Over the next year at college I picked up a boyfriend, Seamus, and we were smitten. We met at university in the early months of our sophomore year and dated throughout the year. He was a sweet boy and kept his hair short and proper and I loved when he would come back from cuts with a fuzzy neck line. He was from England and had come to the US for university. Once during the year his parents flew into town took us out to dinner. His family is very lively and they are all “creative types” with wild senses of humor and lifestyles. Coming from a more conservative house I was fascinated by their family dynamic. They seemed to talk about everything including sex. Dinners were flowing with booze and jokes about each other.
School was coming to an end for the semester. Finals were really tough and I felt like I hadn’t left in days. My hair was back below my breasts at this point. I was happy to have my long hair again but it felt burdensome and heavy. During the long days in the library I didn’t have any time to wash or style my hair so for weeks my hair was stuck in a messy bun. I knew once this semester was over and summer finally came I’d get a trim and feel like a whole new woman again. This summer, Seamus and I had planned a Euro trip. So we were flying to visit his family in England for a week before we hit the road. I was looking forward to those first days of laying around his house with his family. I could imagine us laughing, making inside jokes with his siblings. It was the bright light at the end of a long semester.
When the last final was turned in we packed up our dorms into storage. The only thing we took with us were our backpacks.
The flight was shorter than expected and I loved England! We traveled through London and stayed in a hostel for the night. On college, most of the girls had a similar style to me. But here, my straight long hair and college sweater was so dull. Girls had multi-colored hair or teased out styles. I felt like a boring girl from nowhere America. Seamus somehow blended in. I noticed he never really stood out in college for his fashion but now that we were here his style seemed so hip.
We went out to explore the city. By the time we’d had dinner and were settling in to the first drinks, I was less overwhelmed by the foreign environment. They weren’t so different from the Goth kids on my campus. They just wanted to get attention for their style.
After staying in the hostel for the night we packed our bags and took an early morning train from London to his home in the country.
The train ride was gorgeous and I got to see the english countryside! When we arrived in Seamus’ hometown it looked so idyllic. The homes were gorgeous garden homes with a little cobble street.
We walked through the town and I felt like I was in a post card! Just outside the city center, where the houses started to get a bit more spread apart, I saw a house that was all lit up, glowing white as the day died around it. I could see the whole family moving inside, jostling about.
The front door opened and I recognized his mom, “Babs” not Barbara, waving from the front step.
“Welcome home welcome home! Congrats on finishing the year!” She exclaimed. Her hair had been dyed a bright red since I saw her last and cut a bit shorter. She was always wearing funky styles, so different from my own mom.
“Come on in, come on in!” She said waving us inside. In the kitchen was another girl, a few years younger than me who I recognized as Seamus sister, Lilly, who i’d never met before. We introduced and she was sweet as can be.
“I’ve been just waiting to meet you!” She said clutching my arm. “I’m so excited to have another girl home to hang out with. This’ll be so fun!” She said. her own hair was in an overgrown bob down to her shoulders and in a triangle shape. She was spunky and wearing what you might call punk attire. She had a loose crop top and torn black jeans. I was intimidated by how much cooler this younger girl seemed than me.
“Well I’m just happy to be here. Thank you all for having me. My own family thanks you. So nice to be here!” I said trying to show gratitude. it was very important that I get his family to really like me this weekend.
After we’d unpacked and had the afternoon to hangout we had a bit grill out with his family that evening. Aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone was showing up. I put on a cute skirt and had a glass of wine to turn on my social skills. Seamus was occupied with seeing all his family again and was a social butterfly floating throughout the party. So I stayed close to Lilly who was happy to show me around and introduce me. We hung by the grill sipping wine when their mom approached.
“Jessica, can I just say you have the best hair. Its so thick and voluminous.”
“Oh thank you. I really need to get it cut. Bit overgrown at the moment and a headache to deal with” I said trying to not take the compliment.
