Bellwether Vance

Hounds to the Left of me/Jokers to the Right

Bellwether Vance

Bellwether Vance
December 31
You'd like me. People like me.


Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 7, 2011 8:43AM

I am a Cutter

Rate: 64 Flag
Every morning I saw  my mother tease her hair into a floss that floated at least six inches above her scalp. At the height of it you could look through into other worlds, her hair filtering the light like a church window. So I stole the comb and sat my brother in front of the TV while Mr. Rogers was on. His disciplined voice and dogged routine, the taking off of outdoor shoes, the putting on of indoor shoes, the slow change of sweaters, were a strange comfort to us and as fascinating as an aquarium of fish, a life of quietly frantic industry that seemed exotic for being so pointless.

While we watched, I took the teasing comb and proceeded to rat my brother's fine, white-blonde hair with the furious technique I'd witnessed my mother use until it was matted to his head like a pad of mini-golf turf.

The paddle sting on my bottom was long gone by the time I discovered that the motor of my brother's battery-operated helicopter sounded a lot like barber's clippers. He ran to Mama with the helicopter dangling from his bangs, the engine still whining. After that his hair made a windy whorl at the part and my butt has forever since been marked with the mesh of a fly swatter, which could be mistaken for cellulite, but isn't. Definitely isn't. 

It was about that time that Ben and I stopped sharing a room. He moved into a space the size of a "broom closet." That's what my mother called it throughout that year, as she campaigned for a  more spacious home, one with a proper back yard and a separate sewing room. 

I kept the much larger of the two spare bedrooms because I had a new Princess bedroom suite with a full-size bed and now that we were past toddlerhood it wasn't proper that we slept together. But he got the record player so we spent a lot of time in the broom closet listening, over and over, to a clear red vinyl record that featured the Bible story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago refusing to bow down to the idol, and 45's of Kung Fu Fighting and Angie Baby, sung by Helen Reddy with her "adorable hairdo," another phrase I remember hearing repeatedly as my mother tried to talk me into getting a pixie cut.
Mama would eventually succeed on every front. My visiting cousin exposed me to head lice and the pixie cut was secured by necessity. They sold the broom closet house and  moved temporarily into a rental that had a Hollywood Bathroom while our larger house was being built. In the confined space where a bathtub separated two toilets (which is the definition of a  Hollywood Bathroom), I heard Mama bathing my brother and saying to him, hesitantly, softly, "You know, Ben, you don't have to do everything Bell tells you to do." 
Me (after pixie cut, in the "gypsy" outfit I wore every day for several months) and Ben. If you look closely at his bangs you can see the helicopter cowlick.
The next time I approached him, professional hair cutting equipment in hand -- Kindergarten safety scissors -- he shook his head and bolted.  Newly shorn, I had lost my power, just like Sampson, whose tale we'd heard on the clear red vinyl record of Bible stories many times. 

I wish I could say this was a permanent cure. Alas, the affliction returned with a vengeance when I married and had children. Shortly into our marriage my husband innocently asked if I could cut his hair, as his mother had provided expert haircuts to all three of her boys until they left home. Not to be outdone by His Mother, I assured him – Of course I know how to cut hair! Then I  hacked notches into what should have been skillfully graded layers until his head was topped by a poorly thatched roof. He was too polite or too afraid to complain, but he quietly bought a Flowbee, which he uses to this day. I'm only allowed to clean up his neck and sideburns, a task I perform petulantly.

Foiled by Flowbee, I practiced hair cutting on my children as soon they were old enough to produce a proper wig, purchasing a nifty clipper set that included an official-looking cape and a set of instructions two paragraphs long. Now, I have heard that people who cut hair for a living must take months of pricey classes to receive a license, so I was overjoyed by the notion that I could skip all that, the tedium and expense, by reading two paragraphs and paying $24.99. The little boy on the package looked really happy with his haircut.

