Bang Bang Bangs

It was time to give Mom another haircut. This is something I do every 8 or 10 weeks. She likes to keep her hair short, especially on her neck and around her ears. And she also insists that her bangs are cut evenly, straight across her forehead, about a quarter of an inch above her eyebrows.

As I wrapped her in a towel she reminded me of this very important aspect of her do. “My bangs are all crooked so try to cut them straight.”

“Mom, hair doesn’t grow in even. It’s like grass – it grows a little faster and longer in some spots and slower and shorter in others. I cut them straight the last time.”

“No, you didn’t cut them,” she argued. “Someone else did. I know because my sister took me to the hairdresser to get a trim.”

“Your sister Shirley?” I asked, knowing that she had never been here for a visit and that Mom hadn’t even talked to her in over a decade.

“Yes, when she was visiting here the last time.”

“Okay, then,” I replied with a sigh. “I’ll be sure to cut them straight.”

Thirty minutes later Mom had a nice, short summer cut and, after vacuuming up the clippings, I packed up my gear and left.

“How’d it go?” Bill asked as I sat down at my computer after putting everything away.

“Oh fine,” I answered with a shrug. “She complained about the job the last hairdresser did, told me to cut her bangs straight, and reminisced about Shirley’s latest visit. Same old, same old.”

“So her sister came back for another visit?” he asked. “How many times is it up to now?”

“I’m not sure. I think three,” I said, opening my email to see if anything new had arrived. Suddenly, Mom called out for me. I gave Bill a ‘now what’ look, took a deep breath and walked back to the living room.

There sat Mom with a hand-held mirror in one hand and a pair of small scissors in the other, looking up at me like a guilty four year old. Her newly trimmed bangs now had a decidedly un-straight gouge above her left eyebrow, ending roughly a quarter of an inch below her hairline. It formed a one-inch triangular shape into her previously even bang line.

“Mom, if you wanted your bangs shorter, all you had to do is ask,” I said, gently taking the scissors and mirror out of her hands.

“No, not shorter, just straighter,” she said. “Besides, I didn’t want to complain.”

“But they were straight,” I reasoned.

“No they weren’t,” she argued. “The dry part was shorter.”

“If you had waited until your bangs were all dry, you’d have seen that they were straight. And if you still thought they were crooked you could have called me to trim them some more. How in the world did you think you could cut them yourself?”

“I don’t know. I had a mirror and I had scissors. I thought, how hard could it be?”

“And now what do you think?” I said as I started cutting another inch off the rest of her bangs to even them up.

“Maybe next time I’ll let you do the cutting and I just stick to complaining.”

“Good plan Mom!” I exclaimed.

edward scissorhands


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