There’s an easy way to know when it’s time for my partner to cut his hair.
I start telling him how nice it looks.
There’s a certain length it gets to where his hair starts looking unnaturally attractive to me. Where he begins to sprout subtle curls. Contours that remind me of certain anime characters.
“You get dreamy-looking,” I tell him. “Like you should be carrying a giant sword and trying to save the world.”
I’m not sure he even hears what I say. “It’s about time to get it cut,” he replies, and I suspect it’s more to my tone than anything, since he’s busy with something else, and I spoke to him knowing that, not expecting a response.
Of course it’s time to get it cut. Because I am noticing how nice his hair looks.
He wears suits for his job. Has to look professional, put together — in an old school way. Can’t be running around with surfer boy locks.
I know this. That he’s at the maximum length he can get away with and that he needs to cut it back before it grows past the point where it’ll be a problem. I tell him that, now that he’s clearly listening and not as distracted as I thought.
He nods. “And besides,” he adds, “It’s getting in my way.”
I’m not sure exactly what he means, having never had hair quite as short as his is. I’ve rarely had mine cut above my chin (and then, only a tad above). But I can relate in a way, remembering the awkward length my hair has been from time to time — where it’s long enough that I want to pull it back when I exercise but short enough so that I can’t. Or if I can, that some of it keeps falling out of the hair tie as I move and actually live my life.
I reason that awkward lengths are probably a thing, regardless of absolute length.
He Always Seems a Little Insecure After a Haircut, But I Can’t Tell If He’s Joking
He goes out the next evening. Gets his hair cut.
When he comes back, he asks me what I think.
“I think your hair looks wet,” I say.
“It’s not,” he says.
“I know.” I explain that when his hair is that short, it looks eerily like his hair does wet when it’s longer.
“Oh,” he says. He seems insecure about his hair. I do my best to reassure him. I can’t remember how many times we’ve had this particular conversation.
Sometimes it’s lighter and has more silliness and banter kicked into the mix.
Other times, his delivery is either full of more dry humor or actually sincere (it’s hard to tell with a good dry delivery).
Every time, I’m not sure how serious he is. Whether he’s worried that I won’t find him attractive or if he’s pretending he is, like a ritual between us. A private joke.
“I always think you’re incredibly handsome,” I tell him, but I’m not sure if he believes me.
Later that night, I seduce him. I do it because he feels good and because I want him.
But as I wake up the next morning, a stray thought passes through my head: See, I think, you didn’t need to worry about something silly like a haircut.
What’s It Like to Fall Out of Love Over a Bad Haircut?
Later, I’m bopping around on Internet forums. Stumble upon an adult woman whose boyfriend has dumped her because she cut her hair short and he doesn’t like it.
I think idly of a time back in high school when a friend dumped her boyfriend after he spontaneously shaved his head for the swim team.
I had thought that kind of behavior was limited to high school. That adults were different. But as I read through forumgoers’ contributions, I discover that I was wrong to make that assumption.
What must it be like for a connection to be that tenuous? I wonder. Or for something like hair to make that much of a difference?
What does that kind of “love” feel like when you’re the one with the emotion?
What must it be like when you can fall out of love over a bad haircut?
I note with great amusement that I still consult my partner beforehand the next time I go to the hair salon.
Books by Page Turner: