Pete & Marie Visit the Barber – PRC968
I worked in a barbershop during the summer and on the weekends sweeping the hair up and keeping all the equipment in good working condition. In my ten years as an assistant to Jack I’ve seen all types of people come in. Everything from a trim to having their head shaved completely bald. I wrote in a private diary of the different events that occurred over the years. I have found amusing situations and stories that people used to tell the barber before he would clip or trim their hair. This particular adventure is regarding two individuals that I knew. We attended the same school together. I found out the rest of the details later myself. The names are changed to protect the individuals. The file is copyrighted and can not be used with out the consent of the author. The story comes from my files of real hair experiences.
Introduction: This is a story about a lady named Marie living in the 90’s. She is married to a man named Bill. She goes to get her summer haircut and has a flashback to her teen years where she took her brother Peter to the barbershop. Her flashback begins when she enters the hair salon as she sees a fourteen year old girl with a similar length of hair as she had when she was fourteen. Now at thirty-three, she recalls her past experiences.
Marie walked down the main street window shopping. Her eyes caught an attractive display in the window. She placed the package on the ground so that she could get a better look at the interesting package.
As she leaned forward, her long blonde hair moved forward to cover her left eyes. She quickly moved it over her shoulder, remembering that she was going to get a summer trim. She looked closely at the item and the price tag and mentally placed them on her wishlist, telling herself that would make a nice present for Bill.
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She picked up her packages and walked to the car a couple of blocks away. She drove to the local salon. She was about fifteen minutes early and Diana who has trimmed her hair before was cutting a young girl’s hair. She stopped and greeted Marie. “You got one ahead of you,” Diana said. “Have some coffee and relax.” She watched Diana, who was starting to comb and part her wet hair to one side of this fourteen year old girl. Diana asked the girl “How would you like me to style your hair?”
The girl looked in the mirror and replied in a low soft voice telling Diana her requests. Diana started cutting and shortening her hair. About fifteen minutes later Diana had made her a new lady. She paid at the counter and left a nice tip for Diana’s work and advice.
Diana looked at Marie who was holding a magazine and coffee, but at the same time watching Diana’s actions. She said, “Your turn, step over to the sink for a wash.” Marie said, “OK, be right there.” After the wash, Diana placed a towel on Marie’s head and directed her to the second chair on the right.
Marie cleared her throat and said, “I’ve promised Bill that I would try something different as we are going on a summer trip and I don’t want my long hair as it requires too much time to maintain. Bill said that I might consider getting a shorter length cut. What do you think Diana?”
Diana put down her comb and picked up the scissors on the cabinet. “Well, to start with, your facial features indicated that you would look good with a “short hairstyle” It would be very little time in upkeep compared to the time it takes you now. It will make you feel and look like a lady of the 90’s. The question remains is, if you want your hair to be shorter in length, I would have to do a lot of cutting with the scissors and finally use the clippers to finish your new look.”
Marie swallowed hard and remembered fifteen years back when she was taking her brother to the barber shop. She used to take him and usually wait for about forty-five minutes as there were no appointment – just walk-ins. Her memory flashed back several years when the family was going a vacation and her mother asked her to take brother Peter to the barbershop for his summer haircut.
On a hot Saturday morning close to her fourteenth birthday, she had set her alarm to wake her up early. She started to take her shower and then woke her sleeping brother. She combed and brushed her long baby-fine hair that she had had since she was a baby. She felt like a girl turning into a woman. Her breasts had developed a lot quicker than most girls her age. Her interest in boys was also developing as well. She had her eyes and mind on a couple of hot studs on the football team at the local high school. The guys that appealed to her always had the shortest haircuts. She made no secret about it. She enjoyed walking by Jack’s Barber Shop and peeping in as she walked slowly by.
She picked the note laying on the kitchen table giving the barber instructions to give her brother a summer haircut. Marie’s mom asked her to take him early in the morning, as this was one of the little details that needed to be done before they left for the summer trip.
They arrived at the barber shop and sat down in the green waiting chair. Other than the guy in the chair, there was no-one waiting except her brother. She remembered that it was the weekend before the Fourth of July. A weekend that she would never forget.
She placed her brother in the waiting chair next to her. She sat where she had the better view of the barber working on the customer. She watched how Rick, who she knew from school, sat down as they glanced at each other briefly smiling. Jack asked Rick what length he wanted it to be cut to.
Rick replied, “Gve me a very short cut.” Jack placed the cape around Rick’s neck and placeda white towel which he fastened with some clips and a pin striped cape around his neck. “More like a Marine cut.” Rick continued. “Leave some on the top so that I can brush it back,” he said proudly. With those words, Jack picked up his heavy duty clippers and started to buzz Rick’s sides and back followed by a short flat top. As she watched the layers of hair fall to the ground, her eyes stared at Rick’s sides and back. She was getting excited as she saw the clean skin showing. And wondered what it would feel like if it was her in the chair.
The Jack made some small talk with Rick. He picked up his razor and placed some shaving cream on and along his ears and down the back of his neck. The barber noticed that for the last few minutes Marie’s eyes were trained on Rick’s head. He took his razor and swiped it several times on the leather strap on the side of the chair. He slowly shaved up and around the ears and down the sides of the neck. This process look about three minutes. Jack removed the cape and white paper towel. He picked up the small broom and brushed off the fine hairs that fell on Rick’s shoulders. “There you go sir,” Jack said proudly. “See you soon, Rick” he said as he cleaned up the remaining hair left over from Rick’s head
Jack looked at Marie who was next in seating order and said, “I’ll be right back, you’re next.” Marie of course knew that he was referring to her brother, not her. She relaxed back in her chair as she tapped her brother on the shoulder informing him to get ready.