In front of the mirror in our master bath I shook out the cape with expert flair and fastened it around my son's neck, plugged in the clippers and promptly shaved a bald path from the nape of his neck to his crown. When this happened, my daughter was standing beside me, solemnly soaking up the expert knowledge mothers routinely pass to daughters, and in the mirror I watched as her eyes grew large and round to match the large round "O" of her mouth. 

My son saw it too and asked with alarm, "What? What!?" 

"Nothing," I said. "It's okay. You're not bleeding or anything, but we should probably go to the barber shop right now."

I wish I could say this was a permanent cure. Alas...

When my friend Ellen married her first husband (my husband's brother), the morning of the wedding I trimmed my bangs to the length of my eyelashes, and when the marriage failed I was deeply saddened but a little relieved that the wedding photos of me looking like Sadie Hawkins would be off display. There were also several occasions where my daughter's hair – thick lustrous waves in search of a shampoo commercial or a cheerleading uniform, hair unheard of in our gene pool – was chopped shorter, then a little shorter, then shorter, as I attempted to even things out, and suddenly it was a sad bad bob, shaggy and lopsided.

She did get wise, running like Ben when I got the twinkle of "makeover" in my eye, though as a teenager she set about destroying her own hair using just about every product Sally's Beauty Supply offered, including a razor comb. Clearly, we are a family of cutters. She has recovered.
great hair 
Fully recovered. No one else in our family has hair like this.
I, however, have not. As the last client standing, the hair on my head remains in peril and about every six months I haphazardly section it with a comb, and angling my wrist convincingly, using my best sewing scissors, I chop chop chop, hair falling into the sink like molting chicken feathers. I wear a pony tail and ball cap most days. 

A while back I experienced a divine-style intervention. We were stopped for gas at the intersection of two country roads and I wandered down a dilapidated main street and saw a fading sign in all caps -- ROCKIN    HAIRS.  I thought it was quite a quirky sign for a hair salon in a rural town, just before I realized the store sold rocking chairs and felt a thrilling current of electric epiphany, the kind you might feel at a tent revival, and it said – Put down the scissors. Sit. Fool. – in the voices of Charlton Heston and Mr. T combined.

So last week when my cutting hand was getting twitchy, I made an appointment at an actual hair salon. The woman was very nice, used some swishy scissors I sinfully coveted and charged me forty dollars, plus tip. When I got home, I thought the cut could use a few more layers and I fixed it. 

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:

I love this. I was going to say something else, but that will suffice.
You make us wait too long for these written pearls, just saying.

Tattoo apprentices work on grapefruit and turkeys before being permitted to work on willing victims, usually unseen parts like soles of feet. Is there is the equivalent of practice hair? Old wigs maybe?

Wonderful memories, wonderfully told! I think sometimes our own haircuts are much better than the so-called pros! R
I love the gypsy outfit photo! Great story, as always so warmly written.
Too, too funny. I remember the flowbee. My first husband used it for years. I wouldn't let him come near me though. My son fell for it though. He looked like he should have entered the army. -R-
I had no idea what a Flowbee was until I read this. Fascinating! Although, I never used one, I did cut my daughter's and son's hair when they were toddlers, as my mother did mine until I was a teen!Bittersweet memories for me. I love your retelling of yours even though the title led me to expect a pie recipe with a flaky crust.
"Foiled by Flowbee" is my favorite alliteration of the day. A total delight, esp. the pixie gypsy pic and your daughter's: perfect composition of angles with hair and necklace and neckline. And I will not soon forget this: "He ran to Mama with the helicopter dangling from his bangs, the engine still whining. "
I loved this post! My mother was a cutter and that is why my daughters go to the beauty shop. Like you, my hair is not off limits and every couple of months I cut my bangs too short. Thankfully, I like them that way.
I loved every word of this but must say I was waiting for an adult Bellwether photo quite a lot. As you well know, I have sought remedies in the past.
Your brother and daughter-- gorgeous. Your daughter -- what hair, what eyes! A vision, as they say.

