Home » Language » English » Diary of a Crewcut (Part 5)

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As I have mentioned, my brother led the way with his shaved head and I eventually followed suit just to try it.

Quite why I chickened out of the opportunity to have a barren scalp eludes me, but I suspect it has to do with the willingness to defy my parents. I know I didn’t live with them anymore than my brother did, but without a car I never got to be the fiercely independent person my brother became. I was a bit stuck.

My brother got me my first car, a used thing that I won’t describe other than it was more rust than metal by now. It was hideous, but it taught me a valuable lesson. Something about reading from a girl who had shaved her head and how she wrote “the lesson I learned is when you want to do something, you have to go for it without fear. You have to approach every challenge without fear, otherwise you might never succeed.” Or something very like that. And that applied to my fear of driving and getting on the highway.

Eventually I got more into driving myself, and I got better. What was once a frightening experience was turning into an uplifting and enlightening experience. I never felt so free as when I could get behind the wheel and drive somewhere, whether to vent some internal frustration, or to check out someplace new. I was becoming more and more independent. Eventually I settled into a new car and that was the point where I started to rely less and less on other people and branched out into my own independence.

I went through a few jobs, but I finally got settled into a job where I was pretty much my own boss (at least head of my own little `department’ and could not fear so much about things.) This ended up being the period where I first shaved my head. And yes, when I say shaved, I do mean down to the skin.

I recall that I was over my brother’s house right before Easter and he and his best friend convinced me I should just shave it (I had just got a pretty radical 1/8″ crew cut not long before). Anyway, I let them sway me, and I climbed into the shower and proceeded to shave all the hair off the top of my head. I didn’t do a particularly great job, but I did get most of it. I had to touch up it as I got out of the shower and then later on my parents came over and saw it. My mother hated the shaved look and was crestfallen that I had followed suit of my brother.

But I eventually opted to let it grow back a bit, so I was not an exact copycat of my brother. He also moved a ways away and I was pretty much having to stay and keep an eye on my parents. That meant semi-regular visits and having to deal with their quirks. They hadn’t grown up in the same generation as we had. Things might have been easier if they had.

However I decided that I was going to try and at least keep my hair shorn as short as possible and I did keep it that way a while. But things started to change and I wanted to pursue a new job and I was afraid that my short haircut was keeping me from getting interviews, so slowly, I once again opted to let it grow out.

Then after a pretty steady of drought of interviews and hearing how I was “too qualified for the job I was interviewing” (running the jumbotron at the local sports arena was too heady for me?) Perhaps it would have taxed my intellect too much. Anyway, I kept working at it and eventually I got a new position at a totally new place, complete career change. I had been letting my hair get longer and longer as I got settled into the place, thinking privately that it was unprofessional for me to be sport another crew cut at this new place.

I went through a year, getting a few simple trim haircuts at the place across the street but nothing to radical. After one winter of particularly cold weather and having disheveled hair when I took off my hat, I decided enough was enough and took the plunge.

The night I came home and decided to give myself my latest crew cut, I wasn’t sure how they were going to take it at work. I felt pretty sure, after over a year there that I wasn’t going to get fired or laid off for it. Still, I feared the sort of nonsense I might have to deal with. But I stripped down to my underwear and grabbed my trusty old pair of clippers (I had purchased two other pairs, but the old vintage pair of Sears clippers were still the best, giving me the most even haircut). I slipped on the 3/8″ comb and proceeded to give myself what I most deserved. Imagine letting that thinning hair get so long! What shame that someone didn’t give you a good shearing before now!

While I secretly scolded myself, perhaps to help allay my nerves, I went all over my head with the clippers and its comb. I looked at myself. Not terribly radical but I could tell the difference. What would tomorrow reveal?

Before long, I discovered the huge chorus of mute voices. No one had noticed, other than my co-worker. She said she liked it, but no one else said a word to me. I guess I feared more than I thought. I felt my nerves relax a bit and I started to ease up. There weren’t any firings.

Soon I had celebrated another Easter and then when I got home, out came the clippers. It was time to take another chance, this time with the old, trusty #2 guard. I had set it on the longest setting, and then proceeded to start shearing my hair off again. Soon, way too soon for my liking, I was sheared down another step. I decided that I needed to brave the elements, as they were, and changed the clippers to the shorter setting, with the #2 guard still on. I was going back down memory lane, to the length of my very first crew cut (self-induced of course!)

Anyway, when I got to work the next day, I heard some approving voices raised and more and more as days went along. People kept asking me if I had had it cut, which of course I had to say yes! ?

The moral of this whole `dissertation’ is you never know what sort of reaction you might get when you shear your hair off! Don’t have cold feet! Overcome those cold feet. and get a crew cut! You know you want to!

You know you want to!

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