Home » Location » Barbershop » Nina (Part 1)

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Nina sat watching Erica give a young boy, about twelve, a crewcut.

From what she saw it must have been his first short haircut in years, because of the expressions on his face as his hair begin falling passed his eyes. And, expression she remembers so well, one she had seen many times on the faces of young boys who were getting a short hair cut for the first time. The same expression she had seen on some girls and women, who had ventured into Donald’s Barber Shop for their first hair cut by a barber, in a barber shop.

It was always the same expression ….. eyes quickly opening when the first strands of hair went sliding passed their eyes. An expression of fear, disbelieve, with a little hint of joy intertwined.

Of course, there were those girls, and some women, who shed a few tears, too.

But, they all walked out the barber shop looking better than when they came in, and none of them ever complained …. many of them have returned and became regular customers, like her.

She had been coming to Donald’s Barber Shop all her life and her barberette was always Erica.

She was her dad and mom’s barberette even before she became her’s.

Only once did she visit a "hair salon", that was at her grandmother’s request. It was for her seventy-fifth birthday and she wanted all her daughters, daughter-in-laws, and granddaughters to have their hair curled, somewhat, for when they took a group photo. "Then, you can do what ever they want", she remembers her grandmother telling all of them.

It took her and her mom about five months for their hair to grow out long enough to get a nice curling, but to them it was worth doing it, nor did they regret it.

But, the next day they were waiting for Donald to open his barber shop for a welcomed short hair cut by Erica. Her mom got a sexy crewcut with the front about an inch and half long. She got a short Bob a little above the bottom of her ears, just short enough to show off her "new" double pierced ears.

But, she remembered back, way back. She remembered coming here once a month, as her dad and mom would do regularly. Each getting their hair cut by Erica. During the winter months their hair cut was longer than the one they got during the summer months. Something she could not figure out until she was eleven years of age.

She was two years old when she got her first hair cut.

Her mom had just gotten her hair cut for the summer. She was ready to step out the chair but caught site of how long Nina’s hair was and deceided she need a trim. She told her dad to bring Nina to her. Nina remembers sitting in her mom’s lap, Erica putting the large white cape over her, which did not scare her until she pulled it around her neck and pinned it in place. Then, and only then, did she begin to cry and have a little fit.

It was not the large white cape that scared her, because when she and her dad would take a nap he would pull the bed sheet over their head telling her they were taking their nap in a tent. It was the large white cape being pulled around her neck that scared her, and she had to let them know.

But, after they sat there, her with the large white cape around her neck, with her crying and pushed their hands away, she slowly stopped and Erica begin cutting her hair. The hair cut was over in no time, just a little combing and a quick "clip" of the scissors.

Her hair cuts, like her dad and mom’s, were short during the summer months and a little longer during the winter months. Something she could not understand for years. But, she got use to the change.

She was four when Erica and her mom deceided she was old enough to sit in the little barber chair by her self. She remembers the experience of that first time. How strange it felt not having her mom hold her while Erica cut her hair, but then she felt grown up being able to sit in a barber chair by her self. Her first hair cut in this chair was a short one, a summer hair cut like her mom. A little long on top with the back and sides cut a little shorter.

Then, there were the little clippers Erica used to edge the hair line, something she had never done before. Was she feeling all grown up.

When she turned five she learned her little girlfriends, as well as her aunts and female cousins, when to a "beauty salon" to get their hair cut or fixed up. So, she asked her mom, on day, why they went to Erica and not a "beauty salon".

Her mom told her if she wanted to start going to a beauty salon it was alright with her and to expect alot of different things. Things like the smell and all the talking, and no hugs she had been getting from Erica, Donald and Mr. Mack the other barbers. Then, she wanted to know why they went to a barber shop for their hair cuts.

"For one thing", her mom begin, "hair cuts at Donald’s, and other barber shops, are a lot cheaper, about five dollars cheaper. And, we do not have to make an appointment just to get a hair cut".