“Oh well I can take care of that for you. I have a qualified hairdresser after all. I’ll be doing Lilly’s hair tomorrow why don’t you let me give you a trim as well.” The mother said.
“Yes! Lets get cute cuts together. That would be so fun!” Lilly said.
Afraid to let anyone down and out of a desire to be liked I enthusiastically replied “Okay! that would be so nice. Its not too much?
“Of course not darling! It’ll be fine!”
Lilly again squeezed my arm and smiled in excitement. I didn’t know what I’d signed myself up for but I did need a cut and this sounded like a good time for bonding.
They next day I slept in to catch up on the days of sleep I missed during finals. By the time I made it to the breakfast table it was already 1pm.
“Good morning sunshine” Seamus said, already dressed and had breakfast.
“Good morning. Whats on the agenda today?” I asked groggy as I poured a cup of coffee.
“Well at 3pm there is a game so me, my uncle Lenny and my cousins were going to head down to the bar to watch that. You can join us for that or my mom said you maybe wanted a haircut so you could stay back for that.”
A lump grew in my throat. I know i agreed to it last night but the fact that it was now right in front of me sent a shock through my system.
“Okay” was all I could mumble as I took a sip of coffee.
“Don’t worry about it, my mom is a great hairdresser. I told her all about your hair troubles and she’ll treat you to a good cut.” he said kissing the top of my head. “Plus, by the time I come back home, my girlfriend will look absolutely delicious in her new hair.” That made me smile. I thought about how my hair felt like a victoria secret model after the last haircut at the academy.
I got dressed and by the time I came back downstairs the house was jumping. Everyone was in the kitchen moving about.
“I’m off to the game” Seamus said as the car horn honked out front.
“Okay have fun” his mom said.
“Be nice to her!” Seamus said to her mom, smiling at me.
“Oh we’ll have fun. Be gone now!” She laughed ushering him out the door.
He left the door with a slam and a silence fell as his loud presence disappeared.
It was just me and Babs now. She came over and stroked my hair. It gave me shivers. She sipped her drink. “Alright well I’m going to get started on Lilly over in the drawing room. Come down and hang with us while I do her hair. Then you’re next. We’ll have some fun.”
“Okay I’ll be in a second” buying myself a chance to breathe. I went up to my guest room for a moment and gathered myself. Once I stopped my hands from shaking and could get a thought in I breathed easier. It was Seamus mom, the cut would be fine. It would be a time for us to bond. And I could see how other Mom’s and daughters do haircuts. Maybe if the cut was at home, like my mom used to do, it would more enjoyable. I breathed easier now. Still a bit light headed I got up and walked back downstairs. In the front of their house they had a gorgeous drawing room. Light drenched the room and felt like we were outside. It had white walls and white tiled floor and faced the front drive way. It was the most exposed room in the house, almost a front porch. The whole street could see into the room. I walked into the room and saw the whole set up before me. At the end of the room, near the large window to the street a salon chair had been set up, facing a floor to ceiling mirror. In the chair, covered in a pink gown, shining the reflection of the light, was Lilly, her hair soaking wet and falling like a wet cat onto her shoulders. Around her shoulders was a rubber mat with zebra prints all over it. This felt like their style so of course all their accessories would match. It was like trashy chic. Very different to the overly hygenic hair academy.
“Hey girl!” Lilly said as her mom pushed her head down. Babs was already deep into the cut. I was quite a significant pile below the chair. She pulled another section of hair straight out of the back and cut it just a few inches from Lilly’s scalp. 6 inches of hair plopped onto her shoulders, sticking to the zebra mat. “Pull up a chair” she said smiling as I stood in the doorway.
Lilly was so happy despite so much hair coming off. I was frightened as the scene as her hair was pulled back and then lopped off again and again. I was nervous to even get close to it. But I approached the mirror and sat on a stool next to the mirror so that I could face Lilly.
“We’re going short today” Babs said observing me intoxicated by her snipping.