Ha ha on this especially: ." I thought it was quite a quirky sign for a hair salon in a rural town, just before I realized the store sold rocking chairs and felt a thrilling current of electric epiphany, the kind you might feel at a tent revival, and it said – Put down the scissors. Sit. Fool. – in the voices of Charlton Heston and Mr. T combined.

My favorite name for a hair place was "The hair hut," In Nebraska.
Another grand piece, Bell. When is your book going to be available for sale?
Absolutely marvelous, Bell. Were it not for those scissors, this story would not have been told.
My mom did such a hatchet job on my bangs I never had the desire to cut myself. My son cut his bangs with baby nail scissors 5 minutes before leaving for my sister-in-laws wedding. Thanks for inciting the memories. Beautifully written and your daughter - wow what a beauty
You are simply a wonder, Bell.
BV, nowadays, all I want (or need) is a buzz cut, and The Redhead accommodates me. She seems to enjoy it. Maybe you're sisters under the skin. Or scalp.
dont give up! or try water colors! it is the artist in you - maybe sculpture? cut on ! roses? that might do it..
I am still a cutter.. always will be a cutter and now Steve is the recipient of my hair cutting..
Its those tiny bald spots though I have not told him about hoping no one at work will see it hahaha

Hair as a group project. Lovely! I gave up cutting my own hair after my 1st child was born. I even gave up on brushing the knots out. I was just too tired. When I went to the professional, she balled me out for letting it get like that. Can't win.
Okay, the writing is brilliant, but your daughter!! She is the most gorgeous thing ever. And p.s., I can't cut hair either.
i've heard (and sadly experienced) a lot of really bad hair-cutting ideas, but attempting to cut your brother's hair with a toy helicopter is definitely a first. oh, and that's a pretty girl you have there, bell. nice to see/read you. :)
I love this. I just love this.
Your daughter is exquisite, and the picture of you and your brother is priceless. ~r
And you sound like you would be a fabulous cutter if you had some practice. Go on line google hair mannequins. You can order one (and get a decent pair of shears while you are at it) and practice your long cuts with layers first then progressively shorter. You sound like a natural!
The Flowbee!!!!!

That was supposed to ruin the entire hair care industry.

The Veg-A-Matic on the other hand.

Not to mention, Set it and Forget it. I forgot it.
Oh my gosh, Bell... this is so funny. You and my mom, I grew up with those home haircuts. My bangs in school photos look like rows in a drunk's garden. I myself, my husband, and my kids to the hairdresser. Excellent writing!
Oh my goodness, Bell, what a little imp you were. Did it ever occur to you to go to barber school?

"You know, Ben, you don't have to do everything Bell tells you to do." --- Mothers. Always going behind your back. You work so hard training a sibling to never question your actions, then this happens.

I could read your essays all day. For the remainder of this day, my imagination will be listening to Helen Reddy singing Kung Fu Fighting. It's pretty hilarious. And only slightly disturbing.
With my own children, I went with the Amish method of inverting a bowl over their heads and clipping around the edges. This is such a wonderful piece that I think many of us can relate to.
Unique beyond words. Stunning photos. Still laughing.
funny and great.

I cut my own hair. Most weeks my family does not let me out of the house.
BV, this certain brings back memories. For us, it usually involved hair dyes too. - You are a stellar story-teller!
Funny, endearing, and beautifully written, Bell! Wonderful read. R
I used to horribly butcher my bangs. Once I cut them so short, they turned up like two horns. Enjoyed this! Your daughter is lovely and I love that photo of you as a girl with your brother.
You had a normal odd children upbringing.
You didn't grow up to don a teased hair do.
We call the fluffy hair on women hair buns

It was a Pentecostal Hair Bun. O, cowlicks.
Your lucky Ya brother left you non scalped.

I remember a Farm helper we had one year.
She had an emotional breakdown. She cuts.
She cut her hair in grief because She Loved.

