Nothing says regret like taking in your mirror’s image after you have given yourself a haircut. Let’s get this straight, I’m not a guy that can take clippers to his hair, oh no. I maintain a fine coif. This is no ordinary mane; this hair, my friends, is enamored by queens and women love it, too. If it was a fish, my hair would have its own week. If it were a person, it would be Kris Kriscoiffureson.
Coifness aside, moving to the stay-at-home parent model comes along with multiple changes in your relationships and finances. When I took over at home full time, I took it upon myself to shoulder the majority of the cooking, cleaning, and financial aspects of my marriage. When we were both working, both of us were so tired that we never took the time to look line by line at how much we were spending and on what. When I started staying home I had to learn quickly to prioritize our “life-style needs” to make ends meet. (I call it that because “Every last enjoyable thing that we still falsely believe we can do and buy, even though we have two children” sounds desperate.) It was obvious that it was time to make some changes.
Things were about to get tight around here. Not the good kind of tight, like a Kid and Play haircut; more along the sad kind, like eating cranberry sauce from last Thanksgiving in July because it’s the only thing I have left besides my children’s food. It’s not always pretty, but you find place to cut corners. Groceries, lawn services, and whatever else you can do to find yourself off your credit card company’s chopping block.
With this in mind I decided to cut my children’s hair. As you can imagine when I informed my wife of my intentions I was met with some resistance. I argued that I had learned to wire up some lights in our home and that cutting hair could not be that difficult. My wife countered that my comparison was terrible and insinuated that “affections” would be put on hiatus if I messed up her children’s hair. Compelling.
Still it nagged at me every time I took my boys to these “arcade” hair cut places. I spent less playing Dragon’s Lair (a Hanna-Babera game designed to mock and rob children of their hard earned cash) than I did at that place… and they got bad haircuts! How is that saving money?! I know math and that is not it.
With my wife’s hairstyle concerns on my mind I took them to the cheapest place I could find. How could it get any worse? Funny thing about that statement is that it always can. I think it is safe to say that the cut was by no means super. Tufts of hair sprouted where they shouldn’t. Empty patches resided everywhere like lunar craters. The entire decade of the 80’s called to give their regards on what horrifying haircuts these children had. It made me think of my fourth grade school picture where I decided to get a buzz cut and ended up being called “weed-wacker” (as in got my hair cut by a…) for a year. I think that fourth grade me would have felt things were not so bad after seeing my children’s hair.
Then a grim thought hit me; these haircuts were so bad that there was no way my wife would believe I had not done it to them. I don’t know about you, but I like “affections”. I’m one of the last married men I know that gets to participate in “affections”. I panicked. At that point I had nothing to lose. We rushed home. I got out my clippers and cut their violated hair. There were tears, promises made, and bribes given. I completed the task, texted pictures to my wife, and received a happy, thumbs up. At that point I felt safe enough to tell her what had happened that resulted in me cutting their hair. She promptly alerted me that there was no hiatus on the horizon.
There is something to be said about a job well done, I thought as I looked in the mirror. It’s nice to be able to provide a useful service to your family. I always feel proud when I learn a new skill that can ease our financial burden. It made me so proud in fact, that as I continued to look in the mirror I thought, “I bet I could cut my own hair…” Yup, nothing says regret like ten minutes after that thought.
Sometimes it’s good to stop while you are ahead. Even in light of my children’s precision haircuts, I still ended up on hiatus until I could find a barber so my wife would stop laughing. I learned another valuable lesson that day. Some places you can cut, other places…you may want to compromise.