Before she knew it Jack had returned from his break. Marie stood up and handed Jack the note giving him instructions. Jack said, “Hum, Marie, your Mom said that both you and your brother are to get a summer haircut.”
Marie’s eyes widened and she looked at Jack saying, “There must be a mistake.” She didn’t tell me that I was to get a BOY’S haircut!”
“Here’s the note.” Jack held the paper showing it to Marie’s disbelieving eyes. Her emotions did not accept what was written. The note clearly stated, “Jack: Please give Marie and Pete a short summer haircut. Last summer you used clippers and gave Peter a brushcut. Please make sure that you give both children brushcuts with a razor trim.”
Marie’s eyes had tears running down her cheeks. She was helped to the chair by her brother and Jack. Marie’s strange fancies were about to come true. Jack offered Marie a soft paper towel to wipe her tears. Inwardly, though, Marie was wondering what it would feel like and now what it would look like. This was really happening.
Jack placed the towel around Marie’s young neck. Picking up his big scissors, he started cutting Marie’s hair that until now reached below well below her shoulders. Jack placed the scissors just below her neck and took about four cuts as he moved the scissors from the left side to the right side. The bulk of her long hair fell on her lap and shoulders and the remaining hair on the floor.
Marie was watching as she saw her fourteen years of hair being snipped before her eyes. “OK Marie,” Jack said. “Now hold still, the clippers won’t cut you, they are design to removed hair within a preset distance from your scalp.” Marie listened to Jack’s instructions. She already knew what to expect as she had brought Peter to the barber shop several times before in the past.
Jack reached over in front of Marie and picked up the heavy electric clippers that were hanging on the wall in front of Marie. He removed the guard that he used on Rick’s head. He turned and held them in front of Marie’s face, letting her get accustomed to the soft noise, trying to assure her that it will be all right and he’s just doing his job. There was a momentary click. The motor was fast but quiet. He walked on her left side. Using his comb he began to apply the clippers and comb to the side of her head. Gently pressing closer to her scalp, covering more and more area. Sitting like a statue in shock and not believing what was happening, she gripped the chair’s handles tightly. She had mixed emotions about what was happening to her. Her brother Peter was now sitting in her chair that only a few minutes ago she had occupied. Pete’s eyes were watching as her eyes were doing to Rick a few minutes ago. She watched the sides being shaved to her scalp. Jack moved as quickly as possible, but to Marie it seemed like endless amount of time. Jack had both sides shaved as clean as possible and instructed Marie to put her head forward toward her breasts. Marie, still in shock and feeling helpless, obeyed.
Jack used quick fast movements to remove Marie’s hair on the back of her neck. Then he placed the comb on the upper side closer the top. He started from the left side and kept working his way up to the center of her head. When finished on the left side, he moved to the right side and continued to work up towards the top. Finally both the left and the right sides were now blended into each other leaving her head clean. He then took the razor and wiped it back and forth on the leather strap on the chair. He pressed his hand on the automatic shaving cream dispenser, giving hot lather in his palm. He placed some around her ears and on the back of her neck. He reminded her to hold very still and “do as I tell you, as the razor is very sharp.” She did as she was told. Almost in a Master-Slave relationship. He finished shaving her neck and around the ears. Just a very thin layer remained. He saw no purpose in shaving the rest of her head.
Marie, her head nearly shaven in some ways closed then her mother instructed Jack to do, was not crying but adjusting to her new image and the attitude of her new look. Jack removed the cape that was placed around her neck and placed some talcum power on a cloth and spread it on the back of Marie’s neck. Jack said to Marie that her hair should grow back quickly, and that he was only following the orders that her mother told him to. Marie stepped out of the barber chair, walking over piles of fourteen years of hair on the floor. Weeping again just a little, she eyeballed her brother and said “YOU NEXT.” After Peter got a summer brushcut she paid Jack and both walked out of the barbershop on the way home.
Peter was in a happy mood, feeling his new brushcut. Marie tried to get use to her new look and wondered how this mistake happened in the first place.
She asked Peter if he knew anything about the note that Mom wrote to the barber. Peter did not answer. She raised her voice and grabbed his arm and said, “Who wrote the NOTE?” Peter said, in a little voice, “Well, Mom called me on the phone from work yesterday and made sure that I wrote down exactly what she said. Only, only ..” Peter hesitated. Marie now felt that she was onto something and demanded to know. She said, “ONLY WHAT?” Peter now knew he was cornered, and said in a soft low voice, “Only I added your name to the list. I did not think that it would really happen,” he said sadly. Marie said, “Thanks a lot. How am I going to explain my new look to my friends and family??”
She now felt a tapping on her shoulders and back. “Marie, MARIE! Are you OK, are you all right?” Diana said. “Do you want to come back some other time?” Marie woke up from what was a daydream memory. It took a minute or so for her to understand what had just happened to her.
Diana offer Marie some cold water and shortly Marie was feeling better. Marie told Diana to give her a short haircut with the clippers as she felt she was ready for the difference that the short look would make on her and in her lifestyle.
With that statement Diana picked up the long handled scissors and started to cut the long hair on Marie’s shoulders as short as she could. She then picked up the new electric clippers that were in the drawer in front of her and gave her a flat top. Using the comb and scissors she clipped her hair closed but not as close as Jack had several years ago. Marie smiled happily as Diana trimmed her hair to a short but full look, tapering her back neck. She was sure going to look and feel different. Marie, smiling, knew how the haircut was going feel and what to look forward to. Diana finished and handed Marie a hand mirror and turned the chair around to show her the finished style. Marie was pleased and happy with her new style. She rubbed her fresh brush cut style. She was sure that Bill would be surprised and pleased with her new look on life.