Home » Location » Barbershop » Linda’s Quandary (Part 1)

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PREFACE:
The stories that you are about to read; are a series of 7 stories, dedicated to my late wife of 36 years. Linda could grow her hair at a rate of 1 + inch a month. While married from 1970-2006, she had had only 7 haircuts in her lifetime. Always cutting HER LONG BEAUTIFUL HAIR INTO the newest hairstyle, only to keep it short for 3 – 4 months and then grow it out for years. I hope you enjoy as I did with Linda each haircut done.

It was 1960 and Linda was all of 12 years old. Linda’s hair had grown to be at knee length a length she loved. All the other girls at school had gotten their hair cut short as this was the new style. The pixie cut was the rage, as was the Twiggy style. Teased hair was also a style but had been around as the big hair for the 60’s from 58 and 59. Linda had for the past two years take her little brothers to the barbershop every month and waited on them while they got their haircut. Each time Linda would get ready to leave, Ed the barber would tease her to watch her blush and say, “Next, Linda your turn” Linda would look at Ed and blush and say “Thanks Ed but not today.”

As the year went by into November, Linda was the sole hold out of her catholic school class to have long hair. All the girls had cut their hair short except Linda. Her friends were always asking when she was going to cut her long hair short. Daily she was asked at least a dozen times by peers and faculty members. Her Spanish teacher even asked Linda in Spanish why she had not gotten her haircut as the others and that long hair was ugly hair. It was time for a change her parents said as Linda had young boys after her and they all loved her long hair, because she was the only one who had long hair at the school. Linda told her parents she was not cutting her hair short, that long hair was beautiful and nice too look at and nobody else had long hair anymore. Her parents added that was more reason for her to cut her hair short.

Linda was not going to give in to peer pressures. All her so-called friends dropped her as a friend because she would not conform. While at least 5 boys vied for her attentions by carrying her books home for her and playing with her ponytail or her hair when it was let down long and straight. Linda’s parents told her she had to be a lady and wear her hair up to school each day. They told Linda that the boys at that age might get aroused and things could lead from playfulness to seriousness. Also sister Teresa said Linda spent most of the day playing with her hair, twisting he long hair and taunting the others who had cut their short as their parents had wished. Sister Teresa said it was time for Linda to be a team player at the school and get her hair cut like all the other girls. If she was not going to do this then she had to wear her hair up and out of the way as it was becoming a distraction to all the other children. Linda complied and wore her hair in braids and topknots daily. But each day on the way home one of the boys would undo her hair to watch it fall down.

Finally Linda’s dad and mom had a talk with her on Sunday after church. Linda was told that she had a week to cut her hair short. There were too many boys playing with her hair. She was the ridicule of the neighborhood, the school, church and her parents it was said had no control over her and what she did with all those boys after her. She was young and vulnerable, she was to get a hair cut final word haircut one week No was not the answer, Linda was to get a haircut within the week or dad would cut it for her by Saturday night before church next Sunday. Word was out about Linda having to get a haircut Linda, since her brothers had said they heard mom and dad talking and telling her she was to get it cut. The week went by and daily people would ask will it be short tomorrow and Linda would say “No it will not be.” Each day Linda prolonged the thought of a haircut and cried herself to sleep holding her long hair one day closer to the last day.

On Saturday Linda took her brothers to get their Christmas Day haircuts, but instead of morning Linda waited till it was late about 4pm almost closing time when she walked in with her brothers. When Ed was done, he said to Linda “Next, Linda it is your turn.” Linda got up told her brothers to stay still and she walked up to the big red leathered barbers chair and sat down into the chair as Ed was getting ready to close the shop door and put out the closed sign and drew the shade at the door. Ed turned and there was Linda in the barbershop chair. Ed looked at Linda and asked “What are you doing Linda.” Linda laughed and asked Ed “You mean you do not know.” Ed said, ” What am I suppose to know.” Linda said “Mom and Dad told me I had till Saturday night to get my hair cut short and today is Saturday and there is nobody open at this hour except you.” Ed said “You waited till closing to come in and knew I always played with you about a haircut, Oh Linda I was only playing with you.” Linda said “I know and that is why I chose to wait till Saturday Night with everyone closed to let you cut my hair, you are the only one I trust, nobody except mom has even touched my hair with scissors.” Ed said, “Ok, if this is what you want then I can do it. Have you a cut in mind.” Linda said, “Yes” and pointed at picture number 3 on the wall. The hair was cut with a _” clipper cut. Ed said ” Linda that is a _” cut.” Linda smiled and said “Ed, I know that is a short cut the shortest one I can get next to being like my brother crew cuts, so that is what I want, if I am being forced to cut it, let it be the shortest hair in the school for a girl to wear.” Ed said “If that is what you want Linda, then that is what you will get and the cut is on me free.”