“Yeah I’ve done this short pixie the last few summers. Once school is out I can do whatever and I just swim all summer so its easier.” Lilly had her hands out of the cape as was playing with a long strip of hair that had been on her head just minutes ago.
I watched as they hair dropped into lilly’s caped form. They made splattering sound as they hit the shiny pink material.
“What are we doing with your hair today?” Babs asked calmly.
Lilly’s eyes lit up and she looked at me in anticipation.
“Well I’m really in need of a cut and need to go shorter.” I thought I explained it in as reasonable a way as possible.
Lilly lit up. “Oh my god yes! lets! this will be so exciting!”
Babs was smiling behind her. “You’ll look cute honey.” She looked at me. I felt proud, the mother of my boyfriend seemed to really like me. I was getting along with the family well. Amazing that they were all so excited about giving me a trim!
Babs kept up her process of lifting and cutting, lifting and cutting and hair was falling everywhere. It looked like it was hailing.Lilly just smiled at herself in the mirror as the hair littered around her. It didn’t even seem like Babs had a plan but was going in all directions at once of just lifting and snipping. I kept thinking she’d cut all the hair she could but longer bits still kept falling. After another 10 or 15 minutes of this finally there was a pause. Babs put down her scissors and comb. She returned to the seated Lill and started playing with her hair, tossing it this way and that. It was now the length of a longer pixies with long bangs and still some length in the back. It was super cute and Lilly was ecstatic.
“I just love it!” Lilly’s hands appeared from beneath the cape and she was styling it herself this way and that. Bab’s turned on the hair dryer, blowing all the snipping off Lilly’s caped shoulders and her lap. Lilly kicked out the cape. Once she’d gotten rid of the loose hair Bab’s turned off the dryer, unsnapped the cape and pulled it across Lilly’s chest.
“Alright, go style yourself and let me get on with Jessica.” Lilly stood up. A ring of hair laid around the chair. She looked down at the shearing at her feet. Her hands went for her hair, their former home.
“Wow it feels so much shorter.” She smiled.
Lilly stepped over the ring. “You’re turn” she said, smiling to me. Babs swiped the pink cape, carelessly tossing Lilly’s former hair out of the way. The reality of her treating my precious hair that precariously sent a knot into my stomach. Soon she would be tossing my locks into the pile on the floor. I gulped, stood up, and took a step towards the chair. Almost as soon as my butt hit the seat, before I could even see myself in the mirror my vision was filled with pink. Babs swooshed the gown around me. She let it hang over me loosely as she clipped my long hair a top my head. My skinny long neck stuck out like a flower bulb. I knew I could never have short hair or else everyone would see my long neck! Bab’s snapped the cape around my neck. I just stared at myself in pity. Then at last the zebra shoulder pads were placed on me. I looked at myself looking just like Lilly moments before but with much less joy.
My hair unclipped fell down my chest.
“Okay what are we doing here” Babs said not looking at me but chewing gum and sizing up my hair like it was a guy looking at a car.
“well its obviously been a while since my last cut. I really liked when its shorter up here and on my face and longer in the back. And I was thinking of going a bit shorter for summer anyway.” I was imagining myself with that Victoria secret model hair I got last year at The Aveda Institute. I hung just above my breasts and framed my face and I had such luscious locks for so long.
“Yes, lets definitely take this up and have some fun with it.” Babs said smiling at me in the mirror. I smiled back. I was so glad to share in something fun with my future mother-in-law.
“And how do we feel about more conservative versus more radical.”
“How about a bit of radical?” I said trying to smirk and look cool.
“You got it. So here’s the plan” she said combing out my knotty hair. “I’m going to take the length up to your shoulder blades, and then take your top shorter. So you’ll have some disconnected layers in the front that will really frame your face. So the top will be shorter.”
Just like my last cut! “Yes please!” I said in glee.
Once Babs has full combed out all of my hair it was a huge ball of frizz. I looked like if the girl from The Ring was electrocuted. Babs drew my hair from behind my hair to down my chest.
“Alright lets do this”.
