Jenny Roberts walked out of her room in her pajamas on her way to get breakfast. She was completely unaware of the events that would unfold on that day. Every year Jenny’s family had a tradition of “Haircut Day”. It was the only day a year that anybody in the Roberts family would get a haircut, as Jenny’s single father Mike would get out his clippers and scissors to do the job himself. The Roberts were too poor to be able to regularly go to a barber or salon, so Mike felt that as long as he didn’t try anything too fancy, he would just cut his family’s hair himself.
Haircut Day fell on the first day of summer every year, and while the rest of the family remembered that it was coming, Jenny did not. She had woken up, tied her tailbone length brown hair in a ponytail, and made her way to the kitchen. Normally she would wear her hair down, but the past few weeks of May had been so unbearably hot that she didn’t feel like it. When Jenny arrived in the kitchen, she immediately noticed a stool sitting upon a large towel in the middle of the room. The familiar sight filled Jenny with dread, as she realized what day it was and remembered the events of Haircut Day last year, when nearly a foot of her hair was cut off. Luckily, the Roberts kids all had very fast growing hair, so Jenny’s long locks were restored by Spring.
Jenny turned around to retreat to her room, but her father was standing in the hallway and holding a set of clippers. “Morning Jenny,” he said with a smile, “Are you ready for Haircut Day?” Jenny apprehensively responded, “Yeah, sure”. Mike walked away toward the kitchen, as Jenny entered her room. She looked in the mirror and realized this would be the last time she would see her hair this long for a while. Even though Jenny was in high school and becoming more responsible and independent, her father still made all of her decisions on Haircut Day. Jenny changed into her regular clothes and had decided to stay in her room for a while longer, as she had lost her appetite.
After around twenty minutes, Mike called Jenny into the kitchen where he was waiting with her two younger brothers. The pair of boys were 10-year old twins named Dale and Mitchell, and although they weren’t identical, they looked quite similar and had near identical personalities. The two boys’ hair was similar to Jenny in color and grew just as fast, and it hung just below the shoulders of each twin. “Sit down, you’ll be up soon,” said Mike, pointing towards a chair at the kitchen table.
As Jenny sat down, her father moved Dale over the stool and placed him down. Mike grabbed the clippers from the table and place the #1 guard on them, preparing to give the twins the same haircut they received every summer. Mike placed the set of clippers against Dale’s forehead and then began to mercilessly shear the head of the boy while his relatively long locks fell down to the towel on the floor below. Jenny’s father was experienced at this type of cut after all these years, and managed to have Dale’s head completely buzzed within five minutes. Dale, seemingly unphased, stood up from the stool and made his way outside to play basketball.
Mitchell was soon moved over to the stool, appearing a lot more nervous than Dale. While the twins had very similar personalities, one difference was that Mitchell liked his long hair while Dale was more apathetic about it. Mike picked up on Mitchell’s apprehension and tried to calm him by saying, “Come on Mitchell, you know that it’s gonna be a really hot summer and a nice short buzzcut will do you good. Besides, young boys like you are best to have short hair anyways.” Mitchell didn’t seem to be calmed by his father’s words, but he didn’t put up any argument. Mike once again grabbed the clippers and plunged them into Mitchell’s hair, with his foot-long locks falling to the floor right on top of his brother’s. Soon Mitchell was completely sheared as well, and he glumly made his way outside to join his brother.
“Jenny, it’s your turn”, Mike said as he set the clippers aside. Jenny apprehensively walked over and sat down on the stool as she said, “Dad, I don’t feel like I need a haircut this summer. I like the length it is now.” “Nonsense,” said Mike, as he grabbed a pair of scissors from the table, “Your hair has gotten to an unmanageable length and it really needs to be cut for the summer.” Jenny sighed as she knew what her father was going to say next. “In fact, this summer is going to be so hot that I think we should take some extra length off.” It was the same thing he said every summer, and sometimes the extra length would vary from anywhere between six and eighteen inches.
After he grabbed the scissors, Jenny’s father made his way over to Jenny and grabbed her ponytail. Jenny winced as she realized that this was the end of her long hair. Normally Mike would move Jenny’s hair tie down so that there was some length left for Jenny to have, but this time was different. Jenny was completely caught off guard when her father began to cut her ponytail right at the base which was situated right near her scalp. Jenny wanted to shout out in surprise but couldn’t make a sound as her ponytail was chopped off. After around a minute of cutting her thick hair, Jenny’s father finally removed Jenny’s long ponytail. She watched in dismay and shock as 26-inches of hair were casually tossed into the trash with complete disregard. Jenny was sad that all that hair wouldn’t be donated, but that feeling of sadness was completely dwarfed by all of the other emotions that Jenny was feeling.
She suddenly heard a click and then a Bzzzzzz as she realized that her father had turned on the clippers. Mike moved the clippers around all of Jenny’s hair, with a #2 guard preventing the hair from being completely shaved to the scalp. Jenny didn’t know why, but she quite liked the feeling of the clippers on her head. She began to drift away into thinking about what her life will be like with short hair, and while she tried to think negatively about it, she could mostly only come up with positives. It would be much easier to manage, it would dry a lot faster, and she could try multiple new styles she’d never gotten to do before. These feelings of optimism were only helped by the great feeling of the clippers. Soon, the clippers were put away and Jenny was left with her new buzzcut.
Wordlessly, Jenny stood up and made her way outside, where she felt the wind on her freshly buzzed head. While she couldn’t believe that her mind had changed so quickly, the cool air on her hair solidified Jenny’s newfound love for her short hair. Jenny walked back inside and hugged her father, thanking him for taking the risk to give her the new buzzcut. She was convinced that it had to stay, and for that to happen, she needed to make sure that Haircut Day happened much more often.