You’ll come to learn one day that the greatest personal achievements are usually a function of time – the longer it takes, the more rewarding it is. I can’t boast much by way of career achievement, so what does that leave me with? Saving an extraordinary amount of $$$ on getting haircuts. If the average price of a male haircut over twenty five years is about $12 and I need a haircut every 1.5 months, that comes out to $12 x 25 years x 8 times per year= $2,400.
For as long as I can remember, my dad always cut my hair. It was his vocational trade during the early years of his life and he made out all right plying his craft on people’s heads. Your grandfather eventually came to realize being a barber doesn’t make big bucks nor did it impress your grandmother if he was a career barber, so he became an engineer. However, given his barber skills, it made sense to cut my hair.
And that was what happened for the next twenty-some years – my dad would always cut my hair using a comb, a pair of manual clippers, and a pair of shears. While the tools never changed, it’s funny thinking back on the actual evolution of our haircutting experiences. I used to sit on a highchair that would sit on adult chair so it was at the right level for my dad. Eventually, as I grew, we had to lose the high chair, and at some point, we had to find an even shorter adult chair.
I probably didn’t need to keep getting haircuts from my dad after I went to college when I would only see him two or three times a year, but I continued to do so because 1) old habits die hard, 2) I’m cheap, and 3) I have come to appreciate them as bonding experiences. My dad would never be able to give me the more stylish haircuts I may have wanted – he only knew the standard Asian haircut (straight up the sides, then shorten/thin out the top) – and it’s probably good I avoided some of the haircuts I’ve wanted.
When I got engaged to your mother, I thought those days of getting free haircuts would be over because I would see your grandfather only once a year now, and I have some semblance of a professional career that requires grooming. But those fears proved unfounded, as there was a passing of the torch and your grandfather gave your mother two lessons in cutting hair. With that, he handed over his spare pair of clippers and shears while your grandmother passed on some sage advice: if I’m being difficult, remind me who is in control of how my hair will look.
Naturally, your mother is still new to this subtractive art of cutting hair, so it takes her a while. Her ultimate fear is as much her having to look at me for weeks with a bad haircut as it is having me show up to work looking unprofessional. I’ve had to sit still for upwards to two hours as your mother went back and forth between the left and right sides making sure they were even. In those two hours, we bond as your mother can just talk and I can do nothing but listen (unlike in bed when I just fall asleep).
As our lives get busier, I’ve tried to cut down on the amount of time by buzzing my own head and then letting your mother help me blend/fade the sides. Your mom snapped this shot of me recently. She wasn’t exactly impressed with my squat-buzz technique in the middle of our flat, but then again, she didn’t stop me either.