October 11, 2008

You're only as Young as Your Hair is Short
Apoldu de Sus, Romania

I was getting so tired of looking in the mirror and seeing the weary face looking back at me; so tired of getting my hair and beard pulled every day by a rowdy infant (always a fun wakeup call); and oh so tired of maintaining both. It was time for a change—time to look and feel my age again.

It was back in middle of 2006 that I had my hair sheared for the last time—in Guatemala, I believe. Since then I've only had four haircuts (three of them by Tatiana's hands). And as much as I loved experiencing the subtle nuances of haircut culture in the Caribbean and Central America, I could've done without the hassle as well. So I let it grow, expecting to save on haircuts costs and do something I'd never done before, while keeping my skull a bit warmer in South America.

In May 2007 I decided that I couldn't live without a beard, and so I've kept once since (shaving it only a handful of times). I tired different lengths (some extreme), happily getting to know this part of myself as well, as simple as it may be, and how such a thing can alter how people see me.

But I've grown tired of both, and after much convincing with by barber (also my girlfriend), she's agreed to cut the years off my appearance. Perhaps it's my way of trying to fight off the tried father image I've become and reclaim something from the past. Look as deep into it as you wish.

Thanks to quickly plummeting temperatures in the late afternoon and an ill-tempered baby, the entire experience was quite an ordeal. The deed was done in the courtyard of this home, with Stephan doing the honors behind the camera. At first Aidric was secured to a chair with my belt, then moved to my lap after he became unruly, and then to Tatiana's back as he became unmanageable (where he eventually passed out from boredom in a hilarious position before we corrected it).

Tatiana says that the cut and a shave took twenty years off my prior appearance.

As wildly apprehensive as Tatiana was about cutting my hair, she tells me that she loves looking over at me and seeing the Craig she met back in 2006. She likes to see me as I was, and to remember how crazy about me she was when we met.

As for me, I'm loving it. It feels great to have my hair dry in seconds, to laugh at Aidric as his attempts to grab and pull at a clump of my hair fails, and to look at the more youthful image in the mirror. I might grow the beard back in time (I did like that look with the short hair), but for now I'm enjoying the personal 'sport mode'.

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