Locks of love
It is a play of sorts. It's about what you're willing to do for a significant other in order to please them.
No need to get sexual. And I'm not talking about giving a significant other money or gifts. I'm talking about how much you're willing to change yourself for them.
I'm loath to even use the word "change," 'cause lately I've heard it so much I want to permanently expunge it from my vocabulary. If it isn't being offered by the presidential candidates, then it's being requested by someone on the corner in downtown Miami trying to cull together enough coin for the next visit to a sidewalk pharmacist. Needless to say, I've decided to start referring the latter to the former. I hear senators Clinton, McCain, and Obama have plenty of change. Their kind of change may not be worth enough to buy crack, but all three say they want to share it...the change, not the crack.
But I digress.
I have a neighbor. A very cool guy. He too is in the other side club, as in cooler than the other side of the pillow. I've always liked this guy 'cause he's a little loud, a little raw, a little crazy, but always solid, reliable, respectful, etc. He's a good neighbor. He mows some other neighbors' lawns, just because he's a nice guy. He's always quick with a joke and a smile and a wave. And he's always had a really cool Mohawk hairdo.
Not everyone can sport a 'hawk, just like some women can't wear low-rider jeans, and some guys can't wear flat-front slacks, and almost no one should wear biker shorts. You have to have the right 'tude and carriage and confidence to pull off a 'hawk. This guy has all three.
He recently began dating a nice young lady. We don't even know her and haven't been formally introduced, but almost immediately after she began spending time at his house she too started waving and smiling and saying hi and occasionally engaging us in small talk in passing.
Something curious happened after a few weeks of her presence though. The 'hawk started to get shorter, and droopier. The side hair started growing back in. It was like an erect flower had begun to wilt for lack of watering. After a week-and-a-half or so of this metamorphosis, the 'hawk had disappeared. In it's place was a common, Caesar-style haircut that you might see on a million guys in a million places. To top that off, my neighbor's tude changed. He seemed tamer. We stopped doing the Tim the Tool Man thing, comparing notes on lawn mower "technology," offering one another cold, canned beverages, and yelling stupid jokes at each other over our respective privacy fences.
This made me think of the Old Testament character of Sampson, who was so smitten by a woman, he let her chop off his magical hair, which was reportedly the root of his super human strength. She subsequently had him blinded, the story goes, and reduced to a shadow of the man he once was.
A more modern analogy would be the actor/rapper Anthony "Treach" Criss, former leader of the group Naughty by Nature. In the group's 1999 single "1,2,3," in answer to speculation that his long, braided hair was fake and should be cut off and that his girlfriend was pressuring him to cut it off, Treach rhymed "Au contraire mon frere/this is all my hair/I wouldn't cut it for the biggest buttocks out there."
My first question would be what kind of tough guy rapper says "au contraire?" But that's another post altogether.
Treach refused to cut his crazy 'do. My neighbor, I suspect, caved.
Maybe my neighbor is really in love with his new friend. Maybe, logically, he figured her companionship was worth more to him than his very cool 'do.
But this sort of change always annoys me. I admit, it's easy for me to talk big and tough here, 'cause all Mrs. B has ever asked me to change was my beard or goatee, when I occasionally grow them. If I let 'em get scruffy she'll ask me to trim 'em or shave 'em off altogether.
Still, my neighbor's not some kid sporting a 'hawk out of rebellion. He has gray hair. By now that 'do was part of his lifestyle, I'd argue...until Mrs. B told me to be quiet and stay out of it.
It's like going into a strip club and meeting one of Eliot Spitzer's friends. She was dancing on a pole when you met her, and you were attracted to what you saw enough to date her. So what makes you think you have any business insisting she swing her way off that pole a few weeks into your relationship?
I miss my crazy neighbor buddy.