While She was away from college he cheated.
I suggested She date the Amish/Mennonites.
Later her Sister visited. She was her twin sis.
Her Sister stayed several weeks. O what fun.
The summer was a wonderful experience too.
We gave awards for lazy, worst meal, bad hair.

What a fun read.
I hope you cuts.
Cut editor nails.

He may scratch.
Cut his eyebrow.
No shave head.

Buy one big mop.
He get mop chop.
Dye a mop green.

In Canada they streak.
They streak hair green.
Streak his hair purple.

A beautiful apprentice broke up with a Friend.
She and other workers wondered why cut hair?
She didn't have a answer either. We all laughed.

She visits the Farm whenever She in near town.
I ask her if She wants a buzz or head/leg shaved.
You'd have to know her. She was a red head riot.
hahahah :D laughed throughout the entire piece, but "It's okay. You're not bleeding or anything" actually brought tears
This is so funny! Congrats on the EP! I come from a long line of cutters and can say that it must be genetic. I still cut my son's hair. (He turns 22 this week..) although he has escaped the sheers more often since he is away at college. I still trim my daughter's and my own bangs!
This was so brilliantly sweet and funny! My Mom was a cutter and I had a pixie cut for many years. I also had one infamous cut when I asked my Mom to braid my hair and cut off the braid as a keepsake. The resulting mess had to be cut up to my ears! My younger brother took one look and said that I looked like Alice in Wonderland with the grass hut on her head...I still have the braid... Great fun!!!
Great story Bell. I'd never heard of a Flowbee and am still not sure what it is. What a beautiful daughter & what beautiful hair.
I am still chuckling, it's hard to write. I, also cut hair, but seems my clientele have avoided my ministrations of late. I must ponder this.
love it.
haircuts in my house were on par with public executions. performed in the back yard, on a cracked vinyl chair in front of a crowd of grubby faces. books can be written on this one topic. you nailed this one.
Well, at least you have hair -- and a marvelous way with words. Were I you -- and all who know and love you can thank heaven I'm not -- I would give up the scissors and stick with the keyboard.
I so needed a smile today. If it helps, my mom took me once to the stylist who did her hair. He worked with all the Hollywood stars who came to Boston to perform. I sat in his chair ... and I never looked up.
Always!!!! you should look up!!! At the end ... I did look up ... and then I began to cry. My mom's hair still needed to be done and so ... he and she and everyone who came in ... watched the face of the little girl in the mirror crying her heart out because he had cut too much...
Not sure ... but this might help ... just a little bit ...
Been cutting my own hair these past 30 or so years. I have scissors stashed everywhere. But even I know you are bad. I would like you, you tell me in your bio. This baffles me. How in hell could such a bad person know that?
Sharp tale, Belle. I think you might have something in common with Johnny Depp [a la Edward Scissor Hands]. Now there's a thought!

Just for fun, you should maybe get one of those practice heads that hairdressers-in-training use. For different reasons, I had the pixie cut too and HATED it! I think my mother used a bowl. Been longer locks for a long while now because of it.
(what a beautiful kid! envy the hair!)

My mom taught herself to cut hair. She's pretty good at it.

When I was in college the first thing I did was allow my new roommate, whom I had known for a whole seven days, to cut my hair. It wasn't that bad.
There was a place in NY down at I don't remember where (Astoria?) where you could get a free cut if you were willing to let the beauty-program-whatever students mess with your hair. As money was tight...
It always grows back, so what the heck.
This is far above average for OS.
Hmmmm . . . sounds like me when I'm cooking . . . fortunately, I don't have to wear the results, at least not for long . . .
This is such literary awesomeness that I don't know where to begin. I laughed, I cried (for your victims), I swooned a little at your beautiful daughter, and I got all verklempt remembering red vinyl records. Oh, and in the picture of you and Ben you look just like ny best friend Isabel from elementary school. I doff my hat to you, B. Vance.
Jon -- What a compliment! Thank you.

