Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Just Joshin’

A look at the world through my eyes. Well, just part of the world.

Josh Perlman
Josh Perlman. Hatchet File Photo

When I was younger, my mom would always joke about sending me to decision-making camp.

Whether these kinds of camps actually exist, I may never know, but I thought back to my mom’s teasing last week as I struggled to make one of the more important decisions I’ve come to face.

To get a haircut, or not to get a haircut: that is the question.

I awoke from my slumber early Tuesday morning feeling as though the time had come to trim my luscious locks. But not wanting to do anything drastic, I took some time to think it over.

Of course, there are benefits to having both longer and shorter hair. Short hair is clean and easy to maintain. It also doesn’t require much adjusting when the wind blows or when someone thinks it’s a good idea to rub your head. Watch the hands, people; nobody above the age of seven has ever appreciated that gesture.

Long hair, on the other hand, is cool and mysterious. It protects your head from the harsh winter air and gives you something to run your hands through when you feel stressed. Just ask my friend Alixe, who started using horse shampoo because it’s said to lengthen and thicken your hair.

I went back and forth on the subject for a few days, stopping at every opportunity to look at myself in a mirror. By the time Thursday came with no decision, I did what any reasonable person would do in my situation. I sent my friend a picture message of myself pouting and asked her if I needed a haircut.

She said no, but I still wasn’t convinced.

I always struggle when it comes time for a haircut because it’s such a leap of faith. By walking into a barbershop – or hair salon, if you’re into that – you are giving a complete stranger the power to make you look as ugly as he or she pleases. And you still have to pay, regardless of the outcome.

Just last year, I watched helplessly as an aged barber took my request for shorter sideburns as a sign that I didn’t want any sideburns at all. I let out a faint whimper when he shaved the first one off, making his way to the second as if he hadn’t done anything wrong.

Because of that one man’s poor judgment, I walked around for weeks looking like a dehydrated Chia Pet.

But it was time for me to man up. By Friday afternoon, I had made up my mind. I was putting it all on the line. I was getting my hair cut. I trudged into the barbershop and sat down in one of the chairs facing the mirror.

“So, what would you like?” the barber asked me.

Of course, I got stuck with the guy who always seems really angry about something and calls people “Buddy” in a condescending tone.

I told him I just wanted a trim.

“Okay, so like a three or a two on the sides?”

I was offended by his use of jargon. Does he expect that he can just throw numbers at me and I’ll be able to make sense of them? I thought it over and let out an especially articulate response.

“Uh…” I said.

He gave me a three, whatever that means. After buzzing off the sides, he sprayed the top of my head with water and started to cut it with scissors. I hadn’t showered since the day before, so my hair stood up straight whenever he combed it back. Whoops.

His wielding of the scissors was aggressive and made me slightly concerned for my safety. But a few snips and several flinches later, he was finished.

I was pleased with my choice. The anxiety of making the tough decision lifted and I was able to enjoy the freedom of shorter hair. No longer would I be held back by the extra weight atop my head. I got back to my room feeling like a million bucks with my brand new look.

Then I found a pimple.

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