I’ve been writing about my daughter’s hair so much over the past couple weeks that it made me think about mine. You probably saw the pictures of Princess’ hair and thought, “I bet that girl’s dad has it going on in the hair department.” Ok, you probably didn’t think that, but a guy can dream, right?
Here’s how much I actually care about my hair: I haven’t owned a comb or a brush since 1998. I wake up in the morning, throw a little water on it, run my fingers through it once or twice, and then start my day. It’s just there. Even before I enlisted, I didn’t keep it very long. There was never anything really remarkable about it except for the cowlick in the back that can make a seasoned barber faint.
When they shaved it all off the 3rd day of boot camp and other guys were crying for their lost locks, I took advantage of the opportunity to get a quick 3 minute nap. During each of my deployments, I shaved it all off during the first week. This led my Executive Officer to once comment, “You either need more sun or more hair because that look is not working for you!” The description I enjoyed the most is when someone told me that I looked like Darth Vader when Luke took his mask off at the end of Return of the Jedi. That made me chuckle, and I didn’t really care. I didn’t have to worry about my hair, and the only woman I cared about impressing was half a world away.
That particular woman is also the only measurement I have for when it’s time to get a haircut. There are regulations that limit the length and cut of my hair. I know when I’m starting to push the boundary because my wife will start to like it. She’ll walk up to me, look at my hair, smile, run her fingers through it, and then get a sad look on her face. That’s how I know it’s time to head over to SportClips. If my wife doesn’t like my hair, I’m still within uniform standards. As soon as she starts to like it, it has to come off.
One day, I’ll get out of the Navy. I’m pretty sure that when that day comes, my wife is going to get me a comb for my retirement present. It will probably come with a set of instructions that say something along the lines of “if you ever cut your hair before I tell you to, you’re a dead man.” Of course, by that time, I’ll probably be going bald, so I don’t think there’s any way my wife wins in this situation. She’ll just have to go out and buy me a Fabio wig.