Then, Nina wanted to know how long she had been getting her hair cut by Erica.

"Ever since you were born", her mom told her. "I had been going to a beauty salon until I met your dad when were were fifteen. It was he who convinced me to get a hair cut at a barber shop. It was Erica’s mom, Linda, who was his barberette then, before she retired. When Erica became a barberette, and took her mom’s place at Donald’s Barber Shop, we just stayed with her".

"So, when you were born we brought you along when we went for our hair cut. And, you got your hair cut by Erica from there".

When she turned four alone came little brother. Like her he soon was getting his hair cut by Erica, too. Just like dad his hair cuts were long in the winter months and short in the summer months. Of course, there was one big difference between him and her ….. he grew taller a lot fast, soon he was almost as tall as their dad and she had to start looking up at him.

Her mom’s favorite hair cut for her dad was a short Flat-Top, later she learned it was actually called a "High-N-Tight".

The top was flat and very short, while the back and sides were clippered very close and high up the head. When her brother, Stan, was three he got his first Flat-Top like dad, which was followed that summer by a High-N-Tight.

Years went by, each month they, as a family, would go to Erica for their hair cut, long in the winter and shorter in the summer.

One night she was sitting in the family room doing her homework, when she over heard her parents talking in the kitchen. Mom was all over dad to get his summer hair cut a little early.

Then, she head her dad tell her mom, "I know you like the High-N-Tight, so do I ….. so if you like it that much why don’t you get one".

There was quiet for awhile, neither said a word. So, she got up and walked to the door, of the kitchen, to see they were holding each other and kissing. Just as she turned to go back to the family room her mom spoke, "A wish is a wish, but sometimes it comes true ….. sometimes not".

Dad broke out laughing and went to the living room.

That Saturday mom got her wish, dad got his High-N-Tight a few months early. As he stepped from Erica’s chair mom was all smiles and gave him a hug and kiss as she walked to the chair for her turn.

When dad sat next to me mom winked at him and said, "Sometimes wishes come true …..".

As Erica was capping her mom turned to her, "I’ll have the same hair cut".

Erica looked at her then dad. Both were smiling, dad a little more than mom.

Instead of the comb and scissors, Erica took hold of the clippers and attached the quarter inch attachment. "CLICK", they came to life. As mom sat there smiling at dad, him on the edge of the chair, Erica placed the clippers in the center of mom forehead and slowly moved it back over her head. Behind was hair shorter than I had ever seen on her, but she was still smiling at dad, then there were a few winks at him too.

Erica took the comb and combed a section of hair on top, next to the first pass of the clippers, raised it a little then moved the clippers over it. She did this twice on each side of the first pass of the clippers. With the top of mom’s head now a quarter of an inch, she took off the attachment and tossed it on the shelf behind her.

With her left hand she tilted mom’s head down and begin moving the clippers up the back of her head to where she had just cut the top of her head with the comb and clippers. From where we were sitting you could not see how short mom’s hair was being clipped to, but dad did know, until Erica started clipping the right side of mom’s head. It was short, short like dad’s. And, mom just sat there smiling and winking at dad with each movement of the clippers Erica made.

I looked at dad his face had a big smile and he was now sitting back into the chair. I looked at Stan who was looking at what was happening to mom, his eyes wide open in disbelief. He must have notice, out the side of his eyes, me looking at him because he turned his head toward me with a look of "What is happening".

Erica had finished mom’s High-N-Tight and was about to take the little clippers and edge the hair line as she had before on mom. But, dad sat up and looked at mom ….. he cleared his throat loudly that Erica looked at him. He shook his head "no", then ran his finger along his hairline.

Erica looked at him with a strange look, then she realized what he was telling her.

She turned the little clippers off and placed them back under the shelf.

Then, she undid the cape and let it fall into mom’s lap. Next she took a large white towel opened it up and tucked it into the collar of mom’s blouse. Mom sat up in the barber chair, her head titled a little to the right, then she smiled as Erica begin spreading shaving lather alone her hair line.