Fingerlakeswanderer -- I'm glad you enjoyed the piece. It was fun to write.

greenheron -- I have dogs. And they have hair. Hmmm....

Jane Brogan -- I can't say mine are better than the pros, but at least mine are free.

Rita -- My mother still has that purple towel. My daughter wore costumes for weeks at a time too.

Christine -- Mr. Vance has the Flowbee down to a science, using the graduated guards for the sides and the level guards for the top. It's an elegant piece of machinery.

Fusun -- Cutter. Yes, I should have included a pie recipe. I wonder what kind of pie would fit? Or cookies, as in cookie cutter.

Dirndl -- I admire the Flowbee as much as I resent it. I do love that photo of my daughter. It was taken by her former painting teacher. My daughter was a favorite model of hers and she painted a full-length portrait that won all kind of awards, and is for sale but I cannot afford to buy it.

Miguela -- I'm in good company, I see. I'm incapable of NOT cutting my bangs too short, even though I know better.

Fernsy -- I love funny signs and hair salons seem to have the cleverest names. When I find a photo I like I'll post it. The book is coming...slowly...

Cartouche -- Or the clippers. I used that cape and clipper set exactly ONE time. At least with scissors I can't do wholesale damage with one swipe. Or I haven't yet been able to do so.

Lamm -- I think every mom has a story about the kids cutting their own hair. Funny thing is that as children mine never did. With my own inept cutting, I cheated them out of the experience!

Bea -- I wonder why my kids put up with me. I also wonder why my son still lets me near him with a pair of scissors, but he DOES. ("He's a Fool." -- says Mr. T.)

Boanerges -- I hope the Redhead has some actual skill. My buzz cut might be called a buzz kill. I'm an unintentional Sweeney Todd!

Jane -- You're such a sweetie. I'm fighting a nasty cold and feeling awful, and your comment made me smile.

Snowden -- I really would like to channel this inept energy into some other, less damaging art. Collage?

Linda -- Cutters unite! I'm thinking I'll probably never stop. But I should. Seriously.

Geezer -- When you cut your own hair, and badly, you're ashamed to go to a professional because you know they'll KNOW you tried to cut your own hair...and the shame. The shame.
Pauline -- I'm very proud of her. But you notice I didn't provide a photo of my handywork. I'm still making amends to her for that.

Nikki -- Thank you! I'm glad you like the piece.

Candace -- I was shocked when the blades suddenly grabbed his hair and kept winding it in. Who knew?

Joan -- I do love that picture of my brother. As my hair grew, he did eventually come back around to doing everything I said. Poor guy.

onislandtime -- Don't encourage me!! Ok, do. I am a Goodwill shopper, maybe I'll look for some wigs to mutilate.

Nick -- In our household the Flowbee did cut off funds to local haircutters. We're on our second one. What industry was the Veg-a-matic supposed to ruin?

Sheila -- Gotcha!

Froggy -- You are a good mother and a good wife.

Lezlie -- Except for my fascination with scissors, I possess no affinity for hair styling or handling. When my daughter's entire first grade class came down with head lice, I was a pro at nit-picking. That's something, right?

Stim -- I had him in the palm of my hand. Then this MOTHER ruins everything. I guess someone had to look out for his best interests. You should have seen us dancing to Kung Fu Fighting. I'm sure we each had bruises.

Sarah -- My son was a grade schooler during the return of the skater's bowl cut, which was a good thing that time I shaved up half his head.

Sophieh -- I'm glad I made you laugh. Now, come sit down in this chair right here...

Greg -- Ball caps are our friends.

Catherine -- I have hair dye stories as well. Like the time I resorted to dog tar shampoo because I read it would strip black hair dye out of my hair. It didn't. This was not that long ago.

Thoth -- Hey you! I still can't get over seeing you back in the feed. Thanks.

Lucy -- Horns? I'd love to see that. It might make me feel better about my own skills.
Art -- I'd love to meet your red head riot. She'd have to be something to out(hair)do the Art James Riot.

