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There were several formative experiences that underlie my haircut fetish, and this is one of them.

I was 7-years old, and it was over the Thanksgiving holiday. My Uncle and 6-year old cousin had driven from Ithaca to stay with us for the long weekend. My cousin, Jenny, was fun to play with and we spent hours playing throughout the upstairs level while the adults had the serious conversation downstairs.

I’m not sure if she proposed the idea or if I did, but we came up with a fun and exciting game where we would chase each other around the bedroom trying to snip off little pieces of each other’s hair, while the other person resisted and covered up as much as they could from the schnick, schnick sound of the oversized kitchen shears. Being a 7-year old boy in the early 80’s, my hair was an overgrown shaggy mess with the sides fully over the ears and bangs hanging into my eyes. Jenny’s mane was long, think auburn hair that had been neatly plated into a think pony tail that went all the way to her butt. She always had it in a ponytail as long as I could remember.

I recall letting her catch up to me on the bed, and as she straddled me, this indescribably powerful and pleasant warmth begin to grow between my legs as I let my hands covering the back of my hair loosen and felt her close the scissors around a section of my hair well above my hairline. The scissors made this loud, schiink sound as a big section of my hair was cut out, with Jenny letting out a giggly shout of suprise and OMG as she realized what she had accomplished. I remember pushing her off and wrestling the scissors from her and straddling her just the same. Again, that warmth was there as I worked the scissors onto the base of her ponytail. I remember being surprised that she didn’t put up more of a fight, as I closed the scissors around one of the three sections of braid and closed down. I felt the warmth release, not even knowing what that meant at the time as a section of her braid hung severed from her head. At first she laughed, then something shifted as she realized the implications of what happened.

From there, it was a crazy blur of angry adults and shouting as we both walked into the kitchen with guilt and shame written all of our faces. I remember my mom driving us and my uncle to the local Fantastic Sams. It was the weekend after Thanksgiving and it was pretty quiet in the salon and only one hairdresser was working. She took Jenny first, and did the only thing that I think occurred to anyone to do, and that was to even out her hair into a severely short bob. I remember seeing the large sections of hair lying around the chair, as she kept evening up the bob, which was fell in a hard line just above her hairline.

I was next. I hadn’t been able to see how much of a chunk was missing from the back of my head, but she started with the clippers and said she had to clean it up and even it all the way around. I had never received a clippercut before, and I remember the loud buzz and tug as she pushed the clippers up the back of my head over and over again and then came around the sides. She left the top a little long but the sides and back were so short I recall looking at myself and not fully recognizing who was looking back at me. To this day, I suspect the hairdresser cut mine shorter than she needed to so that Jenny wouldn’t feel so bad.

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