Father Fights for Flowing Follicles

An impassioned letter from a guy to his family, pleading for an opportunity to fulfill his dream of growing his hair out. Enjoy!

I’d like to begin by saying that I love each of you dearly. You are the light of my life, and my everything. Which is why I hope you will understand, and perhaps eventually support, my recent decision to grow my hair out.

This is something I’ve always wanted to do. In high school, the nuns wouldn’t even allow sideburns. In college, my best opportunity was taken from me sophomore year, when my idiot roommate Kenny shaved most of my head while I was asleep. Four months of growth gone in an instant.

Junior year I met you Catherine.  To your credit you have made your feelings about long hair quite clear from the start. Though I feel it should be noted that in an effort to accommodate you I have been working full-time and faithfully keeping my hair reasonably cropped ever since we met.

As you all know, I’m turning 40 in a few weeks. Who knows how much time I have left? Who knows how much time any of us have left? Did you know that the average life expectancy for Afghan males is only 48? You know that I am 1/32 Afghan (we’ve all heard Pi-Paw’s tales about his grandfather’s Kabul Field Force exploits). I could be on borrowed time.

I don’t ask for much. I work hard so this family can eat, and I try to cultivate an atmosphere in which you all feel free to express yourselves. I would like to think that we’re the kind of family that is open-minded and supportive of one another.

Billy, do you remember last year when you wanted to get a “blowout” hairdo? Do you think I was pleased with that decision? Of course not, but I supported you. And another thing: You think SuperCuts is free? The Hair Cuttery is also not a 501(c)3 charitable organization my man.

Speaking of which, the financial benefit to growing out my hair could be a real boost for this family. Catherine, I crunched some numbers, and it looks like you spent just shy of $4,000 last year on haircuts and other hair-related purchases. I’m not judging, but come on.

I feel it’s important to stress that I am all-in with this decision. When I say I want to grow my hair out, I mean down to my shoulder blades, ponytail, the whole nine yards. Unlike so many other things in my life, I’m not going to halfway this one. This isn’t going to be like the glass blowing, the rock climbing, or the Rosetta Stone. 

You may be thinking, where is this coming from? Why are you doing this? I can’t say exactly, other than to say I’ve always admired people with long hair. There is something so primal, so alluring about the freedom and the slightly subversive nature of flowing locks. It is a powerful form of self-expression.

The world seems to respect long-haired people as well. Consider this list off the top of my head of beloved people who have had long hair: Andre Agassi, Fabio, Bob Marley, Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights… I think we all remember how you feel about Tim Riggins, Catherine.

I even read recently that former president Lyndon B. Johnson grew his hair out later in life.

There is another element to this. In addition to the hair, I am also starting a band. This is another dream I have put on the backburner in order to provide for this family. Believe it or not, it is not daddy’s dream to spend his days installing anti-virus software on computers at a company that sells insurance. My dream is to rock.  

This is another venture that I hope you will be supportive of. Tre at Guitar Center told me just this past week that he could really see me making it big. He said I have an “early Bob Seger thing going on.” Turtle Man, who works in the keyboard section, agreed.

Finally, I’d like to ask that we refrain from speaking about this with Nan-nan and Pi-Paw for now. You know how they get with the insults and cutting remarks. I will talk to them when the time is right, perhaps after I finish my demo so they can see how serious I am. In the meantime, I look forward to moving forward as a family, and supporting one another in all our dreams. 

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