Home » Language » English » Diary of a Crewcut (Part 2)

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Now, I was a bad keeper of my hair when it grew out. Admittedly I did keep it shorter, but still it was grown out and I kept it swept to the side all throughout high school. I was rather awkward and lanky, so that didn’t exactly attract women to me. My first real girlfriend was Pam and she was such a sweetheart. I was too young and immature to appreciate her then, but I sure as heck would now! She was so nice and we got along so well. I asked her to my senior prom and she asked me to her junior prom. But I felt I “could do better” (I still slap myself about that now!) and if I had that time-machine, I would definitely go back to before we `broke up’ (it was fairly amicable) and dope-slap myself and tell myself to wake the F*** up! As it was, I didn’t get that wake up call until it was too late and I regret it now. I still wish her well and hope she has a terrific life. I just (selfishly, I admit) wish she were still part of mine.

Anyway, fast forward to the end of my high school `career’ and envision a kid about to enter college. I was sort of hoping to shear myself of all the crap I had had to deal with over my high school years. I wanted to pretty much forget about all the crap I had to deal with in high school and move onto the next phase of my life. I wanted to toss aside the `me’ that had attended high school and introduce `me’ to a new crowd.

One day, while I was home alone and had some time off my job, I made up my mind. I would get another crew cut! Only this time, I would not force myself to pay anyone for it! I would do it myself!

So I pulled out one of my dad’s bar stools and stripped down to my shorts to avoid trying to have to wear the cape. I don’t know as if we even had a cape! We probably did but I couldn’t find it.

Then I grabbed a full-length mirror and propped it up not too far away. Lastly I picked up the clippers and the box they came in and looked them over. I wanted to shear as much off as possible, but I didn’t want to go to radically short. I poked through the plastic comb attachments in the box and looked them over. A #4 looked too long. A #3 looked better, but then I found the #2. It stated `1/4″ Cut’ on it and I thought to myself perfect! Couldn’t be a better choice! So, I carefully slid on the clipper guard and made sure it was on snuggly. Then I plugged them in to the wall and settled myself down on the stool. It was time to begin and time to loose all that hair.

I had gone to my regular hairstylist only a few days before and I had tried to convince her that I needed a “whiffle” haircut. She eventually got my drift, but opted instead to just give it an extra trim, rather than mow it all off. For some reason and I don’t know why, I just wanted all my hair and my old style sheared off and starting anew going to college. This was the right time and the clippers were in hand. Time to get this `party’ started!

So, not really sure how to start and what to cut first, I went for the `jugular’. I raised the buzzing clippers to my scalp and ran them directly down the middle of my scalp in a line from front to back. There was a loud, rasping buzz as the hairs were mowed down obediently in the wake of the chattering metal teeth. I quickly turned off the clippers, a great stretch of nearly white skin down the center of otherwise pretty dark brown hair. I went over to the mirror and stared at it, as if in disbelief. I raised my fingers to the shorn hair strip and I felt the hair pushing and resisting the movement, like it was all part of a short brush. A very short brush indeed! I recall that I was almost mortified the first time my hair had been cut so short, now I loved it! Apparently quite a bit had changed since that first crew cut.

I went back and started, probably a little too eagerly, to mow and crop off the rest of my hair, continuing to pause after each pass to look at all the practically bare scalp that remained. I quickly finished up the top and then started on the sides. They were harder to do as I couldn’t see them so well. I worked my way around my head, elated at the way the air felt cool over my head and then feeling of the bristling hair left in the wake of the trimmers.

Alas, like most cuts of this nature, the worst part was when it was over. The true aficionados of haircutting would probably tell you that they wish it wouldn’t end and that they could keep cropping for hours. I felt that way. I didn’t do the greatest job, I missed a few hairs here and there, but overall I was pretty pleased. I found some holidays when I went into the bathroom with better light, and went down and clipped those off as best I could. Like it or not, this crew cut was here to stay for a while and I had achieved what I most wanted, a complete shearing of the old me and the emergence of a new me just about to start college in a couple of months.

My mom wasn’t quite as elated, I recall and wanted to know who had cut it. I made up a story that an older barber downtown had done it and she told me I shouldn’t have gone to him, he was terrible. My brother came home and took a couple of pictures of me in my ΒΌ” crew cut. I had even taken the bare clipper blades and cut a small part of the very front of the crown off just to feel how short it was. I can still see it to this day in the pictures and wonder why. I remember how the hair was so short; it was like a patch of sandpaper was on my head. I was, however, too chicken to cut it all that short, and besides, I entertained thoughts of growing it out, only so it was long enough to shear off again!

I had to work that night and the older manager, `Red’ (he was a cool guy) saw I had my hair cut and asked me to pull off my hat so he could see. Proudly, I whisked my hat off and he nodded approvingly. “When I was your age,” I recall him saying, “I had my hair cut that short too.”

I didn’t trim it or cut it, that I recall, but I might have slipped back onto the stool once more before I went to college. That cool feeling of the air rushing against my short hair was like elation to me. The way rain felt when it dropped on my head and the merest fact that I could rub a towel over my head for about 30 seconds and my hair was dry were all not lost on me. I loved it all, but as the first days of college approached, and with them cooler weather, I decided it would be a good time to start letting it grow back out. Besides, there was always next summer!

About this time, I started writing about short haircuts, I wrote several poems (not terribly good ones, but still, they were there emotionally) about how it felt. I didn’t want to forget how, a few years ago I had absolutely hated to have my haircut and how a crew cut appalled me! Now I was singing the praises of the crew cut! How funny is that?

The second time I had been under the clippers, no one had urged me or placed a bet I wouldn’t do it. I was going to a hairstylist at the time, so my mom didn’t have to cut my hair. My hairstylist was very cute, but I felt this urge, to shear off my hair when high school ended so I could start anew. I can’t tell you why I decided to go under the chattering teeth of the clippers again, but I did. And I haven’t looked back since.

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