And then, without me realizing she’d grabbed them, I heard the clippers come to life. She laughed when she saw the shock on my face. I looked at Lilly who was also laughing as Bab’s came around to my front. She put her comb through my hair and stopped just above my breasts. Then I saw the clippers come over and glide along the comb, a foot of frizzy dead brown hair was sheared away. It slipped down the shiny cape and rested in my lap. I was in total shock. My mouth dropped to the floor. Bab’s come to my other side. Again she pulled the comb down, again the clipped buzzing in my face, again the clippers shearing off my hair in a straight line across my chest.
My lap was now full of two feet of hair in dry coils. Lilly reached forward and grabbed a clump in here hand and shook it out over me. “Wow! All gone” The hair feel like snow over my chest and lap.
“That should be much better” Babs said as she ran her hands through what was left of my hair. In nearly 30 seconds, she buzzed away two years of hair growth. My hair wasn’t this short after the hair school incident. But I have to admit, only living hair was left.
Bab’s took the spray and was wetting down my whole head. Lilly sat in my former seat so she was next to the mirror, facing me in the chair. She had the blow drier and a book as she styled her own hair. I was left to stair at myself in the mirror, with what looked like an animal in my lap.
Behind me, Bab’s was with scissors snipping away. It didn’t feel like she was cutting new hair as much as she was cleaning up what she just haphazardly sheared up. My long wet hair hung around me and made me look like a sad child.
After a bit she stopped snipping.
“Okay now we’ll bring the top shorter, so it sits around your face.”
“Great” I said, at a loss of words. Me, her hopeful daughter-in-law, sitting submissively under a pile of hair and her mother-in-law lops off her hair.
Bab’s started combing the hair in top of her head upwards.
“This will be really cool disconnected on top. It’ll be both funky but still conservative enough for all jobs.” With that Babs combed a bit about 6 inches from her scalp, and three snips straight across. The clipped plopped onto her lap. Another section, pulled 6 inches up from her scalp, and three snips again. And another pitter patter of three feet long pieces falling into my lap.
I stared straight ahead at myself with my mouth dropped. Babs stood behind me in glee as she cut my hair rapidly. The same motions repeated all over my hair falling down onto me. Lilly was shrieking in the corner, staring in amazement at the cut taking place.
Meanwhile, I was horrified. I looked in my lap at the pile of hair burying me. My precious locks taken away from me again. I was wanted to cry thinking of what was being stolen from me. I closed my eyes and tried not to look at the reality before me.
I tried my hardest to hide the fact that I was crying.
For a moment the snipping stopped.
I opened my eyes and took myself in. My hair was spiked up and it hung like a boys just a few inches above my head. But my hair in the back hung over my shoulders to where she’d snippered it off. She’d given me a mullet! I looked at myself horrified. This wasn’t work appropriate at all! Now I’d have to cut all of my long hair off just to look normal! I couldn’t go outside with this.
“Oh my god that is sooo cute” Lilly said gawking at me. I put up a weak smile in the mirror as baby put some played around with boys cut on the top of my head. She smiled at me in the mirror. “I knew this would frame your face so perfectly.” All I could do was smile at watch as she picked the scissors back up. She went about curling my head continuing to cut more hair off, who knows from where. More snipping fell all around me. I was now nearly completely covered from neck to feet in my own sheering, like a sweater made from my own mane.
I looked absolutely ridiculous in this embarrassing cape and the most tacky haircut. I shouldn’t have trusted these people or that I wanted to look like these people!
My this time it had gotten dark and the glowing drawing room was like a stage to the street. And me, the star, under the spotlight. Neighbors out for walks, pointing into the window as they passed. I wonder if the neighbors knew “Never go to Babs or she’ll give you a tacky haircut a few decades too late.” I almost started crying again just thinking about it.
This was going to take me years to grow back to a reasonable length. How was I ever going to explain this to everyone?