She was going to get a straight razor edging like dad.

When she stepped from the barber chair dad was there to greet her with a hug and kisses, as I sat in the chair next. As Erica capped me she asked, "You, too"?

Still somewhat shocked at mom getting a High-N-Tight, I just shook my head "NO".

"Just like last summer", I told her as I watched dad and mom walk back to the waiting chairs and sit next to a still stunned Stan, who tried not to look at mom. But, after awhile he gave in and just shook his head.

To say the least when winter came around mom’s hair was hardly long enough for our usual winter hair cut for a few month. But, the summer months came in and her hair was cut almost as short, again.

When Nina was fifteen she remembers a visit to Erica with her dad and brother, her mom had gone earlier because she had something to do. It was the day after they, her dad and brother, had returned from four days of fishing.

Dad had gotten a High-N-Tight, for mom of course, and a facial shave. Stan was about to get out the chair, after his High-N-Tight, when dad walked to the chair and brushed the back of his hand across his cheek.

"I think I feel something here", he smiled and told Erica. "What do you think, Erica"?

She, too, brushed the back of her hand over his cheek, "Sure do. I think it’s time he got his first shave ….. what do you think"!

Dad smile, Stan just sat there. Erica begin tucking a larger white towel into the collar of his shirt, then she lowered the back of the chair so it was like a bed. The footrest came up to keep his feet from bending.

She took her time prepping his face, then shaving him. For some strange reason when she raised the chair back up he looked a little different.

"Think we are going to have to make a stop at the drug store", dad told him as we walked out the barber shop. "We’re going to need more shaving things now that you are shaving your face".

When Nina turned sixteen her parents through a big birthday party for her. They invited a lot of her friends from school as well as family. But, it was one of the presents, from her parents, she likes to remember about. That night before she went up to bed, for the night, they said they had something to talk to her about.

"Nina, today you turned sixteen", he dad begin, "and we thought it would nice if you were to start making some of your own decision".

Nina looked surprised, as she thought she was already making a lot of them her self.

"Like which ones", she inquired.

"Well, for one", her mom answered, with a little worry in her voice, "who you go out with. But, we still have the right to say "no". You understand".

She shook her head "yes".

"Then, there is your hair", she continued. "If you wish to start going to a beauty salon, like your girlfriend, we will understand. Also, how your hair is done is up to you from now on".

Nina looked surprised at this one. After all these years they were going to let her decide how she wanted to wear her hair. This she could not believe.

"So, what you are saying", she asked, "is if I want to let my hair grow out and get all fixed up, that is alright with you two"!

"Yes", her mom replied. "It is your decission from now on. And, you can go to whom ever you wish. You do not have to continue going to Erica".

"I can even get my hair cut like I want", she asked.

"Yes", her dad replied. "Just as you would like. No questions asked".

"We have told Erica this", her mom spoke. "just incase you still want to go to her".

"Cool", was all she said. They kissed good night and she went to bed.

She badly wanted to cut her hair short, very short, but did not know if her parents would let her. But, now they told her she could do what she wanted with her hair, it was now or never.

She did not do anything for the next few days, not even ask her parents it they were really letting her decide what to do with her hair. Then, Thursday at dinner she popped the question.

"I was thinking about getting my hair cut very short for the summer", she spoke questionably. "Something extremely short for a girl or woman ….. What do you think"?

Her parents didn’t say a word, the just looked at her and smiled.

"I was thinking of asking Erica to give me a crewcut", she continued as she looked at her parents, "maybe even shorter".

"What ever you want to do with your hair is up to you Nina", her dad spoke up before taking a sip of his soft drink. "We told you that the other night. So, if you want a crew cut that is fine with us. And, Erica has been told you can get your hair cut like you want, no questions".

This made her heart beat crazy. It was true they did tell her that. She looked at her brother.

"Why not her", she thought to herself, "he was cutting his hair like he wanted for the past three years".

