“I want a Beatles Cut.”
The barber had been waiting for a decision and my nine-year-old made his choice with thoughtfulness and resolve uncommon to a boy his age. I was proud. The barber looked at me for confirmation and I thought about my response.
I wanted to be fair. I wanted to show support. I wanted my reply to be fair, balanced, and well thought out. I had to give my son the emotional nurture every boy requires from his father. And so my answer was obvious. “NO.”
He didn’t even blink. “Okay then, I want a buzz.”
“You mean just shorter?”
“No. I want it all cut off. I want it all gone.”
The barber looked at me over the top of my son’s head with a slight smirk. A hidden grin was escaping from her face. She knew I was in a tough spot. My choice, either way, could result in years of therapy for me and my son. She truly believed I would have to make this call. But I’m smarter than that.
“You heard the man,” I said sharply. “He wants something between a Beatles Cut and a Buzz. Make him look good.”
I turned on my heals and left the room. There was a good three minutes of silence as she evaluated the situation. And then she was all action. Clippers whirred. Scissors snipped and twenty minutes later my son left her chair with a spring in his step, a snappy haircut, and enough styling gel to make any youngster the envy of the neighborhood. He looked good and he knew it. He wasn’t any John Lenon but he also wasn’t any Michael Jordan.
It was the perfect haircut. The boy got what he wanted and Dad didn’t have to pay a therapist; however, I did leave a really nice tip.