I know, six exclamation points is really over the top, but I’ve had a traumatic experience, and I can’t help myself.

This morning I took the boys to get haircuts because they’re getting their pictures taken tomorrow and their hair was just too long to look good.  I know, I know, you never, never get a haircut right before a wedding or the prom or a picture-taking session, but we’ve followed that conventional wisdom in the past, and I’ve ended up taking pictures of boys with pretty crazy-looking hair.  By contrast, their hair has always looked great right after a haircut.  So even though it made me nervous to defy the protocol all reasonable people have been following for thousands of years, I decided to live dangerously and get the haircuts today, figuring my gamble would pay off this time.

Ordinarily Sugar Daddy takes the boys for haircuts because he knows how to instruct people on how to cut boys’ hair.  I’m really kind of a dummy when it comes to boys’ haircuts.  Most of them look more or less the same to me.  When I would take Mister Bubby for a haircut and they’d ask me how I wanted it, I’d usually say, “Uh…I dunno.  Just your standard…short…boy hair?” and they’d either end up making him look like one of those first-years at VMI or one of the Lawrence boys when they were all getting their hair done with the same bowl.  I finally learned that I wanted a Number 2 guard around the sides, but I’ve never gotten the lingo down for what’s supposed to happen on top.  With MB it never mattered so much as long as they cut it short enough to render his cowlicks obsolete, but Elvis has always been more complicated.  He’s still my baby, and I don’t want him to be a Marine yet.

So I asked SD for explicit instructions on how to get Elvis’ haircut so it would look as good as it did last time–short enough that he could see, but not too short.  He told me they should use a Number 8 guard around the sides, and then blend it with the top so it would still be long enough to keep the lovely blond curls I’ve become so attached to.  Okay, that was easy.  Number 8 guard around the sides, blend it with the top.  Number 8 guard, blend top.  Number 8, blend.

So we got to the place of hair cuttery (thanks, Jack), and the lady asks me how I want it, and I say, “Use a Number 8 guard around the sides, and then blend it with the top, which I want to keep a little long so he still has curls.”  I don’t know how much of that she heard or processed because once she was finished with the Number 8 guard and proceeded to the blending stage, it was all a blur for me.  It seemed like she was cutting it a little short, but I’m such a wimp about telling professionals how to do their jobs, I didn’t say anything because, well, it’s hair and it grows back, and it wasn’t that short.  Until she cut it some more.  And some more.  And kept muttering something like, “Too long, too long.”  And I said something like, “Ah-Da-Buh-Ple-Eh-Uhhh….” because really, it was too late by then.  My little lamb was shorn.

My first thought was, well, it will grow out.  Hair has a way of doing that.  It wouldn’t take long, either, at the rate my boys grow hair.  But all the way home, I kept looking in the rearview mirror, and his hair wasn’t growing.  It just stayed the same length.  And the more I looked at it, the more I hated it.  With those gorgeous blond curly-locks gone, he has aged at least nine months, maybe a year.  I’m just sick about it.

So now I don’t know if I want to get his picture taken tomorrow or not.  I suppose I will, or I’ll feel awfully shallow.  Not to mention the fact that I won’t be able to get another Saturday appointment until 2005.  The really upsetting thing is that I was just talking to my friend this morning about what I could dress him as for Halloween, and she said, “Surfer dude, of course!  What else would he be with that hair?”  Well, now she’s probably going to tell me to send him as a Mormon missionary.  But he’s too young to have that many doors slammed in his face.

Sobbing.  Sobbing.  Sobbing.

On the bright side, Mister Bubby looks adorable.  He makes a good Marine.