Then light came across their yard and into the room. The car had returned with the guys from the game! Right as I realized what was happening I saw Seamus’ uncle and cousin crossing the yard. I was mortified. I didn’t know what to do. All I could do was stare straight ahead. But then I saw this hideous mullet only getting shorter on my head. Babs was now in front of me and pulled my bangs down my forehead. I felt her cold metal scissors mid forehead and then I head the three consecutive snips.
Uncle lenny was now outside in the yard pointing at me laughing. I bet I was a sight! Come home to find the new girl sheered on the stage for everyone. I turned to see them and could see the whole crew of boys walking across the yard toward the house. Seamus appeared at the back and I almost burst in tears seeing him. The boys were in good spirits, probably drunk from the game, howling in the yard at me. I turned back to myself. What a fool I looked like. How could I ever recover from this! Did I fall for an obvious trap?
The door opened and Uncle Lenny burst in the door.
“Hey babe, take a little off the top, will ya?” They both laughed. Babs put her hand on my head to steady myself.
Seamus then came in the door and walked over to us. He was smiling. He was enjoying this! Could he not see I was devastated! But he looked happy.
“Well this is a cute look” He said smiling at me in the mirror and putting his hand on my shoulder. He kissed his mom hello.
“I see you two decided to change it up” Seamus said examining the scene.
“We’re doing fresh cuts for summer” Babs said as she continued to pull hair from my hair and trim.
I was devastated and my boyfriend couldn’t even pity me. I wish he felt how embarrassing this is for me!
“You’re looking shaggy around the edges yourself.” His mom said eyeing up his hair.
Seamus has been growing it lately, despite my insistence. He knew how much I loved the feel of his neck after he had it buzzed really close. But the style was to have it longer now, more natural. So he had been letting it get longer and longer on every trim. Instead of the sharp neck it was a trimmed bush.
“Ah well not for me. Letting this grow” He shrugged off.
“No, I think you’re mom’s right” I felt my engines going. “You could use with a trim. Maybe something shorter for Summer, right hun?”
He was blindsided, speechless.
“Well that settles it” His mom said. She’d put down the scissors and was playing with my hair. I’d completely resigned myself to whatever nightmare of a haircut was on my head. I was only focused on exacting revenge now, making him feel this same humiliation.
My gaze locked on Seamus, searing into him what was to come.
Once she’d styled it, however a tacky haircut is supposed to look, she unsnapped the cape slowly.
She pulled the cape slowly over my chest and let the several pounds of hair that had accumulated there to the floor, adding to the ring of hair surrounding the chair.
“All done” Babs said as she pulled the cape over me, revealing my body again. But this whole time my eyes were still on Seamus. “You’re turn” I said dramatically.
Seamus had lost the same carefree vibe that he walked in with. As I stood from the seat and kicked the hair from my feet I strode past him. I grabbed his ass as he stepped towards the chair.
Bab’s flipped the cape over him as he sat in the chair pitifully. She snapped it at his neck and flipped it over the back of the chair. His hands were in his lap and his feet were pinned together, like a scared puppy.
I was standing next to Babs, looking at Seamus through the mirror.
“Short for summer eh?” Babs said tossing around the several inches of mop he’d accumulated over the year at college.
“How about we use some of these?” Babs booty bumped me, as a friendly way to get my attention. She passed me the clippers, like the ones she’d used to cut my length.
I held them as she turned back to her drawer. Feeling powerful with them in my hand I flicked the switch. And they came alive in my hand! Roaring and vibrating in my grip. Emboldened I stepped behind Seamus, put a hand on his shoulder. I felt the silk material of the pink gown and felt my pitiful boyfriend shaking as I gripped him. I looked at the mirror as his eyes got big. I put the clippers on his forehead and pulled the back. A white strip appeared right now the middle of his head like a heard part. He sat there silently with his mouth open.
“Oh my god” Lilly gasped. “Yes girl” she said next.
Babs looked over without much emotion. “Well I was going to put a guard on that and we were going to give him a fade but this works too.