The next morning after breakfast Nina got dressed in one of the dress she got for her birthday.

As she closed the door behind her, her brother came out his room. They looked at each other.

"So", Stan begin, "you’re going to get a Crewcut ….. today"?

Nina looked at him and smiled, then start walking toward the stairs, "Maybe even shorter"!

Stan followed her down the stairs, "NO WAY …..".

She turned her head and looked at him as they reached the bottom of the stairs, "Remember what dad told me last night at dinner …..".

As they went to the kitchen they exchanged comments, even a few as they eat breakfast.

It was a little before eight AM when Nina decided, "Well, I think I will be going. Don’t want to have to wait to get my hair cut ….. my CREWCUT".

She told her parents "bye", then waived to Stan while he watching television, "I am thinking of something really short ….. What do you recomend Stan"?

Stan looked up from his chair, a wicket smile on his face, "WHY not just get your head shaved"!

Their eyes met, his with a challange stair. Her’s with "what".

Nina opened the garage door, got in the car, and drove off to Donald’s Barber Shop for her first hair cut of her choosing. She drove slowly, thinking as she did so.

"CREWCUT ….. FLAT-TOP ….. maybe a High-N-Tight", she thought to herself. But, as she pulled into the parking area, of the shopping center Stan’s comment to her, as she left, came to her thoughts, ‘WHY not just get your head shaved’".

"Shaved", Nina’s mind told her, "now that is a short hair cut if there every was one. But, did mom and dad have that in mine when they told her she could cut her hair as she wanted.

"Hmmm, should I ask them ….. or just walk in with my head shaved. Then, would Erica be willing to shave my head ….. Maybe shaving my head would be stretching it a little".

She parked the car and walked to the entrance. Just as she opened the door her eyes caught site of a woman, about her mom’s age, walk pass her. She had a Flat-Top and from what she could see it was freshly done ….. "Maybe Erica was the barberette who did it", she thought to herself as she walked toward the barber shop.

Her eyes caught site of the woman a few stores from the barber shop. As she approached her the woman turned, as she walked pass the barber, and waived. Nina quickly glanced a look into the barber shop to see Erica return the waive. She also saw her helping a young girl, around seven, on to the booster seat across the arms of her chair.

Nina hesitated in going into the barber shop, instead her attention turned by to the woman with the Flat-Top. She quickened her pace to catch up with her. Just as the women turned and walked into the "LIMITED" Nina was a step behind her, almost knocking her over.

Nina keep her eyes on her, looking for a chance to be close to her. Then, it came …..

The woman started to walk out the store but glance at the display where she was standing. She stopped and begin looking over the sweaters neatly displayed.

A saleslady appeared, as if from now where, by the display, "May I help you ladies"?

Nina looked at her and smile, shaking her head "no", then tell her, "Just looking".

She then turned to the lady, "Why Mrs. Doris Matters ….. almost did not recognize you".

"Why", the lady, Mrs. Matters, replied as she looked at the saleslady, "Betty Brothers, I have not seen you in ….. what ….. eight months. What have you been up too"?

"The same o’ same o’, Doris", Betty replied as she stepped toward her. They gave each other a kiss on the cheek, then Betty stepped back.

"You have lost a little weight", she commented. "And, lookie you ….. you cut your hair. Now what is this all about ….. a new man in your life"?

Mrs. Matters gave her a little "shy" look, "So what ….. yes, you could say".

"So, who is this man", Betty inquired as she begin folding some of the undone sweaters.

"Just Bob", Doris answered. "The split was not worth it ….. He changed a lot, so I took a chance.

"I lost some weight, as you can see ….. then got my hair cut just this morning".

"Well, I know Bob like you before", Betty stated, "but, now he must be going crazy".

Again Doris shied, "Yes. He is a little more attentive".

"Has he seen your hair cut", Betty inquired.

"NO", Doris quickly replied. "But, he knows I got it, because I told him last night ….. and boy was it alright with him". A big smile came to her face and she winked to Betty.

