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I’ve been trying to figure out a way to blame my wife, but it’s kind of a heavy lift.

I might as well give up. It’s not her fault.

A couple weeks ago I had a big meeting coming up, so I checked with my wife regarding my general level of scruffiness. She gave me a thumbs down, so I got my clipper out of the drawer and went to work.

Those of you who know me have probably noticed my hair is thinning a bit on top. My clipper has an attachment that cuts every hair on my head to about one-half inch, then I take off the attachment to clean up around my neck, cheekbones, etc. The whole process takes me about ten minutes and then I’m presentable for another couple of weeks.

And that’s where I’ve set the bar – presentable. If I don’t make babies cry or frighten the horses, I’m calling it a win.

I was in kind of a hurry, because that’s how I usually roll. As I was switching back and forth between one-half inch and zero-inch attachments, I made kind of a mistake.

Okay, I shaved a big swatch of hair I did not intend to shave.

I called to my wife. There may have been a slight sense of urgency in my voice.

She rushed to the bathroom, ready to leap into action in case I was having a stroke or had broken my hip. I got the distinct impression that my hair issue was not on the same level of crisis.

She said, “It’s not so bad. It’s like a short mullet. Or maybe a reverse mohawk!”

Her attempts to make me feel better weren’t working. Plus, there seemed to be a slight giggle in her voice. I let that go, since she was my only chance for respectability.

After a few tentative passes with the clippers, she stepped back and said, “I can’t fix this.”

I said, “Failure is not an option.”

I’m glad that statement worked for Apollo 13, but my experience in life is that failure is quite often an option, and a common one at that.

“It’s all gotta go,” she said. I didn’t know what to say. I don’t have that many hairs, and I treasure each and every one of them. But she’s got good judgement, and she was the one holding the clippers. I try not to second guess the people doing the work, so I signed off on the plan.

I tried to reconsider when the first handful of hair hit the floor.

To be honest, it wasn’t a handful of hair...more like a teaspoon of hair. But it was some of my best hair.

As massacres go, it didn’t take long. In just a few minutes, I went from having one-half inch long hairs to one-eighth inch long hairs. She finished up by trimming my beard and it was all over but the crying.

I went into my meeting the next day, and no one noticed.

No one.

And the crying started all over again.

Copyright 2022 Brent Olson

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