Saturday, April 03, 2004


Amy has a certain code phrase she uses on occasion. Actually it's not really code, it's a blunt statement: "Michael, if you do that I will divorce you."

It's not as harsh as it sounds. In fact I'm the one who told her to say it.

She has a standing order to repeat that phrase, at the top of her lungs if need be, anytime I attempt some household chore for which I am obviously unqualified. This means all plumbing jobs, carpentry, car repairs, anything involving power tools or open flames. In truth my household do-it-yourself skills are limited to changing light bulbs...and if the bulbs are halogen I still might require supervision.

Amy was having a rough day today. The home health care nurse came by twice to draw blood. The fatigue of being sick for so long, being hooked up to an IV antibiotic again, still being tethered to a feedbag, etc. had her emotions on edge. She dropped a teacup in the kitchen, shattering it on the floor. There was hot water everywhere, and tears in her eyes.

She decided to simply lie down and try to put this day behind her.

Being the thoughtful, loving husband I am, I decided this would be the perfect time to give myself a haircut.

Amy has cut my hair for the past year or two, usually under protest.

I'm not picky about how it's done. Amy uses the dog shears and lops it off. She does a good job of making it look even all the way around.

She may not like it, but I'm completely satisfied.

I've learned over the years that my hair comes back even faster than my bad habits.

Tonight though, I figured since Amy was feeling lousy, I'd do the hair cutting myself.

How hard could it be?

This plan had some merit when I was dealing with the front of my head. I trimmed a little with the scissors and then pulled out the shears. I cut it a little close on the sides, but I figured that was no big deal. My accuracy improved slightly towards the top of my head, but then the flaw in my thinking became all too apparent.

It didn't take many attempts before I had to admit I don't bend in a manner allowing me to cut the hair on the back of my head. Were this not true perhaps I might have a career in a carnival sideshow somewhere, but alas as I stared in the mirror I realized it was indisputable.

Leering back at me from the mirror was the visage of a man who could easily be mistaken for someone undergoing radiation treatments while still vainly attempting to grow a mullet.

It was frightening.

What's worse is I was forced to stick that same scary looking head out the door and plead for help from Amy who was half dozing on the couch, blissfully unaware of my antics.

Suffice it to say there were some disapproving looks. To put it mildly there were some comments of disbelief and chastisement.

There wasn't much I could do to blunt her criticism. It's not like there are any other potential barbers in the house.

Despite her obvious anger, Amy lopped off the rest of my hair.

As far as I'm concerned it turned out fine; Amy thinks I look like a death row inmate ready to be strapped down and fitted with electrodes.

I really don't think it's that bad, for the first haircut I've ever given myself.

And the last...if I want to avoid divorce court.