“Carrie, my mom called from downstairs. “You’re up! I hated this moment. My mom’s sister was a hairdresser and came by every month or two for haircuts. I was still in high school and sometimes tried to coyly avoid haircuts, sometimes planning a fake field hockey practice when I knew a haircut was coming that week or sneak out to a friends house and not tell her where I was. This one came as a surprise this morning.
It was the second week of summer and even though I was going away to be a camp counselor at a summer camp for 8 week it hadn’t started yet so I was still hanging out the house, sleeping in late and driving out to the park or the movies to hang out with friends at night, enjoying the casual mood of summer.Â We were out at Target that day, my mom my older sister and myself doing some simple shopping and I was trying on new shoes when my mom was wrapping up a phone call “Oh, okay great, well see you soon then. She hung up the call. “That was Aunt Molly she said she’s free this afternoon so once we get home we can get all of our hair cleaned up.
When we came home I bolted to my room trying to find a way to get out of this. I was playing on my computer and texting my friend Michelle.
“I just don’t want a haircut. I told her when she called.
“Well why don’t you tell your mom that?
“She always says that while I live in her house and she pays for my food and field hockey trips that she gets to choose. I can’t wait until I go to college. I’m going to grow my hair out to my ass.”
Michelle laughed. She had always been more adventurous with her hair. I knew she went to a very fancy and trendy salon. I wish I didn’t have an aunt hairdresser and could choose where I went. I’d like to have some cut guy give me a long shampoo and play with my hair as he styled it. Michelle’s hair used to be over her shoulders like mine but recently cut it into a super straight bob near her chin. “Maybe you could try short hair for the summer. Its summer cool and you’d look good!”
“yeah right I mumbled and kept twirling my hair.”
“Alright, well how are you going to get out of this.”
An idea popped into my head. “Oh, what if you come over and then maybe I can say I’m too busy!”
“Well, I guess I’m not doing anything else right now. There was a pause, “Okay, I’ll drive over, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
Almost simultaneously with her hanging up I heard the doorbell ring and knew my aunt molly was here. I could hear my mom answer the door and chit chat with her. I lay on my bed and kept looking at instagram feed, constantly refreshing it. I heard my sisters door open and then loudly shut behind her as she went downstairs. I was relieved she was going downstairs, it meant she would be first up after my mother buying me a little bit more time for Michelle to get her and work on my alibi. Maybe 30 minutes had passed when I heard my mom call my name. I walked the steps downstairs and into the kitchen. There I saw my sister caped in a kind of small red cape that was wrinkled and barely came over her knees but longer on the sides so her hands were tucked underneath it. She was sitting in one of the kitchen chairs and the ground was covered in newspaper and her blonde hair. Aunt Molly was cutting the back of her neck when I walked in so Sarah, my sister, was looking down at her lap. She blond hair that before was just past grazing her shoulders was now in a sharp bob at her chin.
Everybody looked at me when I walked in “Hi Carrie! Aunt Molly said warmly.
Sarah looked up at me and I couldn’t help but laugh and quickly put a hand over my mouth. Hair was all over her cape and she sat there like a little girl. “Don’t laugh sister, your next. Mom said if I go short you’re going short too. Sarah had always been more adventurous with her hair and had tried several different lengths. My eyes darted to my mom. “We’ll see, she said, skirting that issue for the moment. Aunt Molly went back to the haircut she was finishing up.
“Well mom, Michelle is coming over and we were going to head out to the park to film something with some friends. Can we go this later?”
My mom chuckled without ever looking over at me. “Michelle can wait hunnie”
I sat down in another chair and looked at my sister in the center of the room looking at the thin mirror in front of her. “Okay, go look at yourself in the bathroom. Sarah stoodÂ up in the cape and dusted it off slightly like it was a dress she was straightening out. I could tell she was embarrassed to be walking around in it. She went in the bathroom and I could see her swishing her new bob from side to side “Actually, I love it. This is so posh and sporty at the same time! She came back into the kitchen as aunt molly was dusting off loose hairs from the chair. “Great! Glad you like it. She unclipped the cape from around Sarahs neck and put it on the back of her chair.
