29 March 2014

Of Mullets and Men

One of us is not happy
With all due apologies to the late, great American author John Steinbeck and his novella, Of Mice and Men, today I write my own slice of Americana, Of Mullets and Men.

As has been well documented, this is The Boy's senior year of high school. At the beginning of the school year, as in last fall, as in 2013(!), his golf team decided that none of them would cut their hair until the beginning of golf season so as to make them look most "sa-weet" when the season began. At first, I didn't think The Boy's commitment would last. Sadly (for me), I underestimated his commitment to the 'cause.' He was COMMITTED.

As his mane grew thicker and the months dragged on, this became an interesting (for me, mostly) experiment in the father / son dynamic. Did his growing hair bother me? Yes, yes it did. Did I wish (daily) that he would cut his hair? Yes, yes I did. Was he committing an act of open rebellion? No, no he was not. Was he going down a path that he would one day regret? No (although, if there is justice, he will one day have the same match of wills with his own son). When I put it all in perspective, I decided that I wasn't going to make a federal case out of the mane. Did I find time to gently rib him about it? Sure. Did I, from time to time, mention to the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML that his hair was working my last nerve? Yes, yes I did. She would gently remind me, as she has done for all these years in so many cases, that it's just hair and we could have it way, way worse. So it never came to a battle of wills. It became a test of time.

Last night, the last of sand in the hour glass fell to the bottom and it was time to bid farewell to his coif. As a result of his participation in his high school's "Mr. CHS" male beauty pageant/train wreck (he was not a contestant but a part of the 'talent' for another contestant), his mane was cut into a mullet worthy of the admiration of one Billy Ray Cyrus who, before he sired and unleashed America's Next Rehab Princess, Miley Cyrus, on us, sported the Mullet of All Mullets. I am the first to admit that it took a significant amount of self-control on my part to NOT shave his head as he slept last night.

But in the light of the new day, The Boy decided on his own that it was time to bid it all farewell. He decided it was time to get it cut off. He even asked me to accompany him to said great event. With an detached sense of coolness, so as not to betray my joy, I said sure. No way was I missing this:

John, our barber, working his magic
I swear I heard angelic choirs shouting praises as the clippers fired up and, like an angry beaver gnawing at a tree, worked its way through The Boy's mullet. The end result was a thing of beauty:
One of us is a lot happier now
The mullet is gone, never to darken the door again. Now The Boy looks like he's fresh out of Basic Training, which was not the intent, but it was the only way the whole thing could be salvaged.

I've learned some lessons here during the whole Of Mullets and Men that has been our life of late. Like when putting my foot down, do so gently and don't let it get stuck in my mouth either. Like looking at the bigger picture when deciding what's worth going to war over. Like remembering my dad was bugged by my hair too when I was The Boy's age (mine involved an unfortunate amount of 'Sun-In', thank you 1980's and is a story for another day). Funny how the cycle repeats itself.

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