not sound much to you, but this event was months in the making and its significance cannot be understated. You see, to him, it’s not just hair. It’s his whole life. He’s spent a large proportion of his young life growing it, washing and conditioning it, shaking it into place and combing it. I am so jealous of his hair, it’s so thick and lustrous. And shiny. And manageable. But it was totally obscuring his eyes and he couldn’t see anymore, and its volume was giving his head and neck the overall look of a large microphone. It was time for the chop, but he just couldn’t make the leap to the barber’s chair.
He spent hours poring over photos of identical haircuts on his iPhone. “What about this one?” he’d say. “Ask for that one,” I’d say. “Or this one?” he’d ask as he showed me another indistinguishable pic with a slight variation on one strand’s degree of sweep across the crown/forehead. “Get that one,” I’d reply, infinitely patient. “The good thing about hair is that it grows,” I’d logically explain. He’d just look at me, well I think he was looking at me, I couldn’t see through the thick hirsute curtain that was his fringe, and roll his eyes. I imagine.
“Are you worried that you’re going to lose your power?” I asked him, as another week went by and it was still growing like a giant mushroom cap. “Mother, what the hell are you talking about?” he sighed, trying to escape upstairs. “Like whatshisname, the footballer, Luis Suarez?” More snorts of derision. I am female and his mother so any attempt to show that I know about anything to do with football (which, incidentally, I loathe) is met with contempt or pity. “She means Fernando Torres,” side-swiped his dad, hurrying through on his way to do something manly, like take an axe to some wood, or change the oil on something. “Yes, that’s him, Fernando Torres,” I said, knowledgeably. “He had his luscious locks cut off, and people said that all his power went with his hair.” The only reason that had stuck in my head was because he was so good looking. And he had great hair.
“FFS mum. FML,” snapped Jack. I think that says it all.
He thinks he’s got problems. At least he can choose to have the chop. The poor dog is due for a chop of a different sort next week and if he knew what was about to happen he would be galloping for the hills. We’re having it done because a) There are enough unwanted dogs and puppies in the world without him adding his progeny to the mix, and b) I’ve had enough of him humping my leg. Everyone else thinks it’s hilarious, but having 40 kilos of dog assail you from behind, clamp its claws around your leg and start rutting away can really knock you off balance if you’re not expecting it, which, obviously not being a female dog, I wouldn’t be. He’s also partial to the odd inanimate object too. I had to take his new bed away because he gave it a right good seeing-to when he first got it, and we found it crumpled in a deflated heap with all its stuffing knocked out, like some analogy I can’t bring myself to commit to for fear of saying something offensive.
My son finally succumbed to the chop, and is actually very pleased with his new ‘do. I am too, in a clucky granny way, “ooh look, you can see your lovely face now” etc. I don’t think the dog is going to be quite so pleased with the outcome of his, but at least my leg and his bed can now rest easy.