“Time For A Haircut.” That phrase struck fear in my heart for many years. I’ve only had two professional haircuts in my life, and both were disappointments. My mom took me to get my first haircut when I was 3 or 4, I guess. And she hated it, for some reason. So she cut my hair for the next 14 years. And I hated it each time. I’d put it off as long as I could. I preferred having long hair, even though I was almost always mistaken for a girl. I identified with the hippies, for some reason, and wanted to look like one of the Beatles, not Homer Price, which is what you looked like when you got home from Reo’s Barbershop. I was so vain, still am I guess, that I would avoid the haircut till I was forced into the chair, the sheet tied around my neck, my little brothers gathered around watching. My mom would coo about how handsome I was. When the orderal was over, I’d look in the mirror and be horrified, every time. I don’t know why. I think it was just the trauma of my image changing, however subtly, that threatened my fledging sense of self. I would cry and complain that my mom took off too much. I’d wear a knit hat for a few days. Then I’d feel bad for my mom—she did her best, with love, and all I did was complain, ungrateful. I felt guilty and vain.