Kelli and her Friends
Kelli and Her Friends Part I: Kelli’s Makeover
College started off different for me last fall. I no longer had the satisfaction of knowing that Jamie would be there waiting for me when I came back home for vacations, since we had broken up. That past summer with her was perhaps the greatest time of my life. Jamie showed her trust and faith in me around mid-July when, sick of the way she looked, she let me shave her head and eyebrows. About a month later she had offered to cut my hair much the same way I had cut hers, but she took offense when I politely declined, saying that it was only fair. We argued the rest of that night and we never spoke again. I was lost and alone.
My thoughts were confused. How could something that had been so right go so wrong? As I walked across campus one balmy October morning, I sighed as I watched the multi-colored leaves fall at my feet. But then something fateful hit me, literally. A rollerblader careened out of control and knocked me down. I was quite upset, but something good came out of it: Kelli.
As I helped Kelli up, we got to talking. She apologized profusely for running me down, and as I looked into her deep blue eyes I was easily able to accept her apologies. One thing led to another, and soon we were dating.
By the start of the spring semester in January, Kelli made me think to myself “Jamie who?” However, although Kelli didn’t know it at the time, she shared one similar trait with Jamie; a trait that made me quite excited.
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Kelli and I shared a wonderful relationship. She thought I was smart, funny, and exciting. I thought that she was exactly the same, plus drop-dead gorgeous. I loved the way her auburn hair cascaded down below her shoulders. However, Kelli was quite tired of it.
“I’ve had it!” I heard her scream one unusually warm afternoon. “If I have to untangle my stupid hair one more time I swear I’ll . . . ” Kelli’s voice trailed off. I innocently asked her what it was she’d do. “I’ll . . . I’ll . . . Ooooh! I don’t know what I’ll do! You men have it so easy. You can cut your hair short, or even cut it all off, and nobody cares one way or another! But if I even dare have my hair trimmed two inches, all my friends will think I’m insane or something!”
“Oh, that’s bull,” I said, trying to comfort her. “You’re friends and family accept you for who you are, not what your hair looks like. Besides, do things for yourself, not because other people expect you to!” I thought I’d made some headway with her, as I envisioned her locks hitting the floor as she was being shorn, but Kelli wasn’t buying into it. She complained about her hair another month or so, until I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands.
One Saturday morning Kelli and I walked downtown after breakfast. She was a bit surprised when we stopped at a barber shop. Kelli asked why we were stopping. “It’s time for a haircut,” I informed her. Kelli seemed to go along with that, not realizing whose hair was about to get cut.
Soon it was my turn. I stepped over to the barber and asked for a crewcut. When he asked why I hadn’t gotten into the chair, the answer I gave him shocked him: “Oh, it’s not for me, it’s for her,” as I pointed to Kelli. Her mouth dropped open; Kelli was speechless. However, after the shock wore off, Kelli had a revelation of sorts. One which I will never exactly know about, since she never shared it with me. A smile broke over Kelli’s face as she confidently strode over to the barber’s chair.
“Miss, are you sure?” the barber asked.
“VERY sure,” Kelli confidently responded. The barber draped a clean towel over Kelli’s clothes in amazement.
I tried to pretend I was reading a magazine while I waited, but soon I gave up the charade entirely. It was just too damn entertaining! I watched in bliss as the barber first washed Kelli’s hair one last time. He asked her once again if she was sure this was what she wanted. When Kelli reconfirmed this, I practically jumped for joy as he took the first snips of Kelli’s hair. After he had cut as much as he could with the scissors, he dried Kelli’s remaining hair and then let the clippers come to life. I could tell Kelli was in euphoria as the barber buzzed the sides of her hair down to about a quarter-inch.
Soon it appeared to be over, and Kelli was distressed. The barber asked her what the problem was.
“Well, couldn’t you take the sides and back down just a tad shorter?”
“Miss, any further I’d have to shave.”
“That’s fine!” Kelli said. I was shocked she wanted to go this far. Soon Kelli was lathered up and the barber cautiously shaved the sides and back of her head.
