Friday, 20 May 2011
What does it mean when your kid tells you to get a haircut? Ed wasn't being mean or bossy -- just expressing an opinion. We were eating in front of a movie (the new place does not yet have cable, so our culture comes pre-packaged from last season) and Ed looked over and said, You know, Dad, you should get a haircut.
I was surprised. Not that my hair doesn't need cutting. It always does. But it would never - never - occur to me to tell my dad to get a haircut. All too vividly do I recall his flashing eyes as he ordered my ten-year-old psychedelic self to get a haircut. (In justice to my father, my hair grows awkwardly. When it reaches my collar it flows out, not down, so that I begin to resemble a bird with giant wingspan. At the time of the edict, my hair was wider than my shoulders. I could barely fit through a doorway. Not quite like the guy in the pic, but you get the idea. What I mean is that my dad had - maybe - a tenable aesthetic argument.)
Really, I said to Ed.
He nodded. Get it buzzed, he said, his mouth full of pizza, eyes back on the TV screen. (We were watching The Fantastic Mr Fox -- charming and quirky but not, somehow, riveting.)
I am not thinking of getting a buzz cut. That happened once, by mistake, and my ex laughed so hard I thought she would die. She made me wear a hat for a week just so she would be able to look at me without dissolving. I am thinking instead about fathers and sons and life stages. I am pleased that Ed feels close enough to me that he can offer personal grooming tips. It makes us more like pals, equals, which is really cute because he is also a little boy who still asks me to cut up his apple for him.
So ... should I call my dad? Because, you know, I've been thinking that he'd look really good in a beard.