I didn’t wait for any more instruction. I pulled the clippers back again and it peeled another row of row. Right across the top I did another row, but this time I grabbed the hair as I clipped it and let it drop across Seamus like Lilly did with me.
I knew what I wanted to do to him now. I gripped his chin and took the clippers and did fast passes across the top of his head.
When I was done I let his head go and everyone could see what I’d done.
I’d shaved the top of his head down to the bone. But only the top. The rest of his hair was still there so he looked like a very old bald man with no hair on top and only bushy on the sides. Or like a monk.
He looked at himself in the mirror and how foolish he looked. I could see his leg shaking under the cape.
“Oh this is such a good look on your Seamus” Lilly said through he laughter. She stood up and came next to me and rubbed the shaved top of his head. “Lets make him keep this for awhile.”
“Yes I think that’s a good idea” I said mischievously.
Seamus just kept staring at himself, dumbfounded in the mirror and we messed around with his silly haircut.
“Why don’t you go take a look at yourself in the bathroom mirror” Babs said tapping his shoulder.
He slowly rose out of the chair, the peeled hair in his lap falling to the floor and joining my pile.
He looked like a shamed child, with the pink cape on as he tried to step lightly and sneak off to the bathroom. I could see his back as his hands touched his scalp in the mirror. He walked back towards us, his face fully distress, not believing what his hands were feeling.
“Alright you’ve had your fun now just shave me completely.”
“Oh no, I think you need to stay like that awhile.” I jested.
“Yup, lets show you off at dinner” His mom laughed as she stood behind him and unsnapped the cape. It came off him as he stood in front of her.
“Come on” I said taking his hand and leading him back into the house.
When we entered the kitchen I felt him slow down and try to pull back. But I gripped his hand harder and pulled him into the room.
“If this is the new style then I’ll be all the rage!” His Uncle Lenny cracked.
The whole crew of cousins and uncles all burst into laughter as he walked in.
“Boy, Babs really got you good didn’t she” his cousin howled.
“Except this time it wasn’t even her” Lilly said appearing behind us. “This was all Jessica”
“Oh well done young lady. It was time this bozo got a more adult haircut. I just didn’t think it was be that adult haircut!” Uncle Lenny burst into laughter again.
We stood around the kitchen cracking jokes at Seamus’s haircut. I was happy that the focus wasn’t on the hideous mullet i’d received but instead of Seamus’ skullet.
The whole family was having a drink and snacking before dinner when Uncle Lenny’s wife came over, Aunt Mary. She walked into the jovial scene through the back door. Aunt Mary had married into the family and was much quieter than the rambunctious siblings. She had a tiny frame and was very cute for her age. She had long curly hair that had probably never been cut and was down to the small of her back. She said hello to everyone and grabbed a drink when she noticed me and Seamus.
“Wow, new ‘dos for you before the big trip! Exciting” She said.
We both played with our hair subconsciously.
“I still got time for another trim before dinner!” Babs said sipping her wine and eyeing Mary from across the room.
“Why don’t you take a turn in Bab’s chair, see how you come out!” Uncle Lenny joked.
“Yes Aunt Mary, lets do something new!” Lilly said.
“Oh I don’t know. Maybe another time” Mary tried to shrug off, squirreling up behind her husband.
“Come on Mary, you were just saying how you needed to get your haircut. Now is the perfect moment!” Her husband said, shifting so she wasn’t hiding behind him. She looked up at him in shock.
Babs walked across the room. “Come on girl, no time like the present!” Babs said grabbing Mary’s hand and leading her away into the drawing room. Pleadingly Mary took a last look towards Seamus and me. She looked at our terrible haircuts and knew that one was coming her away. I could only imagine the dread she felt in that moment. And the peer pressure from the family must be overwhelming.
“Well I gotta see this!” A cousin said. A conga line of family followed Babs from the kitchen to the drawing room
I didn’t want to add to the commotion so hung back in the kitchen for a moment.
“you look really cute, for what its worth” Seamus said to me, addressing me for the first time sinceI sheared him.
