Monday, March 29, 2010

Haircuts, or On Picking Your Battles

I have always loved Curtis’s hair.

Before we were dating he and his college buddies decided that they would participate in the “Locks for Love” donating frenzy, and grow their hair out to a donation worthy length (Note: ten inches). It was then that I noticed what superior hair genes he had been blessed with: thick, straight, shiny. It was every young woman’s dream.

The first time I actually got to cut Curtis’s hair we were still in college. He was running his first marathon, and I was conveniently present when he decided he was ready for a buzz. I ran my fingers through it as I chopped off the excess locks, and when I was finished, the desired look had been accomplished. And my love for his hair was cemented.

After that initial buzz, my hair cutting skills were forgotten…until we got married.

The past few years have found Curtis and me at the center of many cost-cutting measures, hair cutting included. Every four to six weeks we pull out the clippers and he dons the plastic smock and I layer his hair with any number of measured combs until the desired look is attained. Afterward I sweep up the mess while he washes himself off, and we are set until the mop has grown unruly once again.

We have run into many problems with this seemingly perfect routine. There was the time I was so wrapped up in an ethical dilemma I was expressing to him that I started cutting—without a comb attached. Did I mention that this was a week before he was the best man in his best friend’s wedding? Thankfully his thick hair saved the day, jamming the clippers before I could make it half an inch, and then mercifully covering the mistake. (Though that was almost the end of my hairdressing career)

And while Curtis’s lovely thick locks saved his handsome face on that occasion, they have endlessly frustrated me on countless other occasions. Many a hair cutting session have left Curtis and me fuming when the clippers jam, causing the cut to take FOREVER, and leaving his scalp raw from all the pulling. It doesn’t matter how much we spend on clippers, his “beautiful” hair seems find the need to show us who’s boss on a regular basis.

Yesterday morning on the way to church Curtis began to mentally prepare me for the haircut he absolutely needed that afternoon. He knows that between the clipper battles and the post-cut itch that inevitably happens with small hair granules stuck everywhere, a necessary trim can make me instantly annoyed. I made up my mind that I would enjoy the experience, and annoyances aside, I did.

They tell you when you get married that “things change”. They warn you that the rose-colored experiences of dating will fade and that reality will rear its ugly head. And in some ways “they” are right. Someday (when the extra cash for a haircut doesn’t seem quite so dear) I will probably let someone else take care of the itchy, frustration that plagues me every month, and I will tuck the worthless clippers away until they are further needed.

After all, at the end of the day you have to choose your battles, and fighting with a pair of finicky hair clippers doesn’t quite seem worth the effort.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this post! You are so so right about picking your battles. It is so important to set your mind to try and enjoy life because it is full of frustrations. My marriage is still young (it is my second marriage) and we are still learning and having experiences like this one. It sounds like you are very wise. I think someday you will look back on this experience fondly. Thanks for a great start to my day!