“Okay, up you go Carrie, my aunt said.
I looked at my mom and she motioned her head towards the chair. I got up and slugged over the the chair, plopping down on it. She threw the red cape over me and snapped in around my neck, a little tighter than I preferred. “Okay, what are we doing here? she said combing out my hair.
“well, I figured she’s going away for summer, she’ll be at camp and swimming and handling little kids the whole time, it would be a good time to try something short.”
“But mom.. IÂ tried to cut in but the two adults were standing over me. They kept talking above meÂ and ignoring me. Carrie caught sight of her sister in the kitchen chair she was just sitting in and stuck her tongue out.
“Okay, so maybe like Sarah’s length? Aunt Molly said. Absolutely not, I thought.
“I’m not sure that will fit her face shape. Sarah has such a long face its good for a haircut like that. Carrie is better with bangs and something more fitting for her head shape. Mom quipped.
“I think I got a good idea. How about something like this. Molly flipped through something in her phone. I tried to wiggle around in the chair to see but it was above my eye sight.”
“Oh! Great that will be so cute! My mom exclaimed. She knelt down in front of me. “Okay, be good for aunt molly. this will look super cute and you’ll love it for summer. You won’t have to take care of it and you can grow it out over winter. It’ll be nice and long by the time you come back. I almost had tears in my eyes at this point but there was no use fighting it. Molly pulled my hair in the back “I’m going to have to take a bit of length off before we get to the real cut. I could feel her pulling at my hair then SNIP SNIP SNIP. She dropped a handful of my brunette hair, 9 inches long straight into my lap, making an indent in the cape. Tears came to my eyes and I could see in the mirror that the hair was already Sarahs length brushing my neck. It was then that the doorbell rang. Michelle, I thought. My sister went to get it giddily and I could hear them at the door.
“Oh my god! I could hear Michelles voice. I turned to her as Aunt Molly was spraying down my hair and combing it. It was both Michelle and her friend Denise, who I’d only met a few times. I couldn’t believe they were seeing me like this, cape and with wet hair in my kitchen. I must’ve looked so stupid and childish. Someone who couldn’t go to a hip salon like her and instead had to have her old aunt cut her hair in her kitchen. “I can’t believe you’re doing this. Said Denise flatly.
“Look forward hun I turned my head and stared at myself in the little mirror with the cape covering my and my hair slicked back. This was so embarrassing. Aunt Molly started cutting my hair. She was really going to town. 3-5 in pieces were falling, some onto the newspaper covered ground joining my mom and my sisters blonde hair around the chair but most making a quiet smacking sound as they hit the cape. Michelle put down her purse on the table and came over to me. She picked up the handful of chopped dried her and waived in front of me as even more hair was falling down. “Wow this is so wild. You’re going to look so good babe. I could tell this was one of those things girls just tell girls to reassure them. What else could she say “Dang this sucks but what are you going to do. Her and Michelle grabbed chairs and all sat around with my sister and mom to watch the show. I sat there trying to not look totally pitiful as the chopping continued. Molly slipped certain sections to the top of my head with her black long salon clips. It was humiliating for everyone to stand around watch me transform into a boy.
It didn’t take long to do the rest of the cut and with the hair shorter it was nearly dry by the end. “Okay, go check yourself in the bathroom. My aunt said. I stood up with the cape still on and it swooshed with every step I took the the bathroom. I played with it in the mirror checking the different styled.Â I have to admit, It didn’t look half bad.I came back entering the room like some animal at a show. “I like it, its good i said. “Actually let me clean up the back a little bit. Wishing my humiliation was over I sat down down in the cape, little hairs still littering it. She took out her razor and pushed my hair forward. She scraped it against my neck a few times, a brand new sensation for me. She grabbed the cape at my neck and unclipped the buckles. She then gently blew against my neck and I felt a tingle down my spine. She pulled the cape forward and i was finally released from it. I took my hands to my nape and whipped away and stray hairs and embarrassingly walked towards my friends. They gave all their compliments and asked to touch it. Aunt Molly shook out her cape and held it in her hand. “Well ladies, before I put this away, anybody want anything else? Michelle and Denise both laughed at the simple thought of getting in that chair.