I gladly paid the barber not only his fee, but I tipped him double for his fine work. Kelli loved her new look, and as we walked out the door, she gave me a quick kiss.
“What was that for?” I asked.
“That was for acting for me when I never had enough guts to do anything like this!”
“Believe me, Kelli, the pleasure was all mine!” I kissed Kelli back and we walked off. Kelli’s haircut looked great for now, but I had a feeling there would be some touch-up work required. So did Kelli . . . Part II: Shaving for Summer
The spring days soon became warm and sticky at school. At times the heat was unbearable. Kelli especially hated the heat since she could not do anything with her hair now that it had begun to grow into a normal length again. By mid-May I became quite tired of Kelli’s ravings, so I bought a set of electric hair clippers. One afternoon I finally approached her about her hair.
“Remember when I made you get a crewcut and how happy you were?” I asked. She nodded her head. I pulled out the clippers. “Don’t you agree it’s time for a touch-up?” Kelli readily agreed and followed me into the bathroom of the apartment she shared with three other girls. I let the clippers run through her hair until about 1/2 inch was left all over. As I was finishing the cleanup work, Kelli’s friends walked into the apartment. Shannon was the first to speak.
“Oh, my Gawd! Kell’s got her head shaved again!”
“Well, what do you think?” Kelli asked her politely. By this time her other roommates Karin and Constance had joined us in the bathroom.
“Well,” Shannon stammered, “I, uh, uh, what I meant to say was,” Shannon couldn’t believe what she was about to say, and quite frankly, neither could I. “Could . . . could you do it to me?” I was instantly ready to oblige.
“Now wait, Shannon, this is a big commitment here,” Kelli tried to explain to Shannon, who I believe must have spent three hours in the bathroom each morning trying to get her hair exactly right.
“Oh, come on, Kell! You’re such a hypocrite!” Shannon argued. “What? It wouldn’t look good on me? IT’S ONLY HAIR! And besides, I’m getting sick of having to do anything with it. I’m ready!” With that Shannon sat down on the toilet seat and draped a towel over her clothes. I kept a guard on the clippers so there would be about an inch of hair on her head, but Shannon didn’t mind. Within five minutes there were now two clipped beauties in the bathroom. Shannon looked at herself in the mirror, initially shocked, but then satisfied and jubilant about her new look.
“All right, any other takers?” I jokingly asked, not believing either Constance or Karin had the guts to join Shannon and Kelli. But I was wrong.
Karin stammered a bit. I knew she was debating the pros and cons of shaving her head in her mind. Eventually she reached a decision. “Well, I like to keep my hair long, but could you shave around the back and sides?” I obliged Karin as soon as she threw her “untouchable” hair forward. Afterwards, all eyes were on Constance.
“Well, my family came here from Thailand,” she reasoned out. “And we still have many relatives over there who are Buddhist, including several monks. I always wondered what it was like to shave totally like they do. Looks like I’m about to find out!” With that Constance sat down on the toilet and draped a towel over her clothes. I removed the guard from the clippers and mowed a bald spot down the middle of her head rather quickly. Once her hair was reduced to stubble I found the can of shaving cream in the medicine cabinet and several disposable razors. About twenty minutes later her head had been carefully shaved smoothly. At first Constance seemed a bit jittery about me shaving her eyebrows but soon lost all abandon as she let me take them off. Then Karin’s sense of adventure returned. She liked the brow-less look her friend sported and asked me if I could do the same for her. Within moments another set of brows had been removed.
Finally, it was all over. The girls were shaved and ready for summer. Since we were all staying an additional month for summer classes, I had plenty of opportunities to do touch-up work on each of the four girls, especially Kelli. By the end of the first semester of summer classes Kelli was letting me shave her head with a razor every other day. We had bonded so much that I found a job in town so I could stay at school the rest of the summer while Kelli took another summer semester of classes. I only wish I had been able to see the look on the faces of Constance and Karin’s parents when they finally made it home, but I was quite content to see the look on Kelli’s face whenever I shaved her head instead.