So I finally got the haircut that I think will be close to the look I take into my forties. For much of the last 15 years, I’ve gone with long hair. In fact, I’ve probably had long hair for over 30 of my current 38 years. As a child, I wasn’t allowed to have short hair. My dad didn’t want me to have the short back and sides common in English kids, and in July ’81, when I finally went behind his back, desperate to look like every other boy and tired of strangers mistaking me for a girl, he refused to talk to me for the rest of that long, hot summer.
Now it’s not that I want shorter hair. But I just want a sensible haircut. I want to grow old gracefully. I’m ready to embrace middle age. I don’t want to look like some nob who should be on stage when the reality is they spend their days filing in a temporary office job because the big plans they had for their life didn’t come off. It’s important to me that I accept forty. And if I put this amount of thought into the rest of my life, I wouldn’t have made some of the mistakes I’ve made recently, notably the bizarre 21-week hotel stay.
Rather than chop all the hair off back in the autumn, I rather cleverly went for a transitional haircut, one that would still resemble the long haired look, but also laid the ground for the shorter look to come. One that allowed Latin America and friends and colleagues to grow accustomed to my long face. You see that, I’m thoughtful. I didn’t get the haircut I wanted. I had the haircut that I thought would be easier for people to handle. One that gave them time to say goodbye to my locks and get used to my face in a “yeah, it’s long, but you know what, he really is very good looking”.
I can grow my hair til I’m eighty. As every hairdresser tells me, I’ve got a fantastic head of hair and it’s unlikely I’m ever going to bald. So that makes this shorter look easier to deal with. And lying down next to Latin America’s mid-twenty-something body made me feel like I was going to live forever. I don’t need the hair. The hair can go. I’m ready for the future. And it’s shorter.
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