Julie -- I was relieved that there was no bleeding. It all happened so fast I could have taken his head clean off without knowing.

Seer -- I won't call you out. I hated my pixie cut too. On my mother's tombstone I will write: I finally forgive you for the pixie cut.

Susie -- You must have real talent if they seek you out instead of running!

Jersey -- I can just envision what kind of cut you'd get if you just cut off a braid at the top. A grass hut indeed! It's cool that you still have the braid. Seems like there should be a healing ceremony where everyone gathers with the clippings of their bad haircuts and burns them.

Trilogy -- A Flowbee attaches to your vacuum cleaner and the blades clip while the vacuum sucks the hair straight and also stomachs the clippings. It's a pretty ingenious device for a man's haircut. Not so much for women or dogs or cats or rats or vain creatures of any gender or species.

Dianaani -- So your cutting hand is getting twitchy?

Raymond -- Sounds like the public baths we got in an old washtub in the front yard. Why should grooming be so humiliating??

Tom -- You wound me. Give up my PASSION? Nay! Give me shears or give me...Maybe you have a point.

anna1liese -- It's such a disappointment when our visions don't match the outcome. I cried at a hair salon once too. I was having my hair done for prom and it got bigger and bigger and bigger. Maybe it was payback for all the hair-pain I inflicted in the past.

Matt -- Because bad people recognize one another. I know you!

Scarlett -- Your hair is too nice for a short do. I'm still traumatized by my pixie cut as well. It hasn't been that short since.

Vanessa -- Exactly!! That's why I've never been to attached to my hair -- especially since it's not that great in it's natural state. Each time, I think "What have I got to lose?"

Jeff -- My head and hair is growing bigger by the minute! There is a lot of great writing here on OS. I think there's something for everyone in every genre and style. I wish there were ways to sort...or maybe that's a bad idea, because sometimes I stumble upon pieces I wouldn't have ordinarily read.

Owl -- I doubt your cooking is as disastrous as my haircutting! I get your point. I envy people who have skills I admire and desire but do not possess (with me it's guitar and gardening), and I know you can study and learn but there are some people who just HAVE it.

Ann -- It's true. They were victims. I'm a victim. I hope there's a Congressional fund for that. I can't believe anyone else remembers those red vinyl records!

Glad Matt talked me into coming over to OS to read this. Funny, and charmingly written.
1) You helped create one lovely human being!
2) Congratulations on the EP.
3) I thoroughly enjoyed your story.
4) I had an OMG moment when I read what you wrote about fly swatter smacks leaving permanent marks..... it's the only possible explanation for my non cellulite!
Hi Bell. When I saw the title I was expecting something out of Breaking Away. But this was even more charming. Did you ever drive the men in your life to Leonard Cohen?

She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
You writing is so wonderful! You had me laughing at each turn. ::backing away in case you have scissors in your hand and an eye on my long hair::
Oh dear, I always fear very confident people and you sound a little too confident at cutting. Then again, I haven't been to a hairdresser in 9 years and hack away at my own as the whim hits. Call me if you're in Boise, I have a pair of real hairdresser scissors and you can hack at mine, if it's uneven we can drink wine and it will look fine.

Poor boy, helicopter? Poor, poor boy. Hahahaaaa....
Your first paragraph, the last sentence particularly, is gold.

I've been a cutter. I can haz cutz.
Ha! I just trimmed my bangs this weekend. They look about as you might expect. I'll never learn to leave the scissors alone either. Loved the story and your daughter is gorgeous!
My mom used to mess up my hair. She was more of a puller than a cutter. She never bothered to sharpen the scissors or change the razor blades.
Rated Highly
Haha! I laughed out loud at the ending!

The pictures were a great addition - and your daughter does have really beautiful hair! And is beautiful in general.