I smiled. I needed the sweetness.
“Thanks babe. I’d say the same but then I’d be lying.” I said. He looked at the ground.
“I’ll finish the rest when I think you’ve been a good boy.” I smiled. I liked this prowess role.
I left him there to think over that and went to the drawing room.
A crowd was standing around the chair. I walked up just as the pink cape settled over little Aunt Mary, shaking in the chair. On went the zebra rubber mat over her shoulders. Babs started to wet down the hair. She combing it out all around here like a circus tent.
With her long hair covering her face and her small body covered by the cape you wouldn’t know she was a librarians in her late 50s. She resembled my little sister getting a trim by mom in our kitchen. But she wold be losing much more hair than a trim.
I walked up just as Babs was slipping the scissors right in front of Mary’s eyes.
“Lets start with some bangs to bring out that pretty face of yours.” Babs said and she snip, snip, snipped straight across Aunt Mary’s forehead. Her face appeared and it was in complete shock. With no say in the matter she could only grip the arm rest and hope this nightmare was over soon.
Babs combed out another section of the bangs. I watched as Mary’s eyes followed Bab’s fingers. Her eyes were wide as she another section combed down and Bab’s fingers stopped just in front of her eyes. Mary watched as nearly two feet carelessly slipped onto the cape and slide down to the massive pile at her feet. Another pull and another section snipped away. I enjoyed watching Bab’s snip away, now that it wasn’t me in the chair. She was a skilled hairdresser. Even though she didn’t seem to be going very fast it was actually because she was very skilled. Within a few minutes she’d given Aunt Mary a wonderful full fringe sitting across her forehead. But shorter the hair has more curl in it. It was a cute look for her.
I thought Mary might get out easy. That the cut would end on a fringe, already a huge change. Aunt Mary even sighed looked at herself in the mirror. The bangs really brought out her best features. Bab’s stood behind her playing around with the fringe.
“I love it Babs. This is great” Mary said, her hands remaining in her lap.
“Just wait until you see yourself with short hair” Bab’s said as she stood behind her and snipped her scissors twice in the air mockingly.
Aunt Mary’s smile disappeared.
“Just sit still for me” Babs said. She put her hand on her clients head and pushed her chin into her chest.
He slid her scissors in against Mary’s neck. Marys eyes were raised so high they went above her bangs. She could feel the cold metal of the steel against her neck.
Snip snip snip
The hair gathered on her shoulders. When it hit the cape you could see it curl up into wet ringlets.
Bab’s drew out another section next it it and cut.
She drew it down again and then the whole back section back been cut in a straight line across her neck.
Bab’s picked up the two feet long tail that used to the back of mary head. She held it up in her hand like she captured a flag. She hugged Mary from behind holding the tail against and chest and squeezing her caped shoulders.
“You want me to save this? I don’t think you’ll be using it?”
Mary stared at the tail before her eyes not believing it. She squeezed her eyes shut and could no longer stop the tears from coming. She started bawling there in the chair while everyone was laughing at Bab’s swinging the hair about.
“Don’t worry hun, we’ll get this fixed for you quick.”
Babs tossed the hair to the floor.
With both hands she tilted Mary’s head to the side. Mary followed obediently with her eyes still tightly shut. I could see tears coming down. Bab’s fingers stopped at Mary’s chin.
Snip snip snip and another row fell into Mary’s lap.
Bab’s took down another section and again cut it straight across Mary’s jawline. Mary winced with every snip of the scissors. Hey body physically reacting to the slicing off her hair.
When one side was down Mary’s head was imbalanced. She put her head straight and was dared to open her eyes. There she saw that one side of her hair was cut straight at the jaw while another was still down to her stomach.
The sight obviously wasn’t any relief to her. More tears starting coming and she was quivering in the chair. The crowd had spread out a bit. The initial excitement over the first cuts had worn off and Mary’s forced shearing was getting tough to watch. Still some of the cousins were having fun with it.
