Throughout my life I have found the communication is key to solving most issues that come about. It’s important to make sure that each party in any scenario has a good understanding of what is going on at all times to avoid conflict or unfavorable outcomes. Coming to this very logical understanding of life required many instances of trial and error overtime. Here is just one of those many minor instances in which my lack of understanding caused me to have a unfortunate time.
As a child my parents would take me to a local barber shop to get my monthly “Good Boy” haircut. Faded on the sides and a combover on top. This was standard for myself until I turned ten years old. The age of adulthood. I was finally given the opportunity to request my own haircut! This power was one of many given to a growing young man, along with holding the flashlight for dad during a tire change or walking to and from school without a parent.
However, I didn’t really know much about hair styles so I went to my older brother for advice. He always knew the answer to everything. ”I get a fade with a number two on top, then I use gel to spike it up,” he said. ”Of course,” I thought. “The perfect style for the coolest kids!“ I would then be the coolest kid in all of the fourth grade. Well maybe not the coolest but definitely on par with Devon who was the only kid growing a mustache at the time.
The only issue I ever had with “that time of the month” was when the barber would pull out this giant razor blade to cut at my cheeks. It hurt so much every single time. Not like a cutting hurt but burning hurt that wouldn’t go away for hours. It was always the final part of the process which would end up ruining the entire experience all together. “Those razors are for the sideburns,” my brother told me. Which is exactly what it did, it made my sides burn!
I approached my mother on haircut day and explained to her what I would be requesting. Although it was going to Ben my decision, I still needed her approval. “I want a fade with a number two on top so I can spike up my hair,” I told her. “And absolutely NO SIDEBURNS!“ I was now ten years old and through with being abused by barbers. “That’s fine by me,“ she said. “But YOU have to tell the barber yourself since it’s your responsibility now.” That sounded simple enough to me. I was definitely going to give that barber a piece of my mind now that I was an “adult.”
As we were leaving I told my brother, “I’m going with mom to get my haircut!” “Awesome,” he said, “Can’t wait to see how it comes out.” “No sideburns this time!” I shouted to him while heading out the front door. My father was outside about to get started on mowing the lawn. “Have fun bud!” He yelled from across the parking lot. “I will!” I yelled back, “No sideburns today!” He looked at me a bit puzzled, gave a thumbs up, then went back to filling up the lawn mower with gasoline.
By the time we got to the barber shop I had rehearsed my lines over and over in my head. I was so pumped. “I’m going to have such an awesome haircut,” I thought as I hopped out of our car. I had to act grown up now for the next few moments. ”People don’t take requests from children.” I thought. We stepped inside an empty room which meant no waiting around. I approached the counter and rang the bell for service. When the barber came around he asked, “How can I help you?” “I need a haircut please.” I said in my “Big Boy“ voice. What kind of cut are we looking for here?” He asked. “I want a fade with a number two on top, and NO SIDEBURNS.” I said. He chuckled then looked over at my mother who nodded in agreement and said, “Okay little man, let’s get you on the chair!”
This was it, the beginning of the new me! Everything was going great! He even spike my hair up for me using hair spray. I was looking like a new man! All was going according to plan when suddenly he reached for THAT bottle. He lathered up his hands in cream and began applying it to my face. I knew what was about on happen but I couldn’t speak. I was in shock. I was very specific in my request. “I said NO SIDEBURNS,” I thought panicking internally. I tried to alert my mother but she was in the waiting area reading magazine, much to far to be signaled covertly. He pulled out his weapon and began to scrape at me violently. It hurt so much more this time around. ”Was he doing his on purpose because I was so demanding?” I thought. “Did he forget?” “Was I supposed to remind him that I said no?” “Did he ignore me because he saw right through my “Big Boy” voice?”
When it was over I sat there silent and in tears. My mother followed the barber to the counter to pay then came over to me as I stared in the mirror pink faced, my cheeks fully irritated. “What’s wrong? Do you not like your new haircut Mijo?” my Mother asked. “I said no sideburns...” I said under my breath, head down. She began to look me over. ”You don’t have sideburns, he took care of them, what do you mean?” She asked. “He used the blade on me and now it burns!” I screamed. They both looked at each other for a moment then back at me and bursted into laughter. “Was this the plan all along?” I thought. “To ridicule me in my first attempt at adulthood?” Upset, I stormed off to our car and climbed in. I cried and my mother laughed the whole way home, then told my father and brother who laughed as well.
It took me three more haircuts to figure out the real meaning of sideburns. To this day I will never full understand why they are called that. Now I request to not get a shave, just a clippers.