Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Long Strange Trip

You never know what might prove to be important.

Thirty years ago, I accompanied a young man on a visit to his barber. It was a small shop, in a small town - think Andy Griffith in Mayberry. I sat in a chair against the wall facing where my then fiance was getting a haircut. We three chatted and visited. I was fascinated by the barber’s technique. I had never seen a barber at work before. He was skilled and swift, but there was a discernible pattern to his spare motions. In the coming months, with money impossibly tight, I attempted to duplicate that haircut for my new husband. We both survived and through the years I got better at it.

Fast forward several years and the young man and I are standing in a hallway, in a courthouse, in a much bigger town than the one where that barbershop had been. I was struck by his haircut. It was a new style, not the one the barber had inadvertently taught me; not the one I had been replicating for eight years. The love was long gone between us, but I reflexively reached up toward his hair, commenting favorably on the style. He snapped his head away. Soon we were in a courtroom with a judge and lawyers and the marriage, neither of us should have ever entered into, was dissolved.

This afternoon, I cut my husband Chuck’s hair. I’ve been doing it for around two decades. Chuck looks nothing like my first husband. His hair is completely different as well. But that one visit to a barbershop and many years of practice, has found me working smoothly, quickly and with ease. Each time I give Chuck a haircut and trim his beard, I swear it takes ten years off him. Mind you, that’s not cumulative! But with Chuck’s birthday coming up on Tuesday, today’s cut makes him look closer to 57 than 67 - something which Chuck appreciates.

I wish I could have found a way to get to exactly this same point in my life without that first marriage. (I’m certain my ex-husband wishes the very same thing.) Chuck and I are bashert: predestined, soulmates, meant to be. But we needed all those years, the moves, the job changes, in order to finally cross paths and be together.

And without that detour to a barbershop in a very small town, I never would have learned how to cut my husband Chuck’s hair...


dancingmorganmouse said...

That's a lovely story, thank you for sharing. And you're right, it's funny what we have to go through to get where we are today.
BTW, I just offered to cut Mr Brown's hair, there are scorch marks on the floorboards ;)

Wendy said...

what a lovely, touching story. I find myself crying a wee bit. I really have to get my emotions under control!LOL at dancing morgan mouse. Mr Humble would be exactly the same.

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM & Wendy -
You made us laugh out loud at your husbands' reactions to the idea of cutting their hair for them!
Thank you both for your very kind words...
- Lee

Sue said...

Oh my word, how I wish I could find my Chuck now too!!

My mom's a hairdresser and I'm revolting with a pair of scissors in my hand. Thank goodness Jake likes to get his hair shaved (as did Jacques) and I could manage that. Although I did once shave half an eyebrow off Jacques ;0) I keep telling myself I need to get my mom to show me the art of cutting a man's hair - I don't think I could ever justify spending all that money at the barbers!

Also, it's Tuesday here today, so a VERY happy birthday to Chuck! I'm sure I don't need to remind you to spoil him lots, from what I've read today, you adore him and I'm sure that's enough of a gift. Hope he has a wonderful day, thinking about him and sending lots of happy birthday wishes his way.


Pink Granite said...

Hi Sue -
Oh you know I wish you every possible happiness!

I've never caused Chuck to miss part of an eyebrow, but I have occasionally been trimming along the back and let out an "Ooops!" It doesn't inspire confidence!

Thank you for the birthday wishes! Chuck had a very busy day being a very good son-in-law to my Mom! (She had a doctor's appointment) But we had a nice lunch together and got a lot accomplished.
Thanks again!
- Lee

DMM said...

And now he DEMANDS I cut his hair ... 2 years on :D

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
More proof of what a long, strange trip it can be!
Snip, snip...
- Lee