I tried to ask nonchalantly, because I knew requesting a haircut from my wife was going to make her nervous.
I get it. My first corona cuts on her and our son, Harvey, gave my heart a little pitter-patter, too. But we made it out with minimal blood loss (mine, thankfully) and zero tears, so I’d call them successes.
Elenor and I had consulted some of our gays and ordered clippers, shears and accessories earlier this spring when self-isolation loomed. But like the 25-pound bag of rice and Costco case of beans we also got in March out of prudence (OK, panic), we hoped it wasn’t actually going to come to this.
After another round of home cuts for them under our belts and my ombréd ends showing their true age, I decided to finally pop the question. I was ready. Was she?
“Hey lady, I’m going to take a quick shower.” (Turn around and futz with something.) “When I’m done, would you mind just grabbing the shears and trimming off some of my ends? They’re driving me crazy.”
Poof. She had turned into a statue.
I don’t know if it was a word or just a guttural sound she finally emitted, but I decided to roll with it as an affirmation of her generosity.
“Ah, you’re a lifesaver. Thank you, babe! It’ll be wet and straight, and you’ll just snip and we’re done. Badda bing, badda bangs. I’ll be back in 10.”
I poured us each a shot of whiskey (counted myself lucky for not actually having bangs) and started a group text with our hairstylist for more tips.
When I returned, she and Harv had set up Salon Gom in the yard. I took my place on the throne and was adorned with my cape. It was a gorgeous day for a trim.
Elenor started combing my hair quietly. It felt nice. Running the comb from the top of my head to those ends that were about to meet their doom. She combed and combed. And didn’t stop. Just a lot of combing. I tried to look behind me without moving my head.
Was she doing Lamaze breathing behind me right now?
Nah, no way. This’ll be fine.
Like the good millennial I am, I got my phone out to take a quick selfie of the event after she finally grabbed the scissors. Hashtag Stay Home, Stay Healthy!
But when I positioned my phone over my shoulder to capture Elenor and gleeful Harvey who was picking up my fallen tresses, I saw her with a handful of hair and her eyes closed in a full-faced grimace.
“Oh, love, maybe keep your eyes op—”
I heard the scissors close. And then I heard Harvey squeal. “MIMI! Look!”
He proudly displayed a lock of my hair roughly 4 inches in length.
You know what? This’ll be great. It was time for a change. And we’re not even seeing people that often. Plus, call me Moira Rose, but I love an excuse for a wig.
It’s just hair. It’ll grow back. Don’t be vain. (Repeat.)
“You’re doing great, El,” I managed in a probably Tony Award-winning live performance for a one-woman comedic drama.
“Um, babe, I think I cut off more than you wanted…” she said trailing off.
“Oh, really? I mean, maybe a tad! But I can’t wait to see your work,” I said as she finished. I made a graceful (speed walking) entrance into our house and right to a mirror.
I met my reflection with a grimace of my own, and then, a look of surprise. I sorta liked what I saw. I dried it and liked it more. Outrageous. Why hadn’t I ever done this before?
I headed back outside to a forlorn wife. Unlike me, she had the weight of my hair on her shoulders. Her expression changed, though, when she saw my Cheshire smile, framed by a cute, saucy do. I flopped my hair from one side to the other and curtsied.
She nailed it!
As I sent a Venmo payment off to our stylist (which he didn’t ask for, but most certainly deserved), he let us know he was planning to open his salon soon — in a text enumerating all the safety precautions in place — in case any of us wanted to schedule a future visit. He gave us a cute fib about not needing him, but if we wanted…
So, great news, friends: We’re retiring our quarantine shears while we are ahead. After all, if the state epidemiologist, Dr. Angela Dunn is hitting the salon again, so might we.
Marina Gomberg is a communications professional and lives in Salt Lake City with her wife, Elenor Gomberg, and their son, Harvey. You can reach Marina at email@example.com.