MOM, for eighteen years: “Chuckie, you need a haircut.”
DAD, until 2004: “Chuck, you need a haircut and a shoeshine.” (The shoeshine was always in there, even if I was wearing basketball shoes, slippers, or barefoot.)
DR. LUNG, about three months ago: “Your lungs sound clear, but you need a haircut.” (I am not making that up!)
MARTHA, last night at supper: “Charlie, you need a haircut.”
I will be sixty-three-years-old in a little over a month and I still don’t own my own hair!
It’s not like I have a mullet, a ponytail, a Mohawk, or an Afro. It isn’t purple or green. I don’t use Brylcream or axle grease on it. Or hairspray. Or chocolate mousse. It’s just regular old hair, dammit, but everybody worries about it. (That might be a slight exaggeration.)
What really hurt was Martha, my Precious Moment, my Faberge Egg, my Beanie Baby, telling me what to do with the hair on my bean. Nearly thirty-six years of nearly good wedded bliss, and the haircut thing has come full circle: She sounded just like my mom.
Never mind what her hair looks like every single morning when she climbs out of bed, stumbles into the dinette room, and sits across the table from me with her coffee cup clutched tightly in her hand:
That’s right, her hair looks exactly like Don King’s.
I would never dare tell her that, of course, because she would beat me to death with her good cast iron skillet as soon as she finished her coffee.
Sooner or later I’ll have to give in and get a cut, but I’m going to make it later. Maybe as an anniversary present in August. Or perhaps her birthday in November. I can tell you this for sure: I’m not going down without a fight.
It’s my hair, after all.