I was blessed to come from a family of good hair.
Thick, wavy, curly dark hair. (My mother says when the nurse handed me to her, I had a full bow in my hair, there was so much.)
I need products to smooth it, soften it, straighten it, keep it from drying out or frizzing. For a long time and like most people, I wrestled with it, always thinking the grass was greener, always wanting some other type of length or style.
Who doesn’t dwell on this subject matter, really? Man or woman.
My four sons were blessed to inherit the good hair genes. They, too, have thick hair—lots of it—though only one whose locks curl when they grow. My college-age son has had a beard for a few years, a really nice one. During these two weeks with schools closed, my teenage son is attempting to grow one, too.
My husband, home two weeks, has a near full beard.
Why am I dwelling on this? Because right now, we have an issue.
I meant to make hair-cut appointments in early March; it was on the “To Do” list along with 100 other things. And I was just about to when the whole world shut down.
The one whose hair curls is complaining that it’s too long, and he can’t see. Mine’s so out of whack that I have to wear a hat to keep it out of my way when I cook or work. But I don’t cut others’ hair, and certainly would never approach mine with a pair of shears.
So what to do?
Passover starts in a week, and it’s a time when normally, we’d all go to our respective barbers or salons (ahem) to get cleaned up. Not so this year. And after the holiday, there is a period when hair is not traditionally cut (long story for a short piece, but if interested, see: Rabbi Akiva).
There is also a period when Jews go wild cutting hair (see: Rabbi Shimon). Traditional Jews wait until a boy is 3 before clipping a single tress; then in a joyous ceremony, everyone gets passed a scissors, and they start to snip, snip, snip.
All that aside, you can see my current impasse.
My husband mentioned that his mother used to cut his hair when he was a kid. Me? I don’t dare.
We’re going to have to wait. It’s one more thing on hold that no one could have foreseen just two-and-half weeks ago.
Two-and-half weeks? That’s all it’s been. Two-and-half weeks.
All right, boys. Line up. I’m handing out hats.
Carin M. Smilk is the managing editor of JNS.
This Reporter’s Notebook will appear starting on March 16 until the end of the month (or when schools reopen).