Sunday, October 09, 2005

I'm not saying my parents were tight, but.....

“What’s the difference between a Scottish person peeling wallpaper and an Irish person peeling wallpaper? When it’s an Irish person, they are re-decorating. When it’s a Scottish person, it means they are moving and taking it with them.”

I don’t mean to insinuate that life was hard growing up. Far from it. I never went without anything that I needed. Sure, I didn’t have everything I wanted. But who does? Growing up in a Scottish household however, had certain, ummmm, let’s call them fiduciary restraints. One was the misunderstanding that no matter how genuine my parent’s intentions were, they were not barbers. Not good ones anyway. There was the time my mother and her cohort Judy, thought they would save huge money by enrolling in a class that taught them to cut hair at home. Enrolled, yes. Attended? Apparently you pull the hair in a downward motion between two fingers. You then place the scissors where you want to cut, lay them on the back of the neck and roll them around in a cutting motion. That was Haircutting 101. They missed Haircutting 102 “Make sure you stop before you get to the ear.” Blood. Me on the floor. Screams from both of us. Not good. As least my mother learned her lesson, never cut my hair again and I got ice cream to keep it on the quiet.

Dad on the other hand….let’s just say that not only did he want to save money on the cut, he also wanted to save on the clean up. Weather permitting, my siblings and I got to sit on the back porch while my dad, clad in shorts and a pair of Wellingtons, cut our hair. (Why Wellingtons you may ask? Our hair was rinsed with the garden hose afterwards. Why wet a towel when you can air dry your hair?) To this day, I am convinced that he called all the neighborhood kids to announce this ritual. Without fail our ‘friends’ would run through the back yard mocking us. They were like a well oiled machine as they ran past squealing “snip, snip, snip.” One right after the other. Each from a different direction. Some even went by on bicycles! Father would half heartedly chase them – apparently his mother never told him not to run with scissors – but I think when he was out of sight he was keeled over laughing. You dared not move while enduring this treatment or your hair paid a heavy price. It was bad enough to suffer this, but the thought of getting it at school as well was enough to make you stay in that chair.

During a recent conversation with my mother I was thrilled to discover that she now cuts my father’s hair the same way. Being somewhat folliclely challenged in his later years, neither of my parents see the need to pay someone to run clippers over his head. Especially when she can do it for free. At home. On the back deck. The clippers mean no blood and there is no need to clean up either. Win-win!

My only challenge now is to find out their haircutting schedule so I can call all the neighbors and get them ride through the backyard on their motorized scooters and scurry by in their walkers. My dad would probably like that though. He’d show ‘em, sure! “Look at how much money I am saving! And getting my haircut from a beautiful woman to boot.”


Blogger Blair said...

Same horror story here - it's like we grew up in weird parallel universes...

8:39 PM  
Blogger walterandres5063 said...

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9:30 PM  

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