"Where did you have it done", Betty asked as she raised her hand. "May I ….."?

Doris gently shook her head "yes", as Betty begin brushing her finger tips over the side of her head, "Feels nice ….. and you look great with it".

"Thank you", Doris replied. "I went to the barber shop a few stores from here. The lady there did it and did not even ask any questions. That really surprised me ….. I thought she would at least ask me why".

Hearing this Nina quietly stepped away, walked out the store and toward Donald’s Barber Shop. Just as she reached the barber shop she caught glance of the little girl taking a seat in a waiting chair. She had a mad look on her face and had crossed her little arms. Her mother was telling her something but she was not lisening, but looking at Erica’s chair.

Nina opened the door, walked in and said "HI" to Erica and Donald and Mr. Mack, then sat a chair away from the little girl. As she sat her eyes caught site of a Erica running the clippers over a man’s head.

He was looking at the woman and girl sitting next to her. His look was one of anger ….. maybe to towards the little girl.

"You better get that look off your face young lady", he called to her. The woman, the little girl’s mom, looked at her.

"We told you girls don’t cut their hair that short", she told her as she put her right arm around her and pulled her into her side. The little girls looked at her mom, then her dad ….. she started to say something but could tell from their looks it would be a waste of time.

A few minutes later the man, the little girl’s dad, stepped from the chair with his head buzzed. His wife stood up and walked toward the chair, there right hands touched …..

He sat next to the little girl and put his right arm around her, like her mom did, "Maybe when you are older".

The lady smiled as Erica capped her, "Just a trim"!

"NO", the lady answered turning her head toward Erica, standing on the right side of the barber chair. "I was thinking something short ….. something like the lady who’s hair you were cutting when we came it ….. but not too short".

Erica patted her on the shoulder and walked behind the chair. She took hold of the clippers and put on an attachment. Stepping back to the right side of the chair she turned the clippers off and on …..

"This is a one inch attachment", Erica said as she showed the lady the clippers, "Doris got her hair cut with a half inch".

The lady looked at her husband ….. he gave her a "whatever" jester. She looked at Erica, "That will be fine".

Erica clicked the clippers to life and wasted not time. She placed the clippers in the center of the woman’s head and moved it back sending a pile of hair, about a foot long, to the floor behind the chair. She made pass after pass over the woman’s head until she had reduced her hair to a half inch all over.

"Haa", came a sound form the little girl. See looked up at her dad, "MOM CAN DO IT ….".

He nor his wife said a word. Erica had now changed the attachment to a quarter of an inch and working the clippers around the woman’s head. Right side to the back, then the left side. Finished she turned the chair around, "That is the shortest I can go without going really short like your husband".

The woman turned the head from side to side, "Dave, what do you think"!

The man got up and walked to the back of the chair. He looked over his wife’s head, then brushed his fingers up and down the sides of her head. "I like it ….. how about you"?

She smiled at him in the mirror. Then, looked at Erica, "Just right".

He stepped back to the waiting chair, as Erica turned the chair around. As the chair came to a stop she undid the cape and let it slid down across the arms of the chair and the woman. She stepped behind the chair and removed a large towel from the pile on the shelf. Turning she opened it up and spread it over the woman’s shoulders.

"Just going to edge the hair line", Erica assured the woman, who had a surprise look on her face.

Erica had pile a small pile of lather in her left hand, then she begin spreading it along the woman’s hair line. Just like she had done many times Erica stropped the straight razor over the leather strap, then shave a small thin line from the right side to the left side of the woman’s head.

She wiped the excess lather, dusted her head and face. The woman stepped from the chair.

Her husband reaching toward Erica, to pay for their hair cuts. The little girl looked at her mom, then turned and walked to the door and stood there with her back to them. As they walked out the shop her mom grabbed her little hand and started telling her something.

Nina watched as Erica dusted hair from the chair then she shook out the cape. She looked toward Nina ….. "Looks like you’re next"!

Continued ….. Copyright (c) January 2005

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