Ed started to cape Linda up and put the tissue around her neck. Ed caped her in a white with red striped cape. Linda felt a bit awkward in the barbershop chair as Ed pulled all her hair forward from under the cape. Linda sat looking at her self, her long flowing hair to her lap in front of her and her long flowing hair falling down the back of the barbers chair as Ed fluffed it out all around Linda. She looked at herself in the mirrors in front of her and behind her. There she sat as she had always had the desire to sit in the barbershop chair, but; now she was really going to get all her knee length hair cut, a haircut, a short haircut. Ed asked, “Are you ready Linda.” Linda looked at herself and nodded yes. Ed said, “Do you want to save the hair in a braid or ponytail.” Linda said “No, just cut it off Ed.” Ed grabbed the clippers and put a _” guard onto the clipper then flipped the switch. Linda jumped as the sound startled her, she watched as Ed brought the clippers to her right eye and said, “Last chance to back out, Linda.” Linda was excited now and about to have a heart attack her heart was beating as she sat waiting for the clippers to do their thing, cut all her hair short, a 3’4″ cut she thought about what she was going to look like, no more long knee length hair. Ed said again ” Linda, Last chance Linda for you to back out.” Linda was in a trance and woke up to look at Ed and say “Oh Ed, my long hair, my beautiful long hair, cut it Ed, cut it all short.” With that Ed placed the clippers at Linda’s left temple. Linda watched as Ed picked up her hair and held a section out then ran the clippers straight up her temple to her forehead. Ed took the clipped hair and gave it to Linda. Linda was too entranced to look at the shorn hair as she was fixed at the two-inch path of short hair where long hair once fell to her lap. Linda was tapped by Ed and then clutched the long shorn spire; she then held the spire of hair in her hands. Her two brothers said, “Wow, look, Linda’s long hair is short. Linda you going to cut all your hair that short? WOW mom and dad will not know you. What a short hair cut? I never seen ya in short hair Linda.” Ed picked up another section of hair at the ear and again straight up with the clippers as they plowed through Linda’s
hair again. Linda saw another section disappear and hit her lap and the floor. Linda started to cry a tear of loss at looking at her hair severed in her lap and on the floor but; also a tear of joy at not having to put up with all she had endured keeping her hair long. Ed went from Linda’s right side to her nape. Here Linda experienced something she had never felt. The warm clipper was vibrating from her neck to her crown, what a feeling she had like no other feeling she had experienced in her 12 years of life. Two more passes at the nape and the feeling was a chill all the way up her spine and made her shudder a little like a small chill, the a warm sensation. Linda shuttered again a little as she saw more hair falling to the floor around her. Ed was now at Linda’s left side near her ear as Linda sat staring at the mirrors and watched in amazement as each section was reduced to a short _” cut, as Ed worked from the left side to the front, and all that hair piling up on the floor. Ed said, ” I hope I do not trip in all that length of hair, could get caught up in it all you know.” Ed now brought the clippers to Linda’s forehead. Linda stared straight in front of her at the clippers roaring at her then Ed ran the clippers right down the middle of her head leaving a noticeable cut of _ ” two inches wide down the middle of her head. Two more passes to about _” and that was all that was left. Ed made three more passes around Linda’s head and ears to trim it all even all over her head. Linda saw herself now with a head of hair that was only _” all the way around. Linda sat stunned at who she saw she did not know this girl with the short hair but had see her come to life as her long hair was reduced time and time again by the clippers to a short new look. Ed uncapped Linda and Linda got out of the chair. Ed said” Well Linda what do you think?” Linda looked at herself and said “Thank You Ed, I’ll be growing it out now that it is short, don’t think I’ll try this again for about 10 years, or till my hair gets back to my knees.” Linda gave Ed a big hug and said I like it Ed you did a good job.” Ed said, “It was a cutting I will never forget for as long as I live Linda, thank you for the memories of this day.”

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