posted by Matt W on June 19th, 2013

I’ve had the exact same haircut for well over 30 years. Now there have been good ones and bad ones (haircut), but for the most part, no change. When I have to actually use a comb, it’s too long and I go to the barber. Simple. Women’s hair on the other hand is a tough one.  I kind of feel sorry for them. And as many of the women in my life have had major haircuts recently, I feel sorry for me.

First, there was the woman who takes care of my dog. She is the type of person that catches your eye in any room. Gorgeous. One day, I see someone with my dog and assume it is just some random person from the neighborhood. I walk up to this average looking woman and start talking about my dog. Walking back to the house, I notice that the woman is following me. My wife calls her by name as we both enter the house. I turn and look again, and I am literally speechless. This is, err was, the gorgeous dog sitter. It was as if her hairdresser had used Kryptonite scissors, and with each cut had taken away more and more of her superpowers. I think she recognized my double take, as she had probably seen it a lot lately; I felt really bad. On the way to the airport, my wife says she didn’t recognize her the first time she saw her after the haircut either, and had just stood there speechless when she realized who it was. Someone needs to take one for the team, and tell her to go back to her old hair style.

A week later, I got what felt like one of those father of a high school girl calls. My wife called and announced, “You’re daughter needs to talk to you “and abruptly handed my child the phone. She then proceeded to hem and haw for 60 more seconds getting absolutely nowhere with the conversation. All sorts of monumental high-school-age girl topics had raced through my mind over the course of that minute. I finally just said, “Are you OK, and is everyone safe?  Do I need to leave work?” She answered quickly, “Sorry, everything is OK, I just want to cut my hair.” “You might want to lead with that next time,” was my still irritated but rapidly calming response.

Haircut? First of all, I didn’t think I had any say what-so-ever in my daughter’ style choices anymore. Interesting. Secondly, what is my wife’s angle in having my daughter call me? Since I am the voice of reason to the point of stagnation in the family, I figure my wife is against the cut and is bringing me in for cautionary tales of impulsive behavior. Check. “Well dear, I always like to wait a week and if I still feel like it is a good decision then I go for it.” I hear my wife’s voice in the background, “She has an appointment in 10 minutes. Be nice.” Okay, strike first thought; I’m not the voice of reason. Is she warning me or my daughter to be nice? Our parental signals are obviously currently crossed.

“So what exactly is the purpose of this call?” I timidly ask to get a feel for why I’m even part of the conversation. “Just so you wouldn’t freak out when you saw me” was my daughter’s response. “You walk out of my house every day in shorts with virtually no inseam and you think I’m going to freak out about your hair?” was my entirely too quick response. Oops. ”I said be nice,” chimed my wife from the background. Apparently, that warning WAS for me.

“Good luck, got to go, see you at home,” CLICK was all I had for an exit strategy. And while her hair looks a lot shorter, and looks just fine to me (I think she looks older), she is definitely having buyer’s remorse on the length.  The “wait a week” plan is looking pretty good to my daughter these days.

Right after that, I was with my son and I asked him what he had planned for the evening. He said that his girlfriend was getting a haircut and then they were going out. I said “No matter what you think of the cut, it’s beautiful, right?” He turned to me irritated and hurt and said, “Obviously, I’m going to say it looks great. Do you really think I’m that clueless?”

“Well, it does seem more and more that the only people you’re that clueless with are me and your mom. So, I guess I owe you a cluelessness apology. Sorry.” He was not amused.

Three women’s haircuts and three sets of hurt feelings. Hopefully, my wife isn’t getting a haircut soon, as my husbandly “nice haircut” response powers seem to be on the fritz.

File Under Mr. Cool