“Does one side of your head feel heavier than the other?” Uncle Lenny, her husband, laughed. “You going to leave it like that Babs?”
“Its pretty cute, don’t you think?” Babs joked. She was combing out the other side. Marys head was head titled to a 45% angle to the side. This time she combed out the hair not to the chin length but to Aun’t Mary’s ear lobes. Mary was watching in the mirror and saw the chop. At this point she was resigned to her fate, no longer surprised or scared. Just adding more misery.
“We’re going to go for a bit of an asymmetrical look.” It’ll match her fun personality!” Babs said.
Mary didn’t respond but looked down at the floor and mumbled something. Babs grabbed her head with both hands, one on the chin and one on the back of her head, and titled it forcefully to the side. Again she combed out a section this time right along Aunt Mary’s cheek. And unceremoniously took another cut, finishing that side.
I looked at Aunt mary in the mirror. The last 20 minutes had been devastating for her. Before she had long hair to match her conservative library type style of long dresses and big glasses. But now she was sitting like an obedient child, held captive in Bab’s chair by the pink gown, grazing the floor. The only thing that could be seen was Mary’s little head emerging with short bob, cut super short on one side and generously short on the other.
“Time to clean this up.” Babs said.
I went to the bathroom to assess my own cut for the first time. It was truly hideous. I pulled up the top section to see how long it was. I didn’t have more than 4 inches on top. My bangs were even shorter coming to the middle of my forehead so it looked like I had a bowl cut in the front and a mullet in the back.
I thought about what I would do. I would have to go to a salon in a foreign city in europe and have them but it. But the only way that seemed to fix this cut would be to cut it all off! Do I want an unspeakable mullet or a pixie cut? I could wear a hat forever I guess.
I went back into the drawing room. Mary was still in the chair, shorter snipping now littering her cape like leaves in the fall. Bab’s kept skillfully working her way around poor Mary’s head. The haircut has turned into a super mod asymmetrical bob with very sharp lines. It was a cool cut but looked like a helmet. It made her look like a pencil. The cut didn’t look real or suit her at all.
“I wonder what they’ll say at work on Monday” Uncle Lenny laughed.
Mary’s eyes welled up again at the thought of going out into public with such a cut. She made eye contact with me in the mirror. It was pitiful. She should’ve known better than to get into Bab’s chair. We had both been totally sheered by this family.
“Alright well that’s about done. Why don’t you go have a look in the bathroom mirror.” Babs said.
Mary just sat still until Babs patted her on the shoulder. “Up you get. Go have a look”
Mary slowly rose. The snipping still covered her shoulders and chest. As she made her first move it unsettled the hair and it slide from her shoulders down to the floor.
She waddled self consciously to the bathroom mirror, the pink gown swishing behind her.
I could see her in the bathroom. She tentatively put her hands to her hair. They barely touched it, as if touching it would make it real. She quickly put her hands down, back until the cape. The cape was so long and Mary was so short that it fell to almost the ground, just grazing the top of her shoes as she shuffled to the wall. She walked back into the room gloomily.
“Such a cute cut on you. Any more you want me to take off?” Babs said.
“No, its fine” Mary said mutedly.
“Great lets get some after photos” Babs said in command. “You three, line up against the wall”
With our heads bowed we shuffled over to the wall. Me and my tacky mullet were in the middle, with Seamus on one side, a giant bald spot shaved on top of his head, and Aunt Mary on the other, still under the pink gown and her helmet bob.
“Look at them!” Uncle lenny said, looking at us in a row. “They all go Bab-ered”. The whole room laughed. Flashes went off as everyone took a snap and were posting photos of them. Our heads rung in regret, trying to not think about the long impacts of the haircuts and the years it would take before any of them looked respectable.
I looked back at the chair. The floor was covered in thick layer of colorful hair. Lilly’s blonde and pink hair, my long blond hair, Mary’s dark block locks and Seamus light brown hair. All of that had just been on our heads. And now we’d all been butchered. We’d all been Bab-ered.