Shear terror – an ironic play on words. I submitted this piece to the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop pre-conference writing contest. Alas, it was not, a-hem, cut out to be a winner. I did however, want to share it, as many other contestants have shared their “losing” submissions. Sure, I was a little disappointed to have been trimmed. Maybe I missed winning by a hair! Who knows? But, after last week’s very somber post, I thought I’d lighten the mood and post one of the funniest stories I have about being a military wife.
ZZZvumm. The sound still haunts me.
I was a young, newly-wed Army wife. We had just recently moved to our new duty assignment. Money was tight, and we looked for ways to save our pennies.
My husband found one way to, a-hem, trim the budget by eliminating some of his trips to the post barbershop. Being in uniform meant his hair had to be in regulation.
If we – meaning, me – could trim up his hair between regular cuts, we’d save money. For the cost of two haircuts, he made an investment in a set of hair clippers.
Noticing my apprehension, he reassured me that anyone could do this. “Just follow the barber’s lines, and trim up a bit around the ears and the neck line.”
“Hmmm,” I muttered. “It does seem simple enough.”
I looked over the instruction booklet and got comfortable with the clippers as he settled into a chair.
I did get a little nervous trimming around his ears, but was satisfied I didn’t shave them off. Finishing his neckline, I unplugged the clippers.
“Wait,” he said. “Can you even out this spot here?” pointing to the top quadrant of his head.
“Sure!” I mean, what could go wrong? With newfound confidence, I fired those clippers back up and started to even his hair.
“Thanks,” he said, and looked at his cut in the mirror.
I wiped off the clippers and put them away. Sweeping up the floor, I deliberated whether or not I should tell him that I had trimmed a bald spot into the side of his head. And that it was the size of a quarter.
But, remembering that he wore a cap with his uniform, I just kept my mouth shut. His hair grows fast, I justified. He’d never know.As calmly as he could, he asked me what the hell I did to his hair. Click To Tweet
The next morning, I was surprised to get a call from my husband. He never called during the duty day.
“Good morning!” I exclaimed.
As calmly as he could, he asked me what the hell I did to his hair.
“What? How did you find out?”
“Everyone laughed at me at formation, that’s how!”
“I thought you wore a hat!” I whimpered.
“Not inside the building. We remove our hats, remember?”
Honestly, I didn’t remember. I was new to this whole military life. Bursting into tears, I apologized profusely. If I had any idea he wouldn’t be in a hat all day, I would have told him what I had done. Nothing could fix that – though rubbing some of his boot polish in the bald spot did cross my mind.
We laugh now, but it is nothing but shear terror for me when I see clippers.
And undoubtedly, he feels the same.
© Lynne Cobb – 2018
Do you have any hair-razing stories to share? If so, leave a comment!
If you like this blog post, feel free to show some love to this writer and share it using the social buttons. Sign-up for emails with posts delivered directly to your inbox!