Thanks for another delightful post!
You're always so much fun to read! But you brought back traumatic memories of my mom cutting my hair when I was a kid--her bang-trimming technique bore a scary resemblance to yours, except without the semi-professional cape and scissors. I'm in awe of you and your writing, but stay away from my hair!
This is great writing. Really great writing. I wish I could write really great like your really great writing, but I don't write so great.
Bell~ I put off reading this because of the title (I've had friendships with "real" cutters...and their stories are heartbreaking). When I read through, not only was I relieved at the humor (a rewarding by-product of reading your posts), but I was guffawing with empathy. Excellent post, gorgeous verbiage...and a beautiful, endearing piece of your memoir. xoxox J
Listen to those false prophets, dear, they're what I love about you and your view on life. My mama was a fan of pixie cuts on girls, too, except mine was billed as a "shag." I segued into a Dorothy (Hamill) 'do. I never had as much fashion sense as you, gypsy girl.
I used to have long my waist. I would encounter women who would say..." I wish I could grow my hair longer" and I would remind them that cutting and trimming frequently prevents that. As I got older and grayer (well actually whiter), I had it cut. Clearly others share your cut and trimming obsession, but not me, I leave it to the pros.
If you haven't seen HairBattle Spectacular, or one of those other haircut competitions, you should. Hulu has one usually. I wish you had a picture of your little brother's hair teased into mini-golf turf.

I have had my hair cut in 1993 (the last yearly hair cut because my beloved hairdresser ran away with an assistant to N.H.), 1998, 2002, and 2006. I have recently adopted Viking braids as a way to ignore the whole damn problem. If I were ever to meet you in 3D, I would demand an emptying of your pocketbook to make sure you weren't carrying scissors.
I agree with greenheron, you simply deprive us too long of your marvelous stories.
Your daughter....what a beauty!
I don't know how you hit fantastic every.single.time. Such a spreader of joy you are! And what a fine skill to have. Thanks again Bell!
Coming to this late, but I adored it and did actually laugh out loud. I'm quite jealous of your daughter's hair and I hope that she will always be able to outrun you.
Cranky -- I'm glad you stopped by!

Chrissie -- A fly swatter can cause those ripples. I swear it!

Abrawang -- I might have driven them to Ryan Adams "Hallelujah, hallelujah, you're gone..."

Mypsyche -- I'm a self-mutilating hair cutter, so your hair is safe!

l'Heure -- I knew you were a kindred spirit. I'm sure you could do a better job that I do, so I'd let you hold the scissors any day.

Kathy -- I'm sure your hair cuts look professional. I just know this.

Franish -- My bangs are particularly vulnerable. What is it about them that makes them so cuttable?

littlewillie -- That explains a lot.

Alysa -- My daughter came home last week with bangs -- that she cut herself! Oh dear oh dear oh dear. What monstrous gene have I passed on?

Felicia -- I have traumatic memories of a home perm, and being so disappointed because I thought I was going to be transformed and instead I was exactly the same except with big frizzy hair.

Ashley -- Yeah right. Be quiet, you. Or I'll get my scissors.

Brazen -- I did consider the title and wondered if it would offend, because I know cutting is a serious issue. I'm glad you saw the humor in it.

Lucy -- My hair didn't have enough body for the Dorothy Hamill. I went from pixie to home-perm fro to home perm mullet to Igiveup.

Liberal Southern Democrat -- I'm one of those women who would look at your waist-length hair and say "I wish I could grow my hair longer." Mine won't grow long and goes scraggly once it touches my shoulder. Sigh.

Mumble -- Viking braids?? You are truly a goddess! Norse or otherwise. I wouldn't dream of hacking off a braid.

Fay -- Aw thanks. I think she's pretty. But I might be biased.

Molly -- "Spreader of joy." I appreciate that so much, especially when you think of all the things one might be accused of spreading.

500words -- I've been training on my treadmill so I could catch her if I had to chase her down!
You cut me loose with this one. Thanks for the fine edge and crisp lines.
If by some weird remote illogical happenstance you are reading this message in a bottle, you are missed.
too bad you aint here anymore. what a writer you are. what a charming and funny piece.