June 19, 2013: Haircuts Run in our Family


My pigtail was left intact. Our neighbor wasn't as lucky.
I saw a post on FaceBook last night about two sisters, ages 5 and 3, who decided to experiment in haircutting. Their guilty dialogue with their father was hysterical.

A classic line from the 5 year-old (culprit with the scissors) was "cutting hair takes a lot of concentration" (with special emphasis on the word, concentration). She obviously was lacking in this department based on her sister's 10+ inch resulting hair length variation.

A similar experiment was had in front of 119 Harrison Street, Remsen, Iowa in the early 70's. Fortunately the heads of hair of my brothers and me were left untouched. The neighbor kids weren't as fortunate.

Russell and Brenda lived across the street. Whereas my brothers and I were given a long leash by our mother, their parental leash was much shorter. An allowed outing to our house was rare. The last of these outings was the day of our little haircutting event. Matt and I were allowed to play with them in our front yard that fateful day. I was 5 and Matt, 7.

I am going to blame Matt for coming up with the idea. No doubt it was in the back of both of our minds based on our dad's profession of barber. Watching him carefully perform his skill was intriguing to us. We spent a lot of time at his barber shop.

We did lead our neighbors astray with false representation. As Russell and Brenda sat in a Radio Flyer wagon, Matt convinced them we were going to "play" barber; just like our dad. I snuck the scissors out of the house. This was an easy task. Scissors were aplenty with our seamstress mom. And then we really cut their hair.

We cut a diamond shape out of Russell's wavy brown bangs. Brenda ended up less one long piggie tail. Snip, snip and into the wind. It really was kind of fun. Although both Matt and I were participants, Matt did most of the damage as he took on Brenda. Once Russell realized that we weren't pretending and his sister was short half her mane, he ran home to tell his mom.

Their mother stomped across the street to assess the damage. She was furious and went on to tell my mom exactly what she thought of Mom's parenting skills. I had never heard my mom "told off" before. She just took it. The only words out of her mouth were "I'm sorry". Though I did feel terrible for causing this infliction on Mom for our misbehavior, I promptly blamed Matt for concocting the idea and played innocent younger sister.

We both got in trouble, but Matt bore the brunt of it. Russell and Brenda weren't allowed to play with us for a long time. Only when they were much older did they step foot back on our property. Their mother never spoke to our mom again. Never. This was my first experience in the wrath of an angry mother. A good life lesson. My brothers and I learned to only pick on each